Cuba, known as the Pearl of the Caribbean, is a magical place where everything is just different than in any other place on Earth, and where amazing things can happen…
If one thinks of Cuba as one of the Caribbean islands, one cannot but imagine its wonderful beaches. And Varadero, among them, is the most famous and the most coveted beach destination, to the extent that one cannot think of Cuba without having in mind a vivid image of this divine resort of superfine, white sands, transparent, turquoise waters and perfect facilities, that get the most of the bounties of nature. All these makes Varadero a very special place enticing tourists from all over the world.
They say that here you can find beaches with the bluest waters and the whitest sand…
And perhaps they exaggerate, but there is always a grain of truth or even much truth in every story. Though, there are many other things, not said or not heard of, but still they are true and by discovering them one may get a broader perspective of the Cuban reality and life of the locals.
Varadero hasn’t been always as we know it today. It was founded on December 5th in 1887, when ten families from the city of Cárdenas settled in the area. In the first half of the last century it was just a fishing village, with no other architecture than rustic huts that gave shelter to the fishermen’s families. But when the chemical mogul, Francis Irénée du Pont arrived at the island in 1926, he quickly realised that this beach could be an ideal place for leisure for the wealthiest elite of the island as well as rich foreigners. And long story short, since then houses, hotels and avenues have started to be built, and that is how today’s Varadero came to live.
One day this summer, when enjoying the marvelous Varadero beach, I noticed something that instantly caught my attention. It was not the bright sunshine or the cloudless sky. It was something special, that put this cosmopolitan beach into perspective.
It was a humble fisherman with his net, walking quiet and modest along the shore, with his shorts and tanned skin, barefoot. With his wise hands he was casting his net and picking it up just in time to catch what might be a bait for a big-game fishing.
So calm and unprejudiced, indifferent to the curious eyes of tourists was this simple fisherman walking and doing his job in this luxurious holiday resort. For him it is the sea that sustains him and his future focuses on the simplicity of the immediate goal of every day.
This simple is the life for many locals, who follow the course of their reality in the complex world of today, as if the time stopped, and nothing else mattered, cherishing every moment. This everyday life simplicity of an old seaman in the cosmopolitan beach of Varadero made me think. There are lots of stories yet to be told. When travelling through the island, one has a chance to discover the authentic Cuba and write his own story. Here, on the island, one may encounter some extraordinary people and observe things that may change the way one sees the world. Definitely, travel broadens your mind.