Friday 20th January 2012
Eventually the promised 6-seater hire car materialised and we all set off for Trinidad – no, not the island near Venezuela, the town on the southern coast of Cuba. It was certainly cosy in the car as most of the boot space was taken up with the fold-up seats, so bags had to be between us on seats or down in footwells. It took us an hour to find our way out of Havana and onto the autopista – all because we turned right BEFORE the Nacional Hotel instead of AFTER. Never mind, we got to see even more of Havana!
It was a long drive on a very bumpy road to Sancti Spiritus where we got out and stretched our legs and had a coffee before piling back in the car and setting off for the last leg to Trinidad, founded in 1514 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town was not at all what any of us was expecting, though we all admitted we hadn’t really known what we were expecting!. The tarmac road into town gave way to cobbled streets lined with pastel-painted houses, many of the roads being unpassable by car. With help from a local we found a Casa Particular which is basically a private house that does B&B for $20 a night per room. Well we found two in fact, because the first only had one room available, but then we were shown a second that had two. The rooms were furnished fairly basically but were clean, air-conditioned and had ensuite bathrooms with shower, hot & cold water, flushing loo AND toilet paper and soap! Heaven! Their owners have to pay a percentage of their takings to The People, of course, but they are obviously better off than many of the population.
We parked the car outside one of the houses and dumped our bags in our rooms, then went to explore the town.
A typical street scene in Trinidad. We suspected this pig was on his way to being tomorrow’s breakfast!
The main town square Plaza Mayor Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco
Street market with usual souvenir tat at every stall. Pastel painted houses on cobbled streets.
Ride’em cowboy! Trying out the local drinks at a bar off the main square.
We had dinner at our Casa Particular and breakfast at the other, and both meals were freshly cooked and plentiful. We decided we had seen all that there was to see in Trinidad, and set off in the car for Cienfuegos.