Blogs from Centro, Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 7


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Camagüey November 8th 2008

Someone dug a whole in the ground and called it Camaguey. Well, not quiet that bad, but the place is a bit of a dump. Apparently I wouldn't feel that way if I could spend more time there - so I've been told. But on the 2 hours or so that I got to spend in the town, I have to say I wasn't that impressed with it. The city itself has some nice buildings that have been beautifully restored. It is also the place where many of Cuba´s artists reside. We visited a photographer´s studio, a sculptor´s place and also the home of two painters. None of the items struck any chords with me, so there were no purchases. We got hassled on the streets and in a bar for money, which is probably what ... read more
Participating in one of the local art displays.
An interesting bar we visited.

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad November 7th 2008

Jo must have been up early but I slept through until breakfast at 0800. We sorted out our bill with Elizabet and by 0900 we headed out to get information about a tourist train to Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills), only to find the train was out of service. Lonely Planet recommended the local train as an alternative but it too was broken - as was one of the bridges on the way to the valley - a result of the recent hurricanes. We found a travel agency that did half day CUC9 tours by van and signed up. We were collected 30 minutes later and headed northeast to Mirador de la Loma del Puerto, a lookout over the valley. The hurricane had destroyed alot of the vegetation but it was still ... read more
The Farmhouse

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad November 6th 2008

Jo had a lousy night suffering from the heat and the bloke next door was snoring. I woke just before breakfast at 0800. Elizabet phoned ahead to Santa Clara for us to book with the person from Nicholas’ list for two nights and also showed us where we could buy a bag for our assorted market junk. We were nearing the end of our travels so carrying an extra bag was far less of a hassle. The bag cost CUC 11 and easily carried my humidor and cigars, our various trinkets and heavy clothes that the weather dictated were no longer required. It was already 1030 and we just had time for a 5 peso pizza (NZ0.20) each before we boarded the 1100 hop-on hop-off bus to Playa Ancon Beach 12km south of Trinidad on the ... read more
Jo dips her toes in the Caribbean
View from Ermita de Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria de la Popa
Our drunken friends

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad November 5th 2008

Jo was up early but even after my early night I slept through until breakfast at 0800. Elizabet and her mother continued with the great food with a breakfast of eggs, bread, fruits, gingerbread, coffee and orange juice. We left the house at 0900 and headed towards the market with a wallet full of CUCs - it was shopping day. There wasn’t a lot open at the ungodly early hour of 0900 but slowly stalls were set up and we did our first pass - getting an idea of what we wanted and some starting prices. The previous day we had found one of the few galleries in town that was owned by the artist (Gino and Isabella had recommended him) so we went back by his gallery but he was only just setting up. We ... read more
Jo in shopping paradise
Mandatory Che Berets
Old motorbike & sidecar

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Santa Clara November 4th 2008

I think Merryn and I have quite easily adapted the Cuban approach to time. I had thought of getting up really early and taking a walk through the old town of Havana, but instead, kept sleeping. Getting going was a slow process and we just took all the time in the world to get ready, have a leasurly breakfast, and then meet the rest of the group for the ´real´start of the trip. 2 people were still missing - they had visa problems and would be meeting us in Trinidad. We had a massive bus all to ourselves. It is specifically for tourists to Cuba. It was only 2 years ago when laws were relaxed enough to allow Cuban and tourists to visit the same restaurants or hotels, however, there is still quite a separation between ... read more
Dominos is a huge game here.  We came across some boys playing it on the street.
And here is the stereo-typical shot of one of their old cars.
You can get two types of beer here.  Cristal - 4.something % alcohol, or Buchanero, which is 5.something %. I loved the labelling of this one.


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad November 4th 2008

The road from Santa Clara to Trinidad is apparently the worst we would need to experince for the whole trip. This is good, because the road was seriously bad. I don´t think there are a lot of roadworks that go on. Perhaps it´s because there aren´t that many cars on the road? It is quite funny to see wide, major highways with no cars, or just one or two. It was quite a scenic drive and we stopped on a moutaintop lookout to have lunch. The Cuban landscape is quite stunning... very lush and green. We arrived in Trinidad late in the afternoon and were welcomed by the ´main house´host with a fabulous rum-based cocktail. It was so good we all asked for seconds. Have I mentioned that drinks here are super cheap? I bought 3 ... read more
Clean sand that goes on for miles. Warm Carribbean waters.  Sigh...  How lovely.

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad November 4th 2008

The bus somehow managed to get through the sea of touts and pulled into Trinidad at 0630. My own efforts to get through were not as successful despite a highly athletic Campo style goosestep/sidestep combo with backpack attached. All applicants for the job of casa supplier were unsuccessful as we had an address supplied by Nicholas in Havana for Marina and we were keen to get back on his “mates list” for accommodation. Jo was in charge of navigation on this occasion so we headed off 90 degrees in the wrong direction, walking confidently so as to shake off the few persistent touts. Fortunately for us one of them saw through the facade and pointed us in the right direction. Marina answered her door and explained that she was full but her friend down the road ... read more
Former Convent of San Francisco de Asis
View from Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Banditos
Jo at Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Banditos

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Camagüey November 3rd 2008

Ráno jsme vyrazili rozpadlým zigulem nějakýho známýho naší hostitelky do půjčovny. Na výběr máme ze dvou aut. Seat Cordoba a automat od Samsungu. Zkoušíme oboje, Tonda reklamuje, ze se mu v Seatu vzadu nesedí pohodlně. Nikdo jinej ale problémy nemá, navíc se zjistilo, ze sebou nemáme dost peněz na ten automat, takze beztak není co řešit. Vzali jsme teda Seat. Tonda ale prohlásil, ze vpravo vzadu sedět nebude. Zpátky na byt jsme uz v našem autě kupodivu nezabloudili ani jednou. Nalozili jsme bágly a holky a vyrazili. Neujeli jsme ani deset metrů a přišel hlad, takze první cíl byl náš oblíbenej cupáckej stánek s kuřetem. Tentokrát bylo napečeno vše čerstvě, takze to chutnalo moc dobře. Jsme rádi, ze konečně dostáváme pořádnej poměr cena/výkon a vyrázíme z města ven. Jedinej drobnej problém je, ze nikdo přesně neví ... read more
Autopista nacional
Autopista nacional
Autopista nacional

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad October 30th 2008

It is Thursday night and we´re in the mood for dancing. But the tourist bars in Trinidad are, well, er, touristy. Listening to the Cuban bands in the Casa de la Musica felt like we´d headed to Temple Bar in Dublin to hear some ´real Irish traditional music´. So we hooked up with some new Cuban friends we met in Havana and they invited us to tag along (gracias Marie y Nelson). Gone midnight, the club is in full flow. I didn´t catch the name - it was dark, but coming along Jose Marti out of town, turn left at the far corner of the Parque Cespedes onto Lino Perez and its on the right, 50c in. And you can bring your own rum! Housed in an old colonial building, the dancefloor is the outside central ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad October 30th 2008

The more we travel onwards the smaller the provinces get, the land more vast , the grass more green, the trees taller and the mountains grew. The land is so beautiful i could hear myself saying it out loud. We crossed a bridge of water and my excitement rose. This heat can only be tamed with a long swim in the ocean. We pulled in at the station in the hottest part of the day and thawed our frozen popsicle air conditioned bodies immediately. Lots of cubans waiting , holding casa particular placards and screaming low prices. I hadnt seen this since cambodia. Head down and beggining to wade through the boisterios crowd we were surprised to see a piece of paper with our names in bold letters not uncommen at the arrivals gate at the ... read more

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