I am good at napping. I had so many naps while I was in Cuba. The great thing about that is it wasn’t hard to fall asleep after a long day on the water. When my alarm went off at 10pm I was rested and ready. Amber on the other hand is not a napper and read while I slept but was unable to sleep herself. We quickly got ready for our night in a cave. Not knowing what it would be like or what we would be like, we decided not to bring phones or purses or anything. This means that there is no photographic evidence of our night and that’s okay. Travel to Cuba one day and go see for yourself.
The bus picked us up at 10:30pm. There were about 6 other people from our hotel on the bus. We were once again the first pick-up. Over the next 45 minutes we travelled to the other hotels and picked people up. In the end the bus was full.
Once thing we noticed was that at each pick-up spot someone got on the bus that knew a group of people already on the bus. There had apparently been recruiters at the hotels to be sure there was a good crowd. Those people then travelled on the bus to the cave site.
When we arrived at La Cueva Del Jabali there were 3 other buses there. We walked up a staircase lined with dancers there to welcome you. Then you came to a man taking tickets or payments. From him you descended down a narrow metal staircase. When you reached the bottom you were in an underground area. To the left there were toilets and to the right was a smoking area.
If you walked straight ahead there was a large open dance floor. Part of the roof was gone and you could see the trees and sky. I am glad it was a clear night. There was a stage on one side for the live band and a DJ corner on the other side. There were also paths through the cave that had tables and seats. Near the back in a little bubble room was the bar.
The bar was included in the price of the ticket but there were not many bartenders and there were lots of people. The solution is to order a few drinks at a time and then you can enjoy the dance floor and spend less time in line for a drink. I didn’t mind because I don’t like rum and was happy to order water from a different area of the bar.
Once we began to dance, I began to wake up. This makes me a much happier person. We danced our way into the centre of the large group. As the music changed the number of people dancing would ebb and flow. When there was a lack of people on the floor those suspicious recruiters would get up and do a dance together. There were also times when they would teach people steps to some of the dances. They made sure that people were always dancing or entertained. They were great to watch, very good dancers as well as easy on the eyes.
Amber and I met some people on the dance floor that we got along with and talked to, we danced with the group all night. It was fun, we even found some of those same people were staying at the hotel with us. We saw them around the hotel occasionally for the rest of the trip after that night.
After a while we had a live band come on and play. They were great to listen too but they were just a warm up for the real show. The show began with some female Afro-Cuban dancers, then the men joined in. Then it became amazing with enthusiastic dancing and fire eating. Then in got strange. The men brought out machetes and began to run them along their bodies, but no blood was drawn. They did this on their arms and even their tongues. Then they had audience members (including Amber) hold the machete and cut them. If the pressure was not right they would hold the blade or press themselves against it. It was more disturbing then entertaining. I kept imagining what could go wrong. After that there was more dancing and then a half formed conga line that never really took off.
When the show was over the DJ returned and stayed for the rest of the night. We continued to dance until the end of the night at 2am. Then we were taken back to the buses and returned to our hotels. Thankfully we were the second stop and not the last stop on the return journey. When we returned to the hotel we stopped at the 24hr bar for cheeseburgers. The others from the hotel were considering a beach party, but we snuck away to our room. It was finally time for bed. For Amber anyways. I was still amp-ed up and I’d had a nap so I read for about an hour until I fell asleep.
When you travel remember to take an e-reader if you have one. It’s great to be able to read books on a phone or tablet. This meant I could bring 10 books and not have to work about space or weight. A life saver because I finished 4 books in Cuba.