experiencing a cubans holiday
03.08.2013 - 07.08.2013 36 °C
The first thing about Trinidad was that it is HOT, even hotter than Havana which was already very hot. After realising we didn't have an address for our hotel we had to find The Internet Cafe, the only place in town to get Internet where we then could keep walking in the heat to our casa particular.
We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the cobblestoned streets of Trinidad, jumping into any shop that had air-conditioning and eating a bucket of ice-cream to keep cool. After a home cooked dinner at our casa, on the roof terrace overlooking the city, we went for a stroll to a free outdoor concert and bar where there was a Cuban salsa band and people salsa dancing. It was such a fun atmosphere sitting on the steps of the square having a mojito and listening to the salsa music.
The next day after breakfast at the casa we headed to La Boca, a village 5km from Trinidad on the coast of Cuba. We arrived and checked into our waterfront casa and then got some rental bikes so we could ride 8km along the coast to Playa Ancon (Ancon Beach) a spectacular white sand, bright turquoise water beach. The ride along the coast was beautiful but horrific, the heat just killed us and by the time we arrived at the beach we were digustingly sweaty and frustrated and just fell into the water. After recovering we found some beach chairs and an umbrella and settled in for a day of sunbaking in the shade and swimming in the warm clear water. Pretty relaxing day really.
In the late afternoon we rode back slowly to La Boca. La Boca was absolutely buzzing with activity with people walking up and down the main beachfront street buying ridiculously cheap food and goods and lots and lots of people hanging out in the calm water drinking rum. We got ourselves a pizza that literally cost 20 cents each and then jumped into the water (minus the rum). After a super cheap dinner of pizza and burgers for a grand total of a $1 we then went for another swim, at 8pm the water was still packed! What was nice about La Boca was that it was a Cuban holiday resort, it felt like we were the only foreigners here and we were just watching normal life. Watching the people get their cheap food, seeing the queue to use the public phone, local kids playing with their toys in the sand, it was a great place.
In the morning we changed casa's and then had a really enjoyable day. Firstly we walked to just out of town to this awesome spot of really bright blue water where we were able to snorkel. We were the only ones there and it was brilliant. When we came back we had pizza for lunch again. I think Christian ended up eating about 10 of these pizzas over the 3 days we were there. We also escaped out of the heat into our well air-conditioned room to have a nap. It was just so hot outside its all we really could do. In the late afternoon we made our way up onto the roof terrace of our casa where the grandma who runs the casa brought us ridiculously strong cocktails and we watched the view out over the bay. We got to experience another piece of normal Cuban life while up here; watching an extended family having a full on violent argument (apparently about something disrespectful one boyfriend said about the cousin's girlfriend). There was everyone punching each other, girls pulling hair and at one point a baseball bat and machete were pulled out (though thankfully restrained before they were used). It was a very surreal place. For dinner we went to one of the stands and met Lionel, a Cuban with very good english, and although he has a degree in chemical engineering, he runs this stand with his dad and wife. We spent ages chatting to him about all sorts of things, he was in love with Christians accent while he cooked us up some steak sandwiches for about 50c a piece. We went back and visited him every day!
The next day we hired bikes and rode firstly to our snorket spot again for a quick dip, then after a quick pizza we rode the 5km hilly road, past old cars, tractors and horse and cart back to Trinidad so we could use the internet and book a bus. So many things we take for granted at home but here you have to go out of your way to get them. Thankfully the ride back to La Boca is more downhill and far more enjoyable. After sweating ourselves silly with all this riding we had another burger, and jumped into the water as we waited for them to cook. We spent the afternoon hopping swimming spots of bright blue clear water down the 8km to Playa Ancon and back. There was lots of beautiful coral and fish to see and then also relaxing on the white sands of Playa Ancon. Another lovely day.
We had dinner that night at our casa. Firstly black bean soup, then shrimps and rice and finished it off with fruit and home made vanilla bean ice-cream. It was possibly the best meal we had in Cuba.
In the morning of our last day we went back for a swim in our swimming spot. Our time in La Boca had been so relaxing, there was no hassle and expectation that you had heaps of money as you were a tourist, there was no tourists really, no phones, no internet, just enjoy the beach. It was wonderful. Before we left we went back to our burger man who had wanted to give us a pineapple to say goodbye. We also said goodbye to our lovely casa family and then we were off to Santa Clara.