February 24 The long wait home.

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There used to be a bus that left Varadero and got into the airport at about noon. It was just before the main onslaught of people for the flight home. By the time we were through the lineup and into immigration the lineups were wall to wall. They killed that bus. The new bus leaves at 8am and gets to the airport at 8:30. All we get to do today is wait so we are off to the bus station before 7 when we get there the station is packed, there is a bus to Trinidad and a bus to Vinalies (that does the stop to the airport) I leave Bonnie to fight the line and take the luggage outside into the fresh air. The lobby is hot and smells of tourists. We get to the airport and it is fairly empty. So we do our money exchange buying was 1.30 and selling was 1.20. By the time we were out of the exchange the buses had started to arrive for all of the Sunwing charters. They are a big Cuba vacation seller in Canada. They have a flight from Saint John to Holguin later in the season. If you were planning on doing the east end of Cuba flying into Holguin is a much better idea than dealing with the Viazul crap and the long hauls to and from Varadero.

We have to wait most of the morning until the morning flights are all boarding before the first flight of the afternoon is set up for doing check ins. That would be us. We are able to point a large number of lost tourists the right direction to get to the money exchange. The check in gates open and we get our tickets taking heart in the fact that all of the flights for Toronto, Montreal, etc are all running on time.

We slip through the departure tax line 50 CUC lighter but that is one line that does run quickly. The next line is the immigration line (they take your visa and your picture). The next line is security. They are a little messed up the machine we went through isn’t beeping so we are stopped and they check the machine, it’s turned off. The process of getting the machine working takes a minute. It is sensitive enough to catch the zippers on my zip on legs of my traveling pants. Never had that happen before.

We made it through with our luggage intact and found a bunch of chairs next to a power outlet that actually works. I go in search of a coffee and ask how much before and balk, $3CUC is a bit too much for the same cup of coffee con leche we buy in down town Varadero for 0.55CUC. The duty free has a roll of cookies and a couple of snicker’s bar as a substitute for the coffee for the same money.

I’m working on the log and Bonnie has go at finding the ceramic piece again and a search for water. Water prices vary from $1.70 for a 1500ml bottle at the duty free and $2 for a 500ml bottle at the coffee shop. We buy a bottle from an ice cream shop on the main strip in Varadero for 0.80 CUC for the 1500ml size.

We watch for the plane from Moscow, Berlin, and Frankfurt and Toronto arrive. We have a plane and arrive in clear and cold skies in Toronto. Another four hour wait and we get on a flight to Fredericton, we arrive in Fredericton in a snowstorm. But not as bad as last year and Paul is there to pick us up. It is 0130 in the morning and we are tired, it has been nothing but a hurry up and wait day. We have had quite a few of those this trip.

When we left there was almost no snow, but snowmaggedon was about to arrive within an hour of us leaving Fredericton. Paul did a marvelous job of keeping our driveway clean. There was so much snow that our heat pump was almost buried, snow was about half way up the sides of the pump. We left our luggage in the garage to freeze. We like to freeze the luggage from our winter vacations for a few days before we take it inside the house to wash. We hope that will give it a chance to kill and critters that might have tagged along on the way home. This trip the lugguage will endure several nights of -20C before we get home to wash it. We always leave enough clothes at home to give us a couple clean changes of undies and we don’t need our summer clothes for a while anyway.

We got up, blew out the driveway and packed a smaller bag for the trip to mother and John’s to see how John was making out. He was acting and looking a lot better than he did before the heart attack so we took heart in that.

Here is the link to our 2015 Cuba trip picture gallery. There are 338 pictures in the 2015 Cuba trip Gallery lots more than are in the daily trip logs.

Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did.

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