CUBA: Solo In Cayo Largo

May 30, 2016  •  1 Comment

Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCayo Largo, Cuba - 2016


TRAVELLING SOLO


There's something about being on vacation alone. Pretty much an entire week of having to answer to absolutely no one but myself. And since I'm in Cayo Largo - a teeny-tiny little cayo off of Cuba's southern coast, WiFi is practically non-existent so I'm forced to be unconnected. Off the grid. I kinda like it! I don't have to get up at a certain time, don't have to go to work, etc. No cooking dinners, no reminding people to clean their room, pick up after themselves.... I wake up when I want. Eat when I want. Drink when I want. Life is good. 

Not like I don't miss the hubs and the children, but god damn - it's good to have time to just do nothing and chill. I read like 5 books (the last 5 books I read took me 2 years to read). Everyone should do a vacay like this at least once in their life. So the pics below are just a spattering of what I did during the days... which was pretty much doing nothing. Everyday.

 


WHAT TO DO IN CAYO LARGO


Nothing. Like really. Which had me worried at first, almost had a mini panic attack when I fully realized that even outside of the resort, there is absolutely NOTHING to do here. Luckily they've got sun, sand and beaches to die for. By the hotel that's my home for the week - Olé Playa Blanca - there's the Playa Blanca beach which is incredibly pretty, but depending on the tide conditions, there may not be much of a beach. Then there's another beach that you've got to take a bus (in the form of some dinky train thing) to the marina, then a boat and then who would think that you'd get to an even prettier beach —  Playa Sirena!

 

Olé Playa Blanca - pool areaOlé Playa Blanca - pool area Olé Playa Blanca - pool area​


Walkway to the roomsWalkway to the rooms Walkway to the rooms


All set up for ocean gazingAll set up for ocean gazing All set up for ocean gazing


Hummingbirds all along the walk to the beachHummingbirds all along the walk to the beach Hummingbirds all along the walk to the beach


Unfortunately, there's no beach directly in front of the hotel, you gotta walk about 10 minutes this wayUnfortunately, there's no beach directly in front of the hotel, you gotta walk about 10 minutes this way Unfortunately, there's no beach directly in front of the hotel, you gotta walk about 10 minutes this way


Walkway to the beach....finallyWalkway to the beach....finally Walkway to the beach....finally


Almost there....Almost there.... Almost there....


Ahhhhhhh........now that's a beachAhhhhhhh........now that's a beach Ahhhhhhh........now that's a beach


Tide must have dragged this up hereTide must have dragged this up here Tide must have dragged this up here


On the boat to Playa SirenaOn the boat to Playa Sirena On the boat to Playa Sirena


Docking at Playa SirenaDocking at Playa Sirena Docking at Playa Sirena


This beach - Playa Sirena - is absolutely stunningThis beach - Playa Sirena - is absolutely stunning This beach - Playa Sirena - is absolutely stunning


Making friends everywhere I goMaking friends everywhere I go Making friends everywhere I go


This view!This view! This view!


Shades of blueShades of blue Shades of blue


Not a very good shot, but that's a dolphin that swims right up to where the boat docks looking for foodNot a very good shot, but that's a dolphin that swims right up to where the boat docks looking for food Not a very good shot, but that's a dolphin that swims right up to where the boat docks looking for food


The "Village" by the marinaThe "Village" by the marina The "Village" by the marina


Pretty much the only place on the island that has stores besides the resortsPretty much the only place on the island that has stores besides the resorts Pretty much the only place on the island that has stores besides the resorts


Cayo Largo, Cuba - 2016Cayo Largo, Cuba - 2016 Souvenirs of Cayo Largo, Cuba - 2016


Woke up early enough for the sunrise one morningWoke up early enough for the sunrise one morning Woke up early enough for the sunrise one morning


Beautiful colours in the morningBeautiful colours in the morning Beautiful colours in the morning


One of the restaurants at sunriseOne of the restaurants at sunrise One of the restaurants at sunrise


So glad I got up early (on vacation!) for thisSo glad I got up early (on vacation!) for this So glad I got up early (on vacation!) for this


My spot is all ready for meMy spot is all ready for me My spot is all ready for me


Love having the restaurant to myselfLove having the restaurant to myself Love having the restaurant to myself


The terrace overlooking the water that I had all to my self every single dayThe terrace overlooking the water that I had all to my self every single day The terrace overlooking the water that I had all to my self every single day


Just me and my Kobo....Just me and my Kobo.... Just me and my Kobo....


...and my iguana friend...and my iguana friend ...and my iguana friend


....and this view....and this view ....and this view


.....as well as this view.....as well as this view .....as well as this view


.....and sometimes this view.....and sometimes this view .....and sometimes this view


BARING IT ALL


So apparently the Playa Blanca beach here is one of 2 places in Cuba where one can strut around in their birthday suit. A bit shocking walking down the beach and all of a sudden seeing people baring it all... and not caring one bit that all their bits are out there for the world to see. They say hello and strike up conversations just like that — it's kind of unnerving at first because you struggle to maintain eye contact but.... ALL their stuff is exposed. One dude even looked like he sunburn on his junk, so how can you not let your eyes stray down yonder?!? 

On my third walk along the baring it all beach, some older dude strikes up a convo with me (proud to say I managed to keep eye contact this time). Normal convo, where are you from? first time in Cayo Largo?, etc. Then I had to ask.... why bare it all? He then explains to me that he's a "naturalist", and there is distinct difference between a naturalist (comfortable in your own skin, this is the way you came into this world so it must be natural type mentality), a nudist (same sort of mentality, though instead of sunbathing and strolling the beach in the buff, they wanna do everything naked) and a hedonist (as he put it, don't drop anything around one of them, cuz you might find yourself .... um.... you get the picture!

Completely fascinated by the thinking behind this, as I continued my walk along the beach I started to wonder if I could bare it all. There's nothing sexual about it, nobody's staring, nobody cares... it's about being "one" with God and nature.... 

As if by a sign, that very night back in my room watching the only English channel available —  is a marathon of Naked and Afraid. So the next day, I did it. Mind you I didn't last long (like half an hour) because I just could not get comfortable with the idea that parts of me where the don't shine, were getting plenty of sun and I wasn't sure if I could spray sunscreen you know where and thought as natural as this may be, I don't want my bits to get burned. 

But my half hour of "naturalism" was somewhat liberating. As most women, I've never been completely comfortable with my body, especially after popping out 3 kiddies. You know what it's like, you're always picking a part some part of your body and never completely ok with it. On this beach, nobody gave a sh*t. You are who you are - big, small, stretch marks, cellulite and all! Not like I've become a naturalist or anything, but glad that I did it!

That's my Cayo Largo trip in a nutshell. Though I totally needed the down time, I can't wait to get my arse back to Europe soon to do some city and island hopping..... Croatia, here I come!

 

Somewhere along this beach, it becomes ok to bare it allSomewhere along this beach, it becomes ok to bare it all Somewhere along this beach, it becomes ok to bare it all


Time to go check out the nude beachTime to go check out the nude beach Time to go check out the nude beach


A little rocky here...A little rocky here... A little rocky here...


...but nobody gives a sh*t here...but nobody gives a sh*t here ...but nobody gives a sh*t here


My tan by the end of the weekMy tan by the end of the week My tan by the end of the week


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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Comments

Alina(non-registered)
Hey!! Very nice review. I was asking myself how you got there. We are planning a trip to Havana and would love to visit Cayo Largo too, as it's a bit more quiet. But it seems to be impossible to get there. Do you know if there are ferries or national flights? Would be very thankful for an answer! :)
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