Paul picked us up at 0350 and took us to the airport, it was -20 C and the wind was cold. We had checked in and printed our boarding passes the day before so all we had to do was security. Security doesn’t open until 0415 so we sat around twiddling our thumbs for 20 minutes. The connection in Toronto was easier than we expected. We knew it was tight and we did have to transfer between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 which made it seem even tighter, but it turned out to be easy. I’m not sure If we had luggage to transfer if it would have been possible or not. We had our standard one carry-on each and “Bonnie’s backpack”, a Wheeler backpack that has an incredible number of miles on it. The day before we left the Samsonite Luggage trolley arrived from Ebay. I wasn’t sure it was going to make it to us for the beginning of the trip. We were very happy it did. We didn’t use it that much in Cuba but the treks through the Toronto Airport made it worth the money by itself. It is a little worse for wear from the streets in Varadero. But I think it may have earned it’s keep in our luggage department. It was a long walk from the hinterland of Terminal 1 to the end of Terminal 3 but it was good to get a little exercise. I picked up a banana and a yogurt granola parfait and two coffee at the little place next to Starbucks. The line going into Starbucks was LONG! While two or three people were served in the line of 20-30 I was back out with “Seattle’s best” coffee and I think it is better than Starbucks personally. If I was smart, I would have gotten a little extra for lunch for the plane ride south. We had the banana and we arrived in Cuba a little hungry, but that was the last time we were hungry in Cuba.
We arrived at the airport on-time and according to the schedule for the Viazul bus to Varadero, we still had lots of time to change money. Since we didn’t need to wait for luggage we were second in line at the money conversion place. After we were done we noticed a lot of Transtur buses. I asked about a trip into Varadero and the driver wanted 10 CUC each, the Viazul bus is 6 CUC so we waited the 20 minutes. We learned later that the Taxi drivers now charge 36 CUC for the trip to Varadero.
We checked in and Pepe wasn’t working so we asked him to cook for us. Pork and Chicken, with soup and a salad and, and, and (A whole lot of food) I think it was 6 CUC each. Pepe is a very good chef and the best food we have ever had in all of the Casa’s or Restaurants in Cuba is at Pepe and Elisa’s Casa. If Pepe is not working, we ask if we can eat at the casa. The food is just that good. We have had Pepe’s Pork, Fish, Chicken, Shrimp, and Lobster and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any one of the dishes to anyone.
We were tired so we ready to crash shortly after dinner.