Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Plan B

There were some pretty ominous clouds in the sky this am, so Ker and I decided that instead of the beach we'd take a tennis lesson (which neither of us has played before -- our disastrous volleyball experience had clearly faded in memory or we'd've known instinctively this'd be a bad idea...). Except that when we got to the club house it turns out it's the pro's day off. Sheesh. Clearly fate trying to tell us something >;-P

So we skipped around the hotel (ummm "we" might've been "I" but the rest of that statement is actually accurate. I was a *little* high after next to no exercise for a couple days and literally bouncing -- but rule #1 remember? Couldn't run. N no tennis. N too cold to play in the waves sooo....) Anyways -- at the front of the hotel we found the bike and scooter rental. Ker wasn't big on the scooters and I had already realized I had to burn off some energy, so we asked about the bikes. The charge - free! For two hours. "And if we're out longer than two hours?" The response was a shrug and a smile. Ok. Borrowed (can you say rented if it's free?) two bikes and headed off down the road. Stopped to trade bikes by the end of the driveway since I couldn't reach my pedals and Kerri was crunched into a tiny ball on her bike. hahaha

Flashlight died while I was crunched deep in a small section of the cave; we learned that in Cuba, when something doesn't work, hit it.

Very shortly we came to a random hut; let's see what this is! hahaha it was the entrance to a cave we could explore -- complete with cave paintings and lots of bats. Cave paintings to the left, bats to the right. N while I could figure out the bats didn't go to the left because there was more light there, I'm curious as to why there were no paintings on the right. Original inhabitants didn't like bats? Or maybe just don't like the dark anymore than the bats like the light? hahaha is hard to paint in the dark after all!

He was none to happy with us for disturbing his nap; can't say I blame him!

Anyways after playing in the caves for a while we continued our trek, w/ Ker stopping every km or so to reattach her chain to her bike, and found ourselves in a nature preserve.

Kerri fixing her bike; you can see the hotel in the distance...

3 pesos later we were exploring. A decent hike through a trail with guide posts along the way (we were given a paper with the corresponding info in fractured English). Some of it was really interesting and the photo ops were brilliant. By far the most fun was all the places we weren't supposed to go *g* Kerri plays by the rules more than I though so I mostly did those on my own while she looked on bemused. Climbed up a rock wall to see the view from the top and went past the "return" sign to find some great wetland shots (worth the risk of being deported - clearly!) Don't worry -- was careful where I stepped :) All good.

The best things are found off the beaten path

Was fairly entertaining (although I think the park gate keeper was about to send out a search party for us -- we were out a whole lot longer than some other people who went in about the same time as us. More photo ops :)

Kerri admiring the cactus

All in all, far better than a tennis lesson would likely have been. Plan B wins again! And we were only an hour late returning the bikes :) But he wasn't even there to return them to, so I figure it's all good *g*

We never did figure out exactly what the "Other Varadero" was all about; my best guess is it's still Varadero but the opposite end from the city -- where most people go...

That aft we tried to go back to the beach but it was red-flagged. Crazy strong waves and dangerous undertows. Boooo. So deciding not to make the lifeguard's job more difficult (there are limits to my adventuring -- generally anything that crosses the stupidity line; although where that line is may be open to interpretation :) -- we resorted to lounging by the pool. Life's rough. >;-P Was a little cooler than ideal, but still significantly better than at home. N those clouds? Long gone by the time we got back from our adventures!


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