July 7, 2017
The freedom of being able to “Go” outside of the walking and biking range and doing some sightseeing is wonderful! We can actually purchase more than what our 2 bicycle crates will carry (ie: bulk toilet paper and paper towels, and replenish our dwindling canned goods). We made multiple trips to the various grocery stores, going back and forth, comparing prices, looking for the best deal.
We were able to get our propane tanks topped off and purchase 250 feet of additional line for part of the replacements needed that chaffed during the crossing. We were able to check out multiple hardware stores, again, comparing inventory and pricing.
We checked out the Varadero Marina on the West side of the airport. Although cheaper to stay at, the access to just about anything did not exist. We would not be able to go anywhere unless we had a rental car or a $25 one way taxi ride. We also met a French boat that used to be at our marina, that runs an Air BnB out of his boat, along with their 3 cats. These cats gave us great pleasure seeing them whenever we used to walk by their boat at Renaissance. We even watched one night while their black and white Tomcat chased a dog down the marina walkway. Their tiger cat always was hiding in the shade of the marina foliage, playing jungle kitty. We also found out that Renaissance Marina kicked them out of the Marina because they were running Air BnB out of their boat. They said it was in direct competition with Renaissance Hotels, owner of the Marina. Which is interesting, because of all of the Venezuelan boats running short term stays out of the boats up and down our dock.
Of course, we were also able to do some sightseeing and go to restaurants not easy for us to access otherwise.
First, we headed South and East, past San Nicholas and the refinery. We checked out the Colorado lighthouse on the southern tip of the island. We were a bit disappointed in it just being a light in a metal structure. There was nothing remarkable about it. However, the terrain was like walking on orange ferrous moon rock, and it was awesome to see the waves crashing over the cliffs from the sea.
We then headed to the famous Baby Beach lagoon. It was full of tourists, and really not our scene.
Next, we headed inland to the Arikok National Park and its breathtaking caves. We tried to get the rental car up a slip and slide 4WD road to try to get to the Natural Pools, but were not able to make it.