Vikki Rigate

Joined March 2018
  • Day13

    Havana were back!

    May 31 in Belize

    So we're back in Havana to finish the tour! The rain is pretty consistent so it's becoming a bit of a battle to head out with enthusiasm now, were ready for a break from it! But hey travelling isn't always perfect so we persevere. We transferred from the tours casa to an air bnb.....unfortunately not to plan! The timings and communication got a but muddled (no Wi-Fi or calls make it a bit rustic!) So upshot is we ended up sitting on the front porch of the new casa for over 2hrs in surprisingly some serious heat! Not rain. One plus. We had a cute old man (like from the film up) who talked to us for ages, a walk out to a local bakery to bring back some very cheap cakes to the porch and an emergency toilet drama which we can't talk about! 😂. Eventually the neighbour who potentially was in the whole time 🙄 wakes from a siesta and let's us in. It's a modern place that has the basics, except hot water which Maj goes into Maj mode and chases down the owner asap! It's fixed.
    We finish in Havana with a very cool drinks and dinner in an old oil factory after a canny 45min walk, a stroll through an art street (that we missed being lively on a Sunday due to the casa drama), and a visit to the history museum which was a great way to get a summary of how Cuba has come to where it is today. It's a very restricted country in many ways but they are also grateful of who they are and who brought them to this place. Our tour guide taught us so much with 'question time with Dyami' on the long bus trips.
    We head back to our fav breakfast place in a hostel down the road. The food is great all meals so this is the 4th time back. Cuba has proven to be quite repetitive with food as their local selection is limited, it's good, but limited! So we're ready for a change, hit me with some sun, tequila, nice hotel and tacos! Mexico here we come......
    (Take note of the Cuba passport control 'uniform'!!!!! 😬)
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  • Day6

    Trinidad

    May 24 in Mexico

    Ok so it's the favourite place of Cuba for me! So pretty, colourful, colonial, clean.....little cobbled side streets & a central square with the biggest stairway to host dancing, drinking, generally hanging out. We have 3 nights here so a good time soak it up.
    We kick off with a salsa lesson to really get into the rhythm of Cuba! It's the basics but was good fun as a group & we put our steps to the test in the evening with a local live band. Emily & Harry loved to put some flare in & the split matching outfit went down a treat! 😂. Id genuinely liked to have learnt more....maybe in the UK! Felt like a good time to try that Cuban cigar....I genuinely quite liked it. I did think it was going to be gross & stink like an old man, but wasn't the case.
    Less traditional Salsa but more a club version came later when we went to an actual Cave Club! It's a first. It's very cool as it's a big dark Cave, lit by DJ lights and it's huge, probably one of those you have to be there moments!....however the sweaty betty was real that night!😅
    The horse trek!....one of my favourite things so far. My horse was one of the guides so he was on form, however others were less so!! 😂. It was a beautiful walk/trot through the lush green & being remote from the bustle of town was lovely. A half way stop is the waterfall, thank God because again the heat & humidity here puts sweating at another level!! Finished soacked as the rain hit us & with a sore ass!
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  • Day4

    Vinales

    May 22 in Cuba

    Stop 2 on the Cuba Rhythms tour....Vinales in the West of Cuba. 3 or 4 hrs on the bus with a stop in Las Terrazas, which is a protected UNESCO site. As communities live isolated in this site, they are self sufficient in every aspect of life but have now opened a hotel/specialist coffee cafe to bring tourism in to support them. Weirdly it was a bit like a rustic centre parcs!! But cute. A random stop. The bus journeys literally rock the entire group to sleep within 5min (Maj catches flies within seconds!) so it goes quick!
    We hit vinales which was so lush and green, it has a #thelandbeforetime because it looks so stunning like the dinosaur film. 😂
    Heading into the small town we stop at a cigar 'factory'....literally a couple of farmers who grow the leaves, carry out the process & roll'em. Sell them to the state & get to keep 10% (ish) to themselves to sell. I think we could have learnt more & had a hands on go but it was still good to learn, I reckon the farmer definately had more in his roll than just tobacco! 😋. Bought a couple to try later...
    The weather is dodge but then it's the start of the rainy season so the planned beach day we're all a bit sceptical....yep it rained. The first 5min the island was stunning, then dull with mass mosi bites but we're not leaving til 5!! Oh well, better Cuba than an office!
    Getting off the bus we got allocated to a local lady who runs a Casa, they share the tours around all those who run Casa's to keep it fair. (See pic). It's Cute. The lady doesn't speak any English so we do everything with animated actions! Get there in the end. She greets us with a fresh mango smoothie. So cute. So far all the Cuban people have been super friendly and helpful with no hidden agendas.
    We head out for group dinner with an epic view then pay 1 CUC (pence) to watch some local salsa/singers near the town square. It's rustic but fun. They always have a good vibe going on.💃
    Tomorrow.....Trinidad, that takes an epic bus journey in the day to get there 😭
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  • Day1

    Havana Ooo Na Na!

    May 19 in Cuba

    So I set off solo from Orlando heading to Cubaaaaa! I've been wanting to head here for so long....one on the top on the giant bucket list so no pressure. Took a cab to Havana, hearing it was really safe but still hoping the taxi man wasn't going to kidnap me! So i sent Maj a pic of the back of the man's head....(it could help!). Just like Cuba it was all easy and laid back.
    Cuba instantly looked exactly as you would expect. Bright colours, stunning old (run down) buildings, amazing classic cars & old men rocking on the porches with cigars. Love it ❤
    Arrived at the air bnb (from the outside very dodge) but inside modern, clean & beer in the fridge. Being opposite the university steps it had a great view. Waiting for the girls to arrive which is exciting.....
    Took the afternoon to explore which threw me out a bit as very small parts of central Havana are much more kept, keeping the tourists happy, but then a few blocks in I was the only westerner wondering around with the locals at rush hour around very derelict buildings & dirtier streets.....But then that's the real Cuba! It's beautiful in its unique way but with investment it would all be something like the streets in Paris and very grand! Its a very simple existence still, I need to learn it's history......
    The girls are here!!! 😊 .....time to start the tour. #gadventures #cubarhythms
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  • Day14

    Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral

    May 17 in the United States

    Nothing like a come down from the Disney madness!....a few days solo in a cute quiet town. Took a shuttle from the airport to an air bnb in Cape Canaveral, its a nice home with Dodger the dog!....makes me miss my own pup 😕. It's out of season so the coast is quiet but perfect for some pointless roaming, with no place to be and getting loads of rest!
    The beach is stunning, when I'm not dodging the storms!
    I've happily gone to the store and just got salad stuff for picnic dinners at the house....I needed an American food break! Ha. I'm sooooo back on the sugar!! 😜
    So next up it's back to the airport for a night before flying to Cuba to see the girls and join our tour. Can't wait!....for the rum! 😉
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  • Day12

    That's a wrap folks!!

    May 15 in the United States

    That's a wrap on the park fun of Florida! 😕 the only plus being my feet can rest. We walked over 33,000 steps yesterday!! Ouch. 👣
    So last day today, finished off in Universal studios to go back over the favourites!! Top 5 overall......
    *The Hulk roller coaster
    *Harry potter- the whole experience & the amazing 4D rides!
    *Magic Kingdom - fireworks & castle illumination show
    *Jimmy Fallon simulator 4D ride
    * Meeting Mickey Magic/hilariously awkward!

    Disney fans or not, it's so much more than that, I can't reccomend enough the whole immersive experience of these parks, it's a great bubble to be in!! Adult or Kid you can't stop smiling 😁😁😁.....whilst you still have teeth, cos after this trip and the puddings!! 😬🍦🍰🍭

    Next stop.....going solo at Cocoa beach! Bye Nic 😕 x
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  • Day9

    Birthday blast!

    May 12 in the United States

    BIRTHDAY! Woke up to ballons that according to Nic she was laughing to the point of crying whilst trying to blow up in the middle of the night in the bathroom 'quietly' 🎈🎈🎈😂
    To be fair I've had a whole week of amazing things....so ive been spoilt already! Headed to Volcano bay water park (a rainy start! But were Brits so.....) Walked a few thousand steps and stairs but well worth it. The rides are on another level, we only completely freaked when we realised we had climbed to the top of the volcano to see the flume was a vertical trap door floor....aaaaaahhhhhh 💩! But fun 😊

    Headed to 'Disney springs" in the evening for shopping, dinner & drinks! You just cant have enough Disney stuff 😬....but its a good job i cant buy anything else i cant carry for the next 3 months! The Boathouse on the pier is👌

    This Birthday was spot on! 😁🎈
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  • Day8

    Clearwater!

    May 11 in the United States

    Checked out Motel for a day trip to Clearwater island. South of Tampa. It's a stunning place, a bit touristy but obvious why, the sand is a crazy bright white it looks fake! Daz!! 😎
    Hired bikes which is a nice way to explore, minus the sweltering heat bit!...about 32 today😮
    A recommended lunch @Pearlys beach eats....👍fish tacos.
    Now we're stuck in mega traffic heading back to Orlando🙄 testing our American driving skills....it's a free for all!
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  • Day7

    Treasure Island

    May 10 in the United States

    Exploring the stunning coastline of Florida🌞.....that just so happens to have wild dolphins loving the boat wakes! 🐬 Amazing. Just how a dolphin should be seen.
    This town has such a chilled laid back feel, and a local store (locals not tourists!) that sells the best hot steak sandwich. @Sanders store.
    Being across the road from a traditional rustic dock (Had to sing the tune) topped it....except the keen birds! 😆.
    Loving seeing some real Florida....and the quiet 😊
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