CIENFUEGOS 15TH APRIL
Around the world with the Aqualunies
Jonathan & Gabrielle Lyne
Sat 20 Apr 2019 02:39
Trinidad was well worth visiting, a very old town with wonderful squares, music, and ancient buildings some of them just small cottages in all the colours under the sun.
Because it is in ‘Cowboy country’ where cattle are kept there were quite a few around on horses on our way up rounding and herding cattle along the road. Photos have already been posted.
We took a small tour bus to the Nicha Falls,you pay to enter the park, the whole area is owned by the Castro Family, hiked in the forest, learnt about some of the plants, swam in the fresh water pools and also were told a bit about the revolution. Our guide, Felix, was good, but not sure how much one should believe he was saying. He said the Russians were again making use of the hidden submarine base in caves going deep under the cliffs near where we were. That the North Korean army and Chinese Army were training in the jungle not far from a village we passed through as Cuba was afraid of an invasion as they decided that Venezuela was going to be invaded and Cuba would be next…… I asked him how he knew this, was it in the newspapers, he said ‘no it is passed around by word of mouth by those who know’. He also said that every Cuban soldier that came back from Angola committed suicide, this we know is not true as we met one of our marina managers who had fought in Angola. He didn’t want us to have lunch in one of the restaurants after hiking back down from the falls as he reckoned all the waiters were ‘Secret Police’ and were there to listen to visitors in case they were subversive……..
The scenery was lovely and it was good to stretch the legs along the paths up the mountains.
We returned to the marina and were called into the office by a female customs officer who wanted to search our bags and put them through the X-Ray machine, we asked ‘Why??!’ but she would not reply so we did as we were told whilst she X-Rayed our bags with wet towels, hiking shoes, sun lotion, wet bathing costumes……..We still have not a clue why she picked on us and what it was all about, just perverse.
Our last morning in Cienfuegos, up early to the food market in town, where we went through the meagre array of food on display and chose the best of things available.The only vegetables were some Pak Choi, cucumber, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers. Pineapples, bananas, papaya. None of it in very good condition.
We were told by Felix our guide the day before that Cubans are only allowed 6 eggs a month……. nobody keeps chickens. You have to give 60% of everything you earn to the government including crops. There are all sorts of rules and regulations, some of which I really find weird such as the egg ration why can’t people keep chickens to produce eggs and meat for themselves. Why is there such close control over the simplest of things? We upped anchor at 12 midday, after we had checked out and got our next Dispatcho to the next port.