Our horseback tour is at 9 am and since I need to shower, my alarm goes off first at 7:15am. We want the 5 CUC breakfast the host has to offer, but we got in too late to give her a heads up the night before. I quietly walk into the house and she’s in the kitchen kneading bread. I ask if she can make us breakfast and apologize for the inconvenience. She says she’ll need about 45 minutes. Perfect. I immediately picture the chickens out back, and her chasing them for their eggs.
The weather is pretty chilly, okay I’m lying, it was downright cold. The host said there was hot water, but after waiting for about 5 minutes, I sadly found out this was not the case. Ice shower it is. I like the cold, so it wasn’t a huge deal for me. Diana wakes up and is not feeling well. By not feeling well, I mean she’s terribly sick. Best case scenario, it’s a traveling bug or food poisoning…worst case, she got a parasite (which can be easily contracted). I got one in Tulum, and let me tell ya, it was probably the sickest I have ever been in my entire life. Knocked me on my ass for a good two weeks. Caitlin, Caro, and I finish getting ready and head out onto the back porch where breakfast it waiting.
We’ve got about 15 minutes to scarf this breakfast down, and I am convinced Diana is not going to make it since she’s not ready by the time we leave. She says she’ll meet us so we head down to where the meeting point is at, which is not hard to spot considering there are horses everywhere.
The guy assigns us our horses, mine is named Mojito…so perfect, right?
DIANA MAKES IT….and off we go. These horses have some serious personalities and are extremely competitive and try to bite one another. Diana’s horse wants to fight everyone and basically almost bucks her off a time or two. It’s a little scary and entertaining, but the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and we enjoy our ride to the tobacco plantation.
We make it to the tobacco plantation and are greeted by the coolest looking guy you’ll ever see; I mean this guy is a for real “OG”. He goes on to explain the process of which they plant and make the tobacco, and hands everyone their own cigar dipped in honey.
I’ve smoked one cigar before this and made the horrible mistake of inhaling. I’m not a smoker and it was disgusting…but this. This is was sweet and musky at the same time; wood and fruit is what comes to mind. Before you know it, I was halfway done with the cigar. Our “OG” of a Cuban says he sells them by the bundle. 10 cigars for 30 CUC. In comparison, one cigar would cost $25 American dollars at any government store. I take my 10, knowing I won’t smoke any more but will use them as souvenirs and hold onto one as a keepsake.
We finish our tour, stopping at a coffee shop where we learned about the Arabica beans that are grown there in their very own farm. We sit down and have a coffee, best coffee I’ve ever had, I might add. We hop on our horses and head back.
Diana’s on the verge of death, so she immediately goes back to bed. Caitlin, Carolina, and I decide to do a quick HIIT workout. 45 minutes later, feeling like death as well, we shower and get ready to explore the town. First things first, a mini photo shoot in front of the colorful flowers up and down the road.
Then lunch and drinks….
And naturally more drinks….
We need more WIFI cards, and the line to get them is incredibly long. While I wait in line, Caitlin finds a cab driver who is willing to take us to Varadero at an incredibly low rate. Apparently, he lives past the town, and was on his way anyway. With only his word to count on, we agree to meet the following morning at 6am for the ride to Varadero.
We decide it’s time to check on Diana. On the way there, we run into some very young, energetic, and EXTREMELY crude boys. Some of the things they were saying….YOU’RE ONLY 6, DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?! So Carolina decides to school them in soccer.
Heading back, we see three vultures flying over the house we’re staying in. They must be here for Diana. We walk in, and no worries…she’s breathing. We had stopped by the pharmacy and picked her up some meds. Luckily she felt better enough to go to dinner with us. We rest up a bit while we wait for her to get ready.
One Italian dinner and a couple drinks later, and we’re ready to call it a night. We’ve got an early morning and a long day ahead of us. Remember how I said Diana either got a traveler’s bug, food poisoning, or a parasite? Well….we got our answer that very same night.