Friday, 25 March 2011

Prisoner 1803. 14th March

All-inclusive on the beach.

A few days at Varadero, in an all-inclusive, so 'er indoors' can get some sun initially seemed a good idea. Don't do it! Staggering between the all-day buffet and the incessant mojito bar (even I can have too many mojitos and I'm still confused with the idea of 'happy hour' in an all-inclusive), an escape plan was required. Luckily the noise and flurried action of the dawn aerobics session provided perfect cover to slip past the guards and out towards the adjacent shit-laden mangrove swamp they lovingly call 'the other Varadero' and we might know as a nature reserve.

The birds knew about this place though and moved through thick and fast; each day brought new arrivals to quickly move on. Dozens of Northern Waterthrush, Black and White Warblers, Prairie Warblers, Parula's, Black-throated Blue's and American Redstarts moved through the bushes. The unsavoury pool at the end of the hotel sewage outlet hosted Lesser Scaup, Blue and Green-winged Teals, Bahama Pintails, Black-necked Stilts, Killdeers, White Ibis, Clapper Rail, Belted Kingfishers and both Night Herons. A quick jog back and nobody knew I hadn't been in the aerobics session.

After breakfast (what fast?) prisoner 1803 shuffled to the beach with all the other incumbents. The ruse of taking arty beach photos allowed close study of the regular flow of Ring-billeds, American Herrings, Laughers, Pelicans, Royal Terns and Cormorants. Regular trips to the bar via the beach scrub added Cuban Green Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Warbler and White-eyed Vireos.

Finally, they made a fatal error. They left an attended car hire desk! A quick flash of the credit card while the mojito guards went for fresh mint and we were out of there......

The nasty pool and it's birds

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