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 area
Walkway to the rooms
All set up for ocean gazing
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 way
Walkway to the beach....finally
Ahhhhhhh........now that's a beach
Tide must have dragged this up here
On the boat to Playa Sirena
Docking at Playa Sirena
This beach - Playa Sirena - is absolutely stunning
Making friends everywhere I go
Shades of blue
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 marina
Pretty much the only place on the island that has stores besides the resorts
Souvenirs of Cayo Largo, Cuba - 2016
Woke up early enough for the sunrise one morning
Beautiful colours in the morning
One of the restaurants at sunrise
So glad I got up early (on vacation!) for this
My spot is all ready for me
Love having the restaurant to myself
The terrace overlooking the water that I had all to my self every single day
Just me and my Kobo....
...and my iguana friend
....and this view
.....as well as 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 all
Time to go check out the nude beach
A little rocky here...
...but nobody gives a sh*t here
My tan by the end of the week
Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON
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