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Friday 18 Apr 2008
Playa Maria la Gorda, Cuba

Diving Maria la Gorda

Markus was due to arrive in Vinales on the 19th, whereupon we were going to drive up to Playa Maria on the 20th for a one-day dive trip (we didn't manage to get accommodation in the hotel there for the 19th!), so it meant I had one free day today to do something.

I decided, what the hell, might as well head off to Playa Maria la Gorda for a day trip and one practice dive since I hadn't dived since Belize two years before (only 60 CUC in total.. bargain!)

This turned out to be an excellent choice, since the following day we didn't manage to get to Playa Maria on time for the dive because of the horrendous road (read tomorrow's entry!).

I was a bit nervous going out on the dive since I hadn't been down for 2 years, but the instructors were very good and I had a lot of confidence in 'em. Add to that the fact that the water clarity was unbelievably good (about 26m visibility) which made for a brilliant experience.

This dive spot is renowned as the best dive spot in the Caribbean. No shit! The dive site is only 50 metres from the shoreline, yet it is on the edge of a 2000 METRE wall.. that's a 2KM abyss dropping straight down!!! The coral is still pristine condition as well since scuba diving adventures are still a relatively new prospect in Cuba.

Needless to say I got some great photos (plus Marco's tips on exposure helped to get some nice contrast on the pics).

At one point, though, things got a little awry when my weights (which were in my inflatable jacket pockets.. since they ran out of belts!) fell out of my jacket as I positioned myself head-down! DOH! I started to float up rapidly and luckily managed to catch the eye of the dive leader.

The guy came up and managed to strap his belt onto me then, cunningly, grabbed a heavy rock for himself and tucked it into his jacket in order to control his own buoyancy. Nicely done there chappie.
They didn't charge me after for losing the weights, which was nice, since I'm sure weights are hard to come by in Cuba.


I became a mini-celebratory after the dive since I had an underwater camera, so hope y'all enjoy the unflattering pics I've uploaded of ye Wink


Headed back to Vinales... falling asleep after the usual post-dive tiredness!


Found Markus waiting for me in the new casa with the brand new Fiat Punto rental. I'd moved into a different casa the day before, since the first one really was too small... plus this new one had an awesome roof terrace view - called Casa Nenita (it's in the Lonely Planet... as they make sure to point out with signs saying such all over the street!)

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Perdido en Cuba de Fidel

Travel blog by peterforan

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2 weeks in which I crap-dance salsa-stylee in my own inimitable way; terrorise the Cuban people after one-too-many mojitos and visit bars where they actually ENCOURAGE people to smoke cigars as big as your leg. If I get time I'll take in some culture..

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Photo Album

  • Nice coral on...

    Playa Maria la...

    Cuba

    Nice coral on dive
  • Ozzie chick...

    Playa Maria la...

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    Ozzie chick on scuba dive
  • A turtle....

    Playa Maria la...

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    A turtle. Yesterday.
  • Me scuba. Me...

    Playa Maria la...

    Cuba

    Me scuba. Me like.