In Trinidad they understand the value
of the tourist Dollar. (March 2015)


Our taxi driver from Santa Clara to Trinidad was Iuni.

He had very good English and drove an old white Peugeot.

He felt that Raul Castro was good for Cuba as he was concentrating on the economy and not politics, as his brother Fidel had done.

The newest vehicles on the Cuban roads are the Chinese made Yutong coaches. These are owned by the state run bus company, Transtur, and you see their blue, red and white livery everywhere.

As we drove south to Trinidad we passed several tobacco plantations. They were picking the green leaves which would then go into the warehouse to dry for three months.

Iuni gave us a choice of the route we could take.

We chose the mountain pass via Güinía de Miranda. He apologised for the condition of the road but it was only six kilometres of potholes then it was back to the relatively smooth roads.

The drive is just over 80km but it took 1hr 40m. It was a pleasant trip and Iuni was good company.

Trinidad was very different to sleepy Santa Clara, where tourists and touts were everywhere.

The Casa Histórico, centred around the Plaza Mayor, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. Now with more hotels and Casa Particulars becoming available, the tourists are flocking here.

The locals understand the value of the tourist Dollar, or CUC, and are very happy to have their snap taken – for a fee.

In fact there were three old amigos just sitting on a corner waiting for a photo opportunity.

They had big Cuban Cigars in their mouths, that weren’t lit and just there for show. They went to great lengths to get noticed. One them even had a chicken sitting on his hat.

There was another guy who was wandering around town trying to sell a giant gourd.

We saw him on several occasions.

Staff from museums and public buildings can sometimes ask you to pay an extra fee for something that you have already paid for when you entered.

You don’t realise how compact Trinidad is until you climb the tower of the Museo Histórico. The town nestles between the hills to the north east and the valley that runs away to the Caribbean in the south west.

With the town being so small you get the feeling that the tourists are the largest demographic.

And at particular times of the day and in certain places, they are.

After an hour or so of site seeing in the morning we spent the rest of the day just wandering around town.

The painted houses, old cars and local characters make photography a real adventure. It’s not until you get back to the room, and download the snaps, that you realise just how many you have taken.

The next day we went down to the Caribbean.

Playa Anćon is a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach situated on a long, narrow peninsula about fifteen kilometres south of Trinidad.

The ambient sound of lapping waves blended peacefully with a cacophony of chirping birds.

It’s a pity the facilities didn’t match the environment.

There was a beach restaurant with a simple yet limited menu but there was also the Anćon Hotel – a structure second only in ugliness to the Hotel Santa Clara Libre.

Sixties Soviet era architecture has a lot to answer for.

We returned to our casa in Trinidad where the temperature had climbed.

It was time for a siesta.

A siesta does sound so much better than a Nanna nap.

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