So, this blog post. In 2011, I went to Cuba on a family holiday. It was basically a week of sunbathing, drinking, eating & perving with a very small dose of birding thrown in. Nothing hardcore, just a lazy meandering week of seeing what I could see where ever we happened to be. I notched up a small but interesting list of species, many that were new for me, a few endemics and an handful of familiar ones that I'd witnessed previously in Britain. On returning from Cuba, I was immediately hit with P.H.D (Post holiday depression) and one evening, after about a week or so, I happened to mention to my fiancée that I wanted to return to Cuba in 2012. I wasn't expecting the thundering volley of a reply that returned and hit me square in my ears - ''Yeh we can go, only if we get married over there!''.
Now I may have been on one of my regular rouge juice consumption missions that evening, I'd probably been perusing my holiday snaps with a desperate desire to return to the Caribbean, relishing the thought of lounging on those gorgeous white sands, frolicking in the crystal clear warm sea, sipping too many rum based cocktails... I'd have done anything to go back and that was made more evident by my unexpected (to me & her) riposte. ''Ok, yeh, let's do it!''. Now, anyone who has known me for a long time (pre-2008) will tell you that I was one of those small minded individuals (some might say I still am...) that never wanted to settle down, never buy a house, never have a pet and certainly not get married! But, here I was, in summer 2011, sitting in the house I own, with a pet hamster, agreeing to tie the knot! What was I doing! Something was insidiously wrong, surely!
However with the second bottle of rouge juice inevitably opened and the 'wife to be' instantly nabbing my laptop to start showing me wedding ideas, I recall kicking back, feet on the coffee table, hands behind my head and with a inner smile, I closed my eyes and let my brain seduce me into that Caribbean paradise that I now knew I was definitely gonna see again.
|San Salvador - 40 minutes to destination.|
En-route, I began to once again become acquainted with the familiar birds of the island. I counted 32 Turkey Vultures before it struck home that my final tally could be in the thousands, so I stopped looking at them. They are absolutely everywhere. It is solid fact that whenever you glance at the sky in Cuba, you WILL see a Turkey Vulture (except at night of course).
|Turkey Vulture - number 14,562|
At 4.55pm we arrived at our destination - Playa Pesquero. I was here. I felt at home. Cuba 2012. It had begun.