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Published: January 12th 2016
Sunday 10th January 2016
The four and a half hour car journey from Havana to Trinidad was exacerbated by the fact that we had to stop four times to find a garage selling diesel and twenty times for the boot which kept popping open - nothing to do with our oversized cases.
Roads in Trinidad very quickly became cobbled streets and dilapidated buildings. Please don't stop here we thought and right on cue the car stopped. Horror at the surroundings quickly became embarrassment at our ridiculously large cases as we hauled them into the casa. Our hostess took us through her front room to the rooms at the back and now we're feeling smug at such a good choice! The rooms are clean and basic with towels but no soap!
Two minutes along cobbled streets (all Trinidad has cobbled streets) to find a bar for lunch. Cafe Esquerre was totally empty and is we entered the waiter flicked on the air con, whistled down the street and there we were serenaded by a five piece band and a couple of singers. An omelet costs 2 CUCs, about £1.50 and mojitos are 3 CUCs each. Each band wants you
to buy their CD but seem just as happy with a tip. We meandered through the streets offering unbelievable stuff at outrageous and ever decreasing prices; the twins can feel a shopping spree coming.
The day finished with a roof top meal and a free bottle of wine because we mentioned ‘Lonely Planet’.
Monday morning started early (5.30) due to cockerels on a nearby rooftop. By the time we were up there was blue sky and it was hot. Our hostess Idio served a delicious breakfast and after a conversation with the phrase book, many gesticulations and much laughter we were ready for the next tour.
Today's guide, Rino was probably one of our best, nothing to do with him being very easy on the eye and good enough English to enjoy some irony. His comments about John Kerry and the USA will not be printed here. As well as the usual dose of culture he introduced us to a new drink. Well it was noon and we had missed coffee and a mojito break. La canchanchara is honey, lemon, ice and water with aquardiente. Not sure what this is other than
40% alcohol but very pleasant non the less. Trinidad is beautiful and is like a time capsule but unfortunately is full of tourists. We were all surprised how small it was – not much more than a village. Another surprise was a visit to their state supplies shop where the basic necessities can be purchased at ridiculous low prices on production of a ration card. It was like wartime Britain.
The flurry of recent blogs is because we have found a very smart hotel, which sells Wi-Fi cards with the drinks, which is far better than queuing for thirty minutes to buy them from the local shop.
After our evening meal, which we enjoyed, the boys had coffee and rum and Malcolm had his now customary cigar. Then it was drinks and dancing for the Taylors while the Woods made for home as Suzanne wasn’t feeling well (nothing to do with an excess of food and drink says Suzanne).
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