Having rested a couple of days aboard in Cienfuegos
Marina, we drove on Monday morning to Trinidad, an ancient town first discovered
by Christopher Colombus.
The town is very old dating back to the 16th
Century and is a world heritage city. The streets are still cobbled as they were
back then and many of the building are quite original. Of course over the
centuries the town has grown and many newer buildings exist, but they are still
200 years old.
We found a 'Casa Particular' a private house to
stay in, the price was still 25$ per night per room, this was the nicest house
we stayed in. It was apparently between 250 and 300 years old. The owners
weren't sure, but it had been in the family for five generations just over 150
years. The grandparents of the old lady living there were the original
owners, he was a goverment man and a lawyer, and obviously a wealthy family. The
furniture, chandeliers etc are original from those days. The old lady
owner has seen good times and bad, her wealth being eroded away by
the US occupants, then the revolution in the 50's brought hard times until the
Russians moved in to help, and their standard of living improved. When the
Russians pulled out in the late 80's everyone in Cuba suffered, with the US
blockade stengthening in the hope the people would rise up against the Castro
regime, that they had so proudly fought for 50 years previous.
Trinidad a beautiful old town, but now very
touristy with people coming from far and wide to visit its heritage.
Consequently Che Guevara hats and shirts were available in bulk. Still, it had
its charm and it was good to see that some of the monies go towards restoring
some of the state owned buildings.
Our hosts (owners) have to restore there own
houses, and this one was enormous, with very ornate high ceilings and
cornices, arched windows, hand made tiled floors. There was a huge lounge,
dining room maybe 5 or 6 large bedrooms and
a kitchen. It all desperately needed some TLC but they couldn't afford it, yet.
Maybe things will change in times to come, they seem to think so. Maybe if the
Bush government changes and the Castro regime comes to an end the two sides will
be able to talk without humiliation.
Its amazing what Cuba has acheived not just without
the aid of the US but with the hinderence of the US by not only maintaining
their blockade but by penalizing other countries that try to trade with Cuba.
Coba will struggle on as it has over the past 50 years and will survive, like
all countires its only the people that suffer as a result of this struggle, but
although they would like a better standard of living they are quite united and
would not go against the existing regime, they'll wait until that regime becomes
more flexible and they'll hope the US will too.
I still don't understand why the US now maintains
the embargos, Cuba now is its own country, they are no threat to the US, and
although Cuba doesn't want to be a US state as is Puerto Rico, I believe also
the US although they would like to occupy Cuba would now never consider it.
Maybe its just a face saving compromise thats needed, which can't happen with
these two governments or maybe its my naivity or lack of knowledge that doesn't
understand the consequences of good relations.
Still no photos, Cuba still doesn't really want its
people to be too aware of the outside world, so internet really doesn't exist in
many places, but it is coming. You cannot stop technology just hold it back a
Here are some of the photos of our host in
her Casa Particular, the streets of Trinidad and the road
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