Trinidad in Cuba
2009 June 20, Saturday
So here is another delayed instalment of my Cuban vacation series. On our 4th day in Cuba, we headed for Trinidad which is somewhere in the middle of Cuba towards the south-eastern direction from Havana. We drove for about 5-6 hours to get there. It would’ve taken less time had there been clearer road signs along the highway. Firstly, there weren’t clear lines in the middle of the highway or even arrows to indicate the directions. So people who are used to the right hand drive will have to be careful not to go on the wrong side after making turns etc. Next, we missed an important turn because of lack of road signs and ended up almost back at the beginning of the highway. So we had to be extra careful not to make a mistake again or we would’ve ended up arriving in Trinidad after dark. And we haven’t gotten ourselves accommodation.
Several times, had to ask people along the highways to ask if we were on the right track. Yes! There were people along the highway, and they were hitching rides. We wondered why they were hitching rides in the middle of nowhere. Then we figured they must’ve gotten off when the rides they hitched were going to make turns not in their favour. They’d get off there and hitch another ride towards their destinations. Many of them would wave money at you for the ride. An eye opener for us.
There was this guy whom we asked for directions who wanted to asked us to take him cuz he was going to Trinidad as well. We would’ve taken him but our car was small and with our luggage, there was no room for a one more person. 😦
As we were almost reaching, we saw that this part of the road was covered with reddish/orangey stuff. I thought that they were prawns falling off trucks while being transported. But it turned out that they were crabs run over by vehicles as they were crossing the road. The smell of dried seafood filled the air when we opened our windows to check it out.
We finally arrived and there were touts who would come to you and offer to take you to a casa particulares. The guide book mentioned that they would try to lie that the casa you have booked have been taken up so that they could earn a commission from the casa they’re taking you to.
Anyway, we looked on our own and found this nice one after a few tries. The outside looked so-so, but the inside was nice and spacious. The host was a nice couple and they offered us breakfast at 3CUC each.
After settling in, we went to check out the beach (Playa Ancon) and had dinner at the Plaza Mayor, which was recommended by the host. There was live music and we had some drinks and our cigars we bought at the cigar factory in Havana. After dinner, we took a stroll and the loud, happy music drew us closer to a square where many people were merry making. A live band, drinking and dancing! Samba! Rhumba! Cha-cha-cha! We blended in immediately and had so much fun.
The following two days were sightseeing. During this time, I discovered a drink called Canchánchara. This drink is only available here (cuz I asked for it when we were back in Havana and was told so). It’s a cocktail made up of lemon juice, honey and Santero Cuban rum. I loved it! (I was also happy to find that House at Dempsey serves it!)
Speaking of drinks, we were amazed by a disco club built in a cave! This cave was on top of a hill and upon entering, a flight of stairs led us down to the main hall. There was some kind of earthy smell but I was ok with it. We were there around midnight but the club was very empty still. We left soon as were were tired and wanted to rest.