I just got back from vacation, staying at the Emperador Laguna Villas Resort in Cayo Coco for one week.
I went for several runs during my vacation in Cuba, including a 17 km long run. I brought a camera with me on this run just in case I saw interesting things on the way.
I started my run first thing Monday morning, leaving my husband and friends to have breakfast without me. I headed out of the resort, past the gates and turned left to start my adventure. As I approached the first roundabout, there was already a photo worthy moment: two wild horses were grazing in the grass between resorts.
Making my way down the road, I decided to turn left and head toward the ocean just before Sol Cayo Coco. As I ran down, I noticed that I had been to this area a couple days before, but had approached via water and beach. This time I came by road. I had arrived at the rocky point, so I climbed up and snapped some photos.
From this point, I looked to the east at the resorts where I would head next: Sol & Melia. The resorts looked quite nice from up here, so I was intrigued to check them out. I carefully climbed down from the rocky, coral peak and ran back out to the road. Next stop would be Sol Cayo Coco.
I ran around the Sol, which was a nice looking resort, much smaller than the Emperador Laguna. The buildings looked nice and the beach smaller and windier, but still quite beautiful. I didn’t really stop anywhere at this resort, I kept on running.
When I arrived at Melia Cayo Coco, I was instantly impressed with the grounds. Everything looked well kept. Again, this resort was a lot smaller than the one where we stayed. I decided to check out their beach as well and when I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find a brown pelican right close to where I stepped of the steps to the sand.
The bird stood so quietly on the beach and I could easily approach him. I decided I needed a self-portrait with my new friend.
After hanging out for a minute or two, I realized that I wasn’t getting too far in my run (I was only a few km in at this point) so I should probably keep going.
Melia is the end of the road, so when I left the resort, I was heading back past Sol and Emperador again, this time continuing through the next roundabout where I would pass by more resorts. I did not stop at these, as I wanted to head out to areas where I could see the ocean from the road.
While running along a long stretch of road, I ran into two men working on the median of the road. Well, one of them was working and the other appeared to be hanging out with his friend. I stopped to talk to them for a few minutes as I had actually met the non-working guy (who king of looked a bit like Usher) the day before at Playa Prohibida and he recognized me (I was running the prior day as well). He spoke Spanish and French, but not English, so it was a bit of a choppy conversation, but we got by. I let them know that I was going to keep on running and started moving on.
I discovered a path that looked interesting and I could hear waves, so I thought it might be a fun place to run. It was more sandy (go figure) than I thought, so it was a bit tough to run on, but was still a nice change from the road. I saw lots of hoof prints in the sand, so I’m pretty sure this is where they do the horse riding to the beach and along the beach that you see advertised in the excursions from the hotels. It lead me to the water, where I briefly ran along the beach before heading back out to the road.
Back on the road, the next section became hilly, but gorgeous. There was so much foliage along the sides of the road and the road ran along the shore, so there was a wonderful ocean breeze. I saw a sign up ahead, so I decided to run up to see what it was. My turn-around point turned out to be a bar and grill, but sadly, I didn’t have any money on me to stop and enjoy.
The run back to the resort was pretty uneventful, although, at one point I heard a loud, long call of “hola” so I turned and saw that it was the Usher look-alike calling at me from down away from the road. I gave greetings of “hola” and “Buenos dias” to the two guys as I kept running, wanting to run without any further stops on the way back.
I arrived back at the resort and stopped at exactly 2 hours. My time wasn’t too bad for the distance considering the stops I made. I wasn’t going to be concerned about the quality of my run too much as I definitely wanted to take in the sights and experience of running in Cuba.