Blog Archives

A Cuban Vacation – Part 1

In my 25 years, with more than 25 countries travelled – it was my first venture to the sunny south.

 The Caribbean is a stark  contrast to Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. When I awoke on May 20, 2011 from my home the snow was gingerly falling. My bag was packed and I looked forward to sunshine, sandy beaches and lots of relaxation.

I departed the Deer Lake Regional Airport to fly to Toronto, only to re-routed back to Montreal. From Montreal I would fly to Varadero, Cuba.

At the Pierre Trudeau airport, I was asked to complete a survey. I did not realize at the time the many wonderful features of this airport. For instance there was free Wifi, an abundance of easily accessible power outlets and comfy armless chairs for napping. I was pleased with the variety of food outlets and gift shops. Although, signage could be slightly improved, especially for international connections as the American flag represents all WORLD/INTERNATIONAL travel connections. What symbol would the USA have? In my opinion an update for this sign is needed.

The Air Canada service was again to be touted! We departed a few minutes late because of the tug break down during push-off. We departed late and arrived more than 30 minutes early. Arrival in Cuba was greeted with intense humidity. Vacationers were eager to get their luggage and reach their nearby resort. The airport was very small and was not equipped with good signage. I was an unsure Canadian as I waited for my luggage, as I had not booked an All-Inclusive vacation with Air Canada or Sunwing. I am glad to have booked a resort to start my 10 day vacation, as I left the airport people asked which Hotel I was staying. I noted the Melia Las Americas. They instructed me to get on bus #4. Since, I was not part of the vacation I was told to pay $10.00 for the ride versus a higher taxi fee.

The resort was breath-taking. As the lobby I met my friend Tobias of Germany, who I had first met when I studied at the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic back in 2007. We checked out the view of the beach and toasted to a Caribbean vacation to some Bucanero beers. It was wonderful to hear the waves gently touch the beach. We opted to go for a dip! The Caribbean sea was quite salty, yet pleasantly warm.

We stopped for a drink at the lobby bar, listened to some piano music and then caught a live band. The entertainment had the small audience captivated. Some lifted from their chairs and started to salsa! The Mojitos never tasted as brilliant, as they did in their homeland of Cuba.

An early rise was met with an extravagant buffet breakfast. The beach was waiting, it was not crowded. The pool, hammocks and beachfront games made for a fun morning. There was a lively game of beach volleyball. As well, a beach stepping game of Mojito-Daquiri, Pina Colada, Rum Punch. Each drink had a special step and as people missed the step, he/she was eliminated. I stand by Rum Punch as being my favourite.

A meal was reserved for the Italian Restaurant. A feast of 7 or 8 courses was served. It was matched by a pairing of a semi-sweet white Spanish wine, served in a stainless steel wine bucket. The meal had a specialty Cuban twist.

I will not forget the sky that evening or Peter’s Birthday party. We got to sing happy birthday to our table neighbours. They were kind enough to share the specialty cake.

After eating a delicious meal were went to the theatre and watched some very impressive and energetic dancers. Parts were moving that I never thought were humanly possible.

The day was full of relaxation, but also jam-packed with activities. It did not end with the show, which I will continue in my next post…Cuba Part II.

Enjoy!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

 

Plane Touching Down in Deer Lake

Derek Pilgrim’s song, “When the Plane Touches Down in Deer Lake” resonates with many rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians. The plane landing on the rock, brings a feeling of being home even though I live more than 330 kms to the north.

On May 2, 2011 I departed Deer Lake Regional Airport for Halifax. There a connection to Boston and from there to reach Las Vegas, Nevada. I certainly enjoyed a week away in the desert climate with an abundance of nightly entertainment. It was nice to re-unite with an old friend and to meet others for the first time.

After a week away, a feeling of happiness came upon me when the plane touched down in Deer Lake. The professional staff of Air Canada and the airport staff made the travel a breeze. I landed at 2:46 AM and left the parking lot at 3:20 AM to drive the distance, as I would work in the AM.

Driving up the Great Northern Peninsula, the vehicle count was 10 – moose count was 11. The moose are out in abundance and in great numbers. Be safe when travelling beautiful Route 430 – The Viking Trail. It can be a haven for wildlife.

Moose opting to turn vs. cross the road to on-coming traffic

My grandmother & I saw four lovely caribou grazing on a yard in the community of Bear Cove as we were en route to a traditional Sunday’s Dinner. I wish I had my camera handy. Visit the Great Northern Peninsula and get that wonderful feeling of the plane landing at Deer Lake for yourself this summer season.

 
Live Rural NL –
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
%d bloggers like this: