Dec 21, 2015
At 9.15 am, a coche particular comes for the journey to Trinidad. The driver is angry/upset. When given directions to the casa, he proposes something elsewhere. When declined, he says ok fine, you decide. Hence, 6 CUC and no tip.
There is a lot of tourists in Trinidad. The sky is patchy and it is warm outside. Trinidad is filled with tourists, but just like the other places in Cuba (except Havana), but there is nobody two streets behind the inner centre. Despite the tourists, there are not many questions as before.
From 3 to 5 pm, a quick tour at the Playa Ancón with a Chevrolet Impala. From there, Trinidad looks like a much smaller city.
Two hours of salsa course in the evening. I've enrolled in an 11-hour course in only 4 days, which is between 2 and 3h30 a day! At 10 CUC the hour, it is a bargain! The teacher's really fun, speaking a mix of Spanish, English and French.
Due to the salsa courses, the schedule for the rest of the trip has been reworked, squeezing the days in Camaguëy. There is a hard limit which is the plane in Baracoa on the 13th of December.
Going to Camaguëy is difficult. The city is not as much visited, hence not well connected. A taxi is expensive if not shared and buses do not have convenient schedules.
While I'm looking for a cab as it is faster, I registered for the bus next Monday. It is a 'pre-reservation' that only has to be confirmed half an hour before departure! In the court, there was an old bus, I Viazul does not use similar ones!
The weather is very cloudy today even though the forecast was predicting something a little more optimistic. A quick tour in the city centre offers more to see: pupils at school, people carrying furniture, etc.
After the early afternoon salsa course, it started pouring. In 10 minutes, everyone was out of the streets. The end of the day was already compromised. Everything that was already so quiet became even quieter. People started to go out only one or two hours later.
The second salsa course in the evening was much nicer due to the lower temperature.
Early salsa course to start the day.
Horseback riding in the vale de los Ingenios, which is North of Trinidad. There is not much view points, only one from where there is a nice view on the Vigía hill and the valley itself. The valley looks like the one in Viñales, minus the mogotes.
Back in Trinidad, it's time to catch up on visiting the museums of the city. Visit of the museum of the banditos, which is at the location of the old San Francisco de Assisi covent. Banditos are the name given to anti revolutionaries. From the tower, the only remain of the covent, is a really nice view on the city, the coast and the Escambray massif. The mountains were used as a place to hide, hence the museum.
On the plaza mayor, there is the museum of architecture. It is seated in a very nice blue house and has a patio almost as big as the house itself. It covers the different techniques being used to make traditional housing. Nowadays, most of the houses are done in bricks with little wood. Construction is expensive in Cuba. Houses used to be larger, but with marriages, the houses are being split, hence becoming narrower.
A Cuban house is generally between 3 m and 6-7 m wide, only on the ground level and with a flat roof which serves as a terrace. There is a central corridor which is aligned with the entrance door. The corridor is about 70-80 cm wide and crosses all the rooms, with doors, of the house on one side. The first room behind the entrance door is the living room. A few chairs, a table, and a television. The television also serves as the music player in most of the houses. Furniture are scarce. Behind the living room, there is a kitchen followed by a bedroom, or a small open area if the house is larger. In this case, the rooms are on the side. Windows have no shutters. There is usually no glass either. Instead, a couple of pivoting blades that can rotate are used. Older houses have larger rooms and more wood involved in the construction.
Another salsa course in the evening.
Before the last course of salsa, visit of the La Poba neighborhood. There is a small yellow cat playing on the street. Manuel, the owner, came out of the house and started talking about the cat. The cat is named Leon and is apparently of a special race. He then talks about the history of Cuba and Trinidad. He tells about what he is doing for a living: repairing electrical appliances from recycling. He then talks about the Bible and the Jehovah witnesses program. Time to leave. He asks for one CUC. Amen.
The 10th course of salsa follows. There is still pain from the horseback riding from the day before. In the end, the 11th hour will be held in the evening as the weather is finally good.
The hike to the mirador de la vigía is not as hard as described. The path is warmed up by the sun and there is a nice breeze. There is a disco that is made in a cave along the way. No visit. The path to the cave is somehow difficult. I can't imagine how it is to walk there when you are drunk.
At the Vigía, there are a few buildings and the telecommunication tower. The guard is also doing tours and explains the view. From there, the view on the vale de los ingenios is very nice, and even better than the view from yesterday.
The vale bears its name from the many sugar refinery that are located in the valley. There is a train line that was used to carry the sugar cane from the end of the valley, which is about 50 km long, to the port. Nowadays, only a few fields are being exploited.
On way down, rain is coming from the west, but doesn't go over the hill. However, it drizzles over the city.
After lunch, visit of the museum of the city. It shows multiple pieces of furniture. It also has a tower, which albeit being lower than the one of the museum of the banditos, is more in the middle of the city and makes it more interesting. Very nice view on the city. It starts to drizzle while the sun is still shinning.
Two museums that are closed on Sundays can't be visited.
Just before the sunset, the sky is very cloudy and the setting sun lights them orange.
Last course of salsa to conclude the stay in Trinidad.