December is cool for Jibicoa Cuba. Like in Canada it is their winter. The climate is subtropical. During the day the temperature was in the mid 20's, and cooler at night. It was minus 15 to 20 degrees Celsius in Toronto. We flew out of Pearson Airport in a blizzard, a hour late. I could see the windswept runways, piles of snow everywhere outside the frosty air plane window. Ground crew ran about bundled up thick against the cold moving cartloads of luggage, driving snow tractors + preparing the jets for takeoff. It was a rough ride up through the clouds and a bumpy flight all the way to Cuba. Here are some of my notes:
There were clothes hangers on the wall. The room had a high pointed ceiling with an arched entrance way. There was a hallway and bathroom inside the front door.
We had a flat screen television set with HBO. We half watched the television shows, the beginning, middle or end fading in and out along with the dialogue, images, story lines + intrigue, when we came and left the room or maybe took a nap. Also before bed at night. It was rather unnecessary, but familiar + surreal all the same.
A lot of the guests said they liked or didn't mind the food. It is usually pretty touch and go at the Jibicoa, the only drawback to an otherwise very friendly, cozy, picturesque and relaxing resort. Food preparation + handling safety by staff is rudimentary at best. Regretfully, this time I was sick the last day and after I got home. Blech.
The Jibicoa is a small resort. The visitors keep coming back. Your sixth stay is free. We hooked up for the trip with a British couple, Richard, Elaine + their adult son Alex who we have met there twice before. Richard and Elaine are a delightful couple who are very interesting + easy to get along with. Alex is a strong swimmer. It's often hard for me to find good swimming partners who like to go snorkeling a lot and can keep up, especially when they reach my age.
There's an age limit of sixteen and up with parents only, strictly enforced, another reason we come here a fair bit. Especially noisy, rude or drunk guests are removed immediately and sent to another resort in Varadero where they will be more at home. Otherwise it is a very fun, laid back and informal adult resort, never too uptight. It is very popular with Canadians and Europeans.
It is the reason why we like the Jibicoa the most + keep coming back. Here is a map of the coral reef along the beach:
Swam with Alex from the beach hut [above left] to the pond.
Pond is like a huge aquarium of tropical fish with coral walls
Swam in and out both passages [top right + top left of the pond]
Water too rough to explore along the outer reef wall
Rode waves across the flats to make landfall 100 meters down the beach [to right]
Lots of fun!
Swam by myself from the beach hut to explore the pond.
Swam out passage way [top right]
Very very rough water beyond pond
Waves breaking to right and left of the outer coral wall
I was getting tossed about and fighting the currents too much to stay outside the pool
Hard swim to get back through the passage way and into the pond again
Finished a full circuit of the pond
Near the valley [top left of pond] saw a huge school of Blue Tang.
Saw Barracuda swimming back to shore across the flats.
An invigorating swim -quote the adrenaline rush!
Very windy, rough day.
Crossed from beach hut to the pond. Took a long time fighting the waves.
Made it to the pond which was too rough. Saw hardly any fish even beneath the coral ledges
Rode current back to shore making landfall near the beach hut.
A good workout but far too risky!
A water camera shoot
Swam from beach hut to pond
Very very rough, too stirred up even for fish
Explored coral garden at right end of the pond
Passed through the reef to the sea side again
Getting pulled out then pushed back towards rough coral on crests of the waves
Swam as hard as I could just to get back into the pond. Rather touch and go
Dove down below waves + just swam hard as I could
Made a complete circuit of the pond
Waves pushed me into middle of the pond
Some coral photos but few fish except near shore
Rode current back to make landfall near the dive hut again
Totally exhausted. Dragged myself out of water + just lay on the beach to catch my breathe
Very tired + sore next day! Felt nauseated.
Swam with Elaine towards the pond but she swam back
Explored beach side of the pond not much fish
Swam out to middle of the pond looking for fish
Crests still breaking over the coral reef
Swam back across the flats. Saw lots of big fish, some Parrot fish too
Made perfect landfall on the sand beach.
Lay in sand on shore + just enjoyed the sun!
Technically near perfect swim but another rough day.