Sunday, 19 November 2017

A TRIP THROUGH THE REAL CUBA 2

A Trip Through the Real Cuba the story continues, is written by Mary and Jack, our wonderful guests who stayed with us in our network of casa particulares throughout Cuba in February 2017. 

A TRIP THROUGH THE REAL CUBA 2
by Mary & Jack

CIENFUEGOS

After a delicious breakfast at 6am, our Casa host Dayne arranged a taxi to the Viazul bus terminal…it would be a six hour trip from Viñales to Cienfuegos, with a rest stop half way. 

Our hosts in Cienfuegos were at the Viazul bus terminal to meet us and drive us to their home in Punta Gorda, a modern suburb south of the city. Our casa was a small attachment through the garden to a kitchen and bedroom, bathroom and well-stocked fridge.

The hosts, Arelys and Norge also prepared supper for 7pm: fresh shrimp, salad, rice, ice cream and coffee.

The following morning, we walked along the Malecón toured the Naval Museum, the Provincial Museum and had a good look at a square-rigged sailing ship at a nearby dock. 

After a rest in the afternoon we caught a ride with Norge into town, first stopping at the Viazul bus station to arrange transport for the next day, Then ambled around the town market, tried fresh coconut milk and enjoyed a beer by the Malecón. The Spanish influence and architecture was the main feature of this quiet town…next time we will take a guided tour to learn more about Cienfuegos than we were able to on this short visit.

After a full breakfast at 7am at the Casa, Norge drove us to the Viazul bus station. We bought our tickets to Trinidad and joined the confusion in the waiting area. After several false starts we got seated in the right bus, and were off!

Trip to Cuba
Cienfeugos Cuba

Trip to Cuba
Malecón Cienfuegos Cuba

TRINIDAD

Again, we were met at the Viazul bus station in Trinidad, this time by a young fellow (Jamie!) driving a tricycle-taxi. He took us on a ten minute drive to our next casa, mostly downhill. His contraption had a sturdy frame and balloon tires - quite robust, and one hardly felt the original cobblestones of this 16th century city.

Casa Misleydis & Gustavo in Trinidad was a warm and friendly B&B close to the centre and our hosts could not have been more welcoming. Misleydis was our main contact in Cuba and Rena our contact before arriving in Cuba kept Misleydis alert to our movements around Cuba….Misleydis was our contact for any problems at a local level and a fount of knowledge on all things Cuban. It was also a real plus to be able to communicate in English. We looked forward to spending the next three nights in her comfortable casa. 

Our first challenge was to get bus tickets to our next port-of-call, Camaguay. Waiting in line to put your name on a list seems to be the norm….we were certain to get a seat as we booked three days in advance, but we had to show up an hour before the trip to pay and get the tickets.

Touring central Trinidad was delightful, with many Spanish colonial houses and buildings to see, bands on each corner and watching the world go by….we dined early, and well, in a nearby restaurant recommended by Misleydis….in fact we went back to Restaurant San Jose for dinner each night we were in Trinidad!

Our patio breakfasts at the casa were generous and hearty, enough to make a snack for lunch, with some fruit and water. Then more exploring, reading in the cool upstairs or lounging in the hammock on the patio, siesta, and out again. Our last day involved a taxi to the beach for a few hours…beautiful sand, warm water and hot sun.  Our driver, Mario, kindly returned to the beach later to take us back to town.

Trinidad was such a user-friendly town - we could have stayed longer…early Thursday morning, a taxi ride in a decrepit ’50 Buick (we weren't sure we would make it without pushing) got us to the Viazul bus station and we were away. 



Trip to Cuba
Trinidad Bici-taxis Cuba

Cuba beach
Playa Ancon Trinidad Cuba

Trip to Cuba
Plaza Mayor Trinidad Cuba

Trip to Cuba
Cuban Musicians Trinidad Cuba

Experience the Real Cuba would like to thank Mary and Jack for booking their Cuba trip with us and for sharing their Cuban adventures on the Experience the Real Cuba blog. 

Contact us at Experience the Real Cuba to book your personalized trip to Cuba.

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