When we arrived the first thing we wanted to do was see the waterfall. Duane, Pepe, Madison and I changed into bathing suits, but Pepe and the other girls left before we were done, so Duane, Madison, and I went together. It was a really pretty, short hike to the cascade and only costed 3CUC/person.
The first part of the climb up the rocks was a little hard but a Cuban helped me and Madison. In a little bit I got used to the rock and was really enjoying crawling around on the rocks and taking pictures of the cascade. I told Pepe that I felt primitive there and then he and Duane made a lot of jokes about my "primitive" life the rest of the day. There were a few difficulties there too, though. Madison was a bit more nervous on the rocks than I was and I had to scale the same part of the rocks twice to help her. The batteries in my camera died and Duane went to get other batteries from my purse, but then Madison and I accidentally dropped one in the water so Duane had to get his snorkeling stuff and dive to retrieve it. Then, at the end, I went down the rocks (which was a bit difficult, but I went slow, grabbing branches and rocks as I carefully lowered myself down and was pretty proud of myself that I made it) but Madison wouldn't follow me. She had to go down the way we had come (which was a lot longer) and have Pepe and a Cuban guy help her.
Still, it was an adventure and a good experience and I was really happy I did it. After our little adventure we wanted to use the pool at Hotel Soroa because it's really big and we wanted to be clean again after the green water from under the waterfall. We took a different way back to the hotel which was more difficult at first. Madison and I were really slow crossing the stream and Pepe and Duane made a lot of jokes about our "primitive" abilities, or lack thereof.
The pool was fantastic and really relaxing. We ate lunch at the restaurant close to the waterfall trailhead. It was free (with our tour) and okay. I'm really tired of rice!
After lunch I went to the orchidarium. Madison (and actually nobody else either) wanted to go with me so I went alone. It wasn't super interesting--there weren't as many orchids as I had thought there would be--but it was very peaceful. I saw a lot of interesting plants, a pretty statue with a bridge, lizards, a shrine to the Virgin Mary, and a cat with her kitten. I took a lot of pictures of the flowers and also drew some of the flowers and plants in my sketchbook. I spent an hour there--it was really tranquil and I felt very content when I returned to the pool (oh, and the orchidarium only cost 3CUC).
We enjoyed the pool some more until we had to leave at 4pm. The return trip was slower and I just wanted to be at my casa particular. I saw a Willys Jeep and I took a photo of it for Ryan. I know he'd like it and I miss him a lot today.
The bus dropped us close to the Quinta de los Molinos so Madison and I tried to visit, but it's under repair. We saw through the fence that the gardens there are really pretty there though. That area of the city didn't have doesn't have much and we really needed to go to the bathroom, so eventually we found a taxi that was a blue convertible almendrón (old American car) and took it to Hotel Habana Libre for 5CUC. We really liked that car, and we got to check riding in a convertible old car off of our Cuba bucket list! At the hotel, we went to the bathroom and had a little food before taking a taxi (with the same driver as yesterday, actually) to our houses.
Now I need to sleep. We have another very full day tomorrow with a trip (similar to today's) to Viñales. I still have a bit of a headache and need to sleep so I can actually do stuff tomorrow.