June - November 2017
  • Day134

    Advanced diving course

    October 28, 2017 in Mexico ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    We had breakfast at Tulum Art Club before packing up and Zoe left to fly home to Australia. I started my advanced diving course with my instructor, a pom called Dom. We headed out to Casa Cenote which was right near the ocean. My first dive was a cavern dive where we practised laying a line, swimming by feel of the line, if there is a silt out and going in the part where the limestone and water mix to create a hazy water feeling. I saw a little crocodile swimming above which was pretty amazing!
    My second dive was navigation where I had to swim in a square, we timed my swimming speed and I led the dive for 10 minutes and we had to return to the starting point. After we finished I went back to my new hostel, the Weary Traveler where I had some rum and coke with chips. I ate dinner at the cheap authentic taco place and went back to the hostel for the free drinks hour. I met a few travelers and I went out with them to the Main Street for a bit.
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  • Day133

    Coba ruins and swimming in cenotes

    October 27, 2017 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We had a cruisy morning after a big night. After a coffee we spent a bit of time walking around, got on the wrong collectivo and had to walk back into town. We found the right stop and had just missed one, so a taxi driver started talking to us and we made a deal with him to take us. He drove us to Coba ruins where we raced around for an hour. We climbed the tallest pyramid which was quite steep and it had stunning views from the top. After we went to two cenotes for a swim. The first one had a steep staircase down with diving platforms off it. We both jumped off into the beautiful blue water. The second cenote had stalactites and stalagmites and only a small area for swimming.
    Back in town we had drinks and guacamole before heading out to dinner. We had an early night as were very tired.
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  • Day132

    Diving in the cenotes

    October 26, 2017 in Mexico ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    We had breakfast at home and were at the diving shop by 8:15am. The first cenote we visited was The Pit. It was 35m deep and had light shimmering in and two locations where the water went blurry due to the mixing of salt and fresh water. We then got out and drove to Dos Obos for two dives in the caverns. It was very cool diving through the caves and seeing the stalactites and stalagmites. The light shinning through was beautiful. Back home and we had guacamole, chips and rum before heading out to dinner at the tacos place with a girl from diving. We had more drinks at a bar where the other guy from diving joined us too. We had lots of tequila and went to another bar for a dance.Read more

  • Day131

    Tulum ruins and beach

    October 25, 2017 in Mexico ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Zoe and I went out to a cafe for breakfast of yummy bircher museli. We then spent a while checking around different dive shops to try and get the best deal for the next day. We hired bikes and rode down to the Tulum ruins. They were super touristy and not very big but these were still being occupied when the Spanish arrived unlike most Mayan ruins. We went swimming at the beach for the ruins. We then rode our bikes to public beach and walked along and got a beer from a drinks place. Back in town we had guacamole, chips and rum. The avocado was massive! We had dinner at Burritos Amore. I had a fish burrito with chipotle sauce which was super yummy.Read more

  • Day130

    Leaving Cuba and heading to Tulum

    October 24, 2017 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We had some cereal at the Casa and said goodbye to Emma who headed to Varedero for some beach time. Zoe and I used the internet at the house and Frank gave us some coffee. We walked around town looking at the market for artists, buying rum, had lunch, coffee and a coconut. We travelled to the airport in a vintage blue taxi and checked in to our flight back to Cancun. Once landed we got a bus to Playa del Carmen and then a collectivo to Tulum. We checked into our AirBnB and headed out for some delicious fresh sushi!! Was so tasty after being in Cuba and the big day of traveling.Read more

  • Day129

    Fusterlandi and old clothes

    October 23, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We had cereal in the casa before heading out for coffee and juice at La Cafe. We walked to Parque Central and caught the double decker bus to the Plaza of the Revolution. There wasn’t much to see there other than giant faces of Che and Cienfuegos. After we caught the bus to the end of the line where we had an adventurous time making it 3.5km to Fusterlandia to see the artistic house inspired by Picasso. It was a bit all over the place and had a junky feeling but overall quite interesting. The beach there wasn’t too great so we headed back by taxi to the bus stop. Back on the big double decker bus, we travelled back to Central Havana, past the port with the big cruise ship and got off at the market. I bought some tote bags and we had a coco loco on the water. After we stopped at the brewery for a beer while looking over the ports. The three of us squeezed into a ciclo back to our Casa. We went out for dinner at El Chanchullero where I tried the dish “old clothes” which was a yummy slow cooked pork in spices. We tried a Cubata cocktail which was similar to a Bloody Mary and quite spicy. After we went to Roma for a drink on the rooftop before heading home.Read more

  • Day128

    Walking tour and a Jazz club

    October 22, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Breakfast was cooked for us in the casa by our host Frank with the highlight being a massive avocado the size of your head. We headed to Parque Central for the free walking tour which went for nearly four hours. We visited the first cigar workshop, Capitilo building, Bacardi House, a number of different squares and a mojito drinks place. We stopped for drinks on the rooftop bar of the hotel where Ernest Hemingway used to stay. We had lunch at Dandy’s where Emma’s friend’s boyfriend worked. We had really yummy pork tacos and sweet potato chips. We then walked out to the dance party ‘Rumba’ that was just finishing when we arrived at Callejon de Hamel. There were some interesting artist furniture made out of baths. We walked up to the National Hotel and had drinks on the porch. We then walked home along the Malecon. Back home for a sleep, some rum and showers. We had dinner at Dona Eutimia where we had yummy frozen margaritas. Emma and I shared fried plantains with different toppings on top. I had garlic prawns for main course. We walked along the Malecon stopping for rum and passionfruit drinks on the way. We walked up to Jazz club La Zorra for some easy listening. After a while and a brief appearance by me on stage we caught a vintage car cab ride home.Read more

  • Day127

    Back in Havana and the Cuban Art Factory

    October 21, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We had breakfast in our Casa before a collectivo picked us up. We drove for three hours to our next Casa in Havana. We checked in to our 5th floor room where they added a third bed for us. We went to the Museum of the Revolution to try to get a bit more of an understanding of what had happened in Cuba. There was a few photos and descriptions as well as a boat and tanks used. After we ran through the rain to a cafe where we had really yummy Italian food. We were all very relieved following our previous bad food in Santa Clara. After we had a rest back at home, some rum and pineapple juice and headed out to an Italian restaurant Colleseo. We were his only customers and they had no cheese to make pizzas. The guy was lovely and gave us garlic pizzas and some coffees along with our pastas. We then caught a cab to the Cuban Art Factory which was really cool with lots of containers making up the building. The drink sizes were huge, for $10 they used two bottles of Havana Club to make our drinks. There was art for sale, art on display and bands performing in different sections. We saw two bands play and had a bit of a dance!Read more

  • Day126

    Santa Clara and the worst lunch

    October 20, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Our collectivo arrived and was a fancy old car. They charged us more than originally agreed on though but with not many other options we got in and travelled to Santa Clara. It took about two hours and they dropped us at the bus station, even though it was agreed that they would drive us to the Casa. Annoyed we got out and found a horse and cart which was pretty cool! We drove a couple of kilometers to our new Casa. This was then under renovations so we headed across the road to their friends house. We organised with them for dinner, breakfast and the collectivo for the next day to Havana. After a little rest we walked into town for lunch, which was the worst meal so far... took over two hours for a piece of tough steak in bread. We walked up to the Che statue, big square and museum. We were trying to work out what happened here and in Cuba for the revolution as with little info and no internet we didn’t really know. The museum explained little and just had some clothing from Che and Fidel. We walked into town and Emma went home unwell so Zoe and I had a coffee. We walked past a train carriage museum and learnt a little about the train derailment of the military equipment and army which we think caused the Bastill government to be overthrown and resulted in the revolution. We walked up to the other Che statue of him holding a baby before walking into town for some beers. The cars and motorbikes constantly driving past were very cool. So many historic cars, horse and carts, bicycles and scooters all used for taxis was very cool to see! We had a big dinner in our Casa of chicken and some soup with veggies! Zoe and I later walked around town to see the bars and we ended up having a drink at a little cocktail bar.
    Cuba “it’s like a museum constantly driving past”
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  • Day125

    Lazy beach day in Trinidad

    October 19, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We woke up and breakfast had been made in our kitchen at 8am. We all weren’t feeling super great but ate and then went back to bed. By around 12 we left and headed into town to get a taxi. We caught a taxi out to the beach area where there was good snorkling. We chilled out and I went for a snorkel to see the coral and colourful fish. There was lots of fan coral but the colours were not very bright. After a few hours a storm came over so we got a taxi back to town. We brought some wifi and sat in the ‘wifi park’ where all the people were hanging out getting internet. We brought some popcorn, cookies and water before heading home. After a rest we headed out for dinner to La Redaccion for a delicious burger. Our meals came with a free Cuba Libre so our alcohol free day didn’t eventuate.Read more