27.2.14

Cuba: days 3 and 4 - By the sea to Trinidad!

Villa Islazul Yaguanabo, Cienfuegos.

Day 3: Saturday 15 February 2014

Omelette maker

After an omelette at Rancha Luna, we cycled a few km to a gas station where the day's 'undulations' would begin. Although now wearing shorts, I retired to the coach and Rob was picked up near the summit of the first hill. We motored on to a bus stop at a junction to await the arrival of the others. Our group comprised: the five Clarionettes, three couples from Guildford, a young couple from Cardiff, a couple from Australia and three single chaps, including Brooks from Canada.

Rob and Amanda

After a photo opp of a revolutionary poster and several horse-drawn taxis, we all set off again, with a 10km stop at a giant Indian, where we had bananas and water. We pulled in at a paladar La Vegas where I had another omelette (the rest had shredded beef) while we watched chickens, a turkey, and ox cart and misc kids on horses, sitting beneath a shady verandah.

Octopus woman

And on to Villa Islazul Yaguanabo, the one with the octopus woman statue outside, right by the sea, where I had a chalet with sea view. The afternoon was spent on the sandy beach, paddling in the sea and taking photos of pigs and chickens. Dinner was in the hotel and if I'd stayed up I'd have seen the Haitian chef do some fire walking and lifting a table with a kid sitting on it, with his teeth!

Flan

Day 4: Sunday 16 February 2014
At breakfast we had a fine array of delights, including rice pudding and creme caramel, with the welcome addition of HP sauce, as well as the mandatory tropical fruits and reasonable bread. Rob was particularly taken with the two jams on offer.

Rob tries some rice pudding

Then it was onto our bikes and over the bridge for a 35km ride to Ma Dolores, the only full day's cycling I managed, with a little help from Ricardo up the hills. Although it was still technically morning, a beer was in order. There are two beers in Cuba: the lighter Cristal and the slightly stronger Bucanero, both coming in at 2 CUC a pop. Then it was the coach into Trinidad where Tony gave us a walking tour, including an art gallery, a Santería temple and the cathedral.

Santería temple

Lunch was a buffet at the Plaza Mayor where the usually bland white fish was livened up by a drop of soup as sauce. I also enjoyed the black beans and rice. Left to our own devices, we explored the bell tower of the Bandit Museum and I got hassled by two of the women guards for tips, one trying to sell me a Che banknote (I did buy a crisper one later in Havana).

Lunch at Plaza Mayor

Then it was to the Casa Osmary Alberto where we were introduced to our casa landladies who led us down the street to our B&Bs for the next two nights. I was with Vania at Hostal Manaca up a spiral staircase in the back room; Simon the osteopath was in the front room with balcony and two rocking chairs. After a fruitless search for a bank (but I did find the PO) it was back to Osmary Alberto for supper of lobster (yes!) and fish (why?), serenaded by a trio of singers!

Fran with Old guys

The rest went up to the Casa de la Musica for more drink and salsa music, but I was knackered so retired to bed.

Rob

Many more photos on Flickr.

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