Trinidad about 4hrs drive from Havana was my favourate town in Cuba. We had based ourselves in Trinidad for four days and made day trips to surrounding towns and sites. Like Havana, the residents live with their doors open. I loved how they would lean on their doorways looking out & talking to those who passed by. Whilst their kids either ran up along or played ball games in the street. Life, cars, trucks and horse n’carts carrying produce would rumble past over the cobble stone streets.
It made me reflect how at home we seem to stay inside our homes only to come out get into our cars and drive off. We used to have an annual Christmas street party to catch up with our neighbours but I got tired of being the organiser. No one else seems keen to help. I might have the rev the neighbours again this year. Anyway, I digress.
I loved the inconsistent pattern and shape of the Trinidad cobble stones. Some street didn’t see a lot of vehicle traffic and had grass growing between the stones. Other stones were tapered in the middle so the rain/water would run off into the middle. One Trinidad market had stalls either side of one such street. Sure the stones being varied in size are a real bugger to walk on. At times you would slip between the stones. They were also very noisy to drive over, especially rattly old trucks that would pass our Casa Particular (home stay). One truck had a challenge passing our hire car parked in the street. It’s okay the side mirrors already had scratches.
In the height of the day with the sun was out, you needed your sunglasses to look at some of the Trinidad buildings. They were painted in bold multi-colours. Mostly single story buildings they were vibrant and I loved them. In 1988 Trinidad was declared a World Heritage site, so there are a lot of restrictions on what can be done to this Spanish colonial settlement.
We were warned by our Casa Particular (Casa Munoz) to be careful when entering Trinidad as jinteros/hustlers are plenty. He wasn’t wrong. A guy jumped out onto the road to stop us entering the town. Basically, they want you to say at another Casa so they get a commission kick back. Ditto any hustler in the town plaza suggesting you eat at a certain restaurant. After a while they become a pain. Anyway this guy tried it on us a few times over a few days but by the 3rd and 4th days, he let us by with a wave.
Our last day in Trinidad we looked around town, again and along the coast road to Cienefugos, but stopped well sort of that around some gorgeous bends along the coast. We had in mind some swimming but the weather was hot and by the time we were organised to swim a huge storm hit. We watched the storm as it hit and then puddles of water crept up the outside patio area to the bar. That was a queue to leave. In Trinidad, the temperature always dropped after a storm. Relief.
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