
// MARCH 2016
Until the next ... always
Thessaloniki
Mexico City
Havana
Trinidad
Santiago de Cuba
Guardalavaca
Cayo Coco
Varadero
Havana
Havana 2
Panama City
Cienfuegos
Sancti Spiritus
Camaguey
Valle de San Luis
Guantanamo
Baracoa
Holguin
Ciego De Avila
Cayo Guillermo
Santa Clara
Matanzas
Valle de Vinales
Pinar del Río
Vinales

Trinidad


13nth of March 2016
We never reached there...

After having enjoyed a good night’s sleep and after having been revitalized by a nice aromatic shower, we were ready at 6:15 to go down and start our morning promenade.We thought that we had plenty of time until 7 o’clock, breakfast time, so as to see El Capitolio all lit up and to get an idea about the traffic in Cuba.  

But, hard luck! It was dark everywhere. Last night, the time had changed in Cuba.  

No comments.
We have been there, we have done that

We drove towards El Capitolio with continuous detours, since all the roads were under construction, and then we returned to the hotel for breakfast, waiting for the dawn. On the ninth floor of the hotel we found ourselves at a beautiful terrace, transformed into a beautiful restaurant with excellent views, where a really good breakfast buffet made it up for all the burdens so far. We enjoyed the sunrise and views of Havana, while having fresh coffee and eating a delicious breakfast.
 


We started our day after our breakfast, having in mind to pass by Plaza Viejo, but unfortunately, we never reached there because of the closed roads. We crossed the tunnel and reached Havana del Este, heading towards Cienfuegos.
 

Towards Cuba’s New Orleans!!!

In the map that we had taken from the car rental company, there was no petrol station all the way till Trinidad, where we were going to sleep. So, while we were searching for petrol, we entered the village Nueva Paz, where nobody was sure where exactly the petrol station was. When we eventually found it, it had petrol only for motorbikes. ​



 

Petrol in Cuba is a luxury and also terribly expensive. When we started driving in the motorway again, we filled the tank, stopping at the first one of the ten petrol stations that followed, on our way to Cienfuegos. We also changed there the first American Dollars, 100 USA $ for 87 CUC, formal price.

Our first stop, then, was at Cienfuegos. We had just managed to park, when in front of us appeared a guy out of the blue, suggesting to keep an eye on our car, if we would… pay him 2 CUC~2USA $.

It was daylight and high noon. We were right in the center of the town. So we really wondered, what was the reason for this guy to keep an eye on the car and from whom and what he was going to protect it… In any case our question was never answered… 

We had started having second thoughts about the highly advertised generosity and hospitality of the Cuban People… And what if there was nothing much there, after all, to give them credit for?​

We walked to the roads of Cuba’s New Orleans, a well chosen nickname for the city which was built in 1819 by French immigrants. We admired its historical centre and the Tomas Terry Theatre.


 

We left behind Cienfuegos and moved southeast, crossing areas where small cane plantations where giving their place to pasturage. 


All locked up, was our hotel!!!

We arrived at Τrinidad early in the afternoon. While we were searching for our hotel, Hostal Rocaverde, GPS was leading us anywhere but the right direction. 
We started questioning people and a young Cuban, who happened to hear the name of the hotel offered to take us there. He got in the car with us and led us to the hotel through dusty dirt roads. We gave him 2 USA $ for the burden. ​

The hotel, awarded by TripAdvisor, was all locked up. No sign of life at all. I started giggling nervously. From the opposite side, we saw suddenly a slim Cuban to ring a bell, which we had not seen before, on the gate. He was the same man who would offer to keep an eye on our car during the night. For his services he would ask for
2 CUC~2 USA $. 

It seemed to us at that moment that all… services in Cuba have the same tariff.
In the district 2 CUC, in the capital 3 CUC. 

After a while, a rather young woman with prematurely whitened hair turned the keys in locks several times, welcomed us and led us to our room. After the necessary clarifications, about the air conditioning and the fact that it was expensive, so it would be better if we did not use it, and after offering advice about us locking definitely all the doors, she left and we took a refreshing shower, before starting our promenade to the centre of the town.


The town where time stopped!!!

Monument of Universal Heritage of Unesco, Trinidad, “the town, where the time stopped”, with its historic centre around  Plaza Mayor and the belfry of St. Francis of Assisi, which is one of the most photographed places there, is colorful, renovated and very beautiful.  


It is a town-museum which was calling us to explore it, along with the hundreds of people who visit it on a daily basis, since there are always excursions available to it.

So we walked on its roads, we admired and explored…



 

And suddenly, we met a lovely little girl along with her mother. When she smiled to us, everything around us became shinny… She posed for our cameras with the innocence of her sweet childhood and she soothed our hearts, literally.

Heat was very tiring, but the sun was creating magic shadows, making every single corner of this small town luscious with its bright light. We took photos, videos and shelfies, till time for a nice, frozen Mojito came eventually. 

And… while we were drinking it, stirring it and sinking the freshly cut spearmint into the rum, suddenly all the troubles of the day that had passed, concerning exchange, petrol and routes, sank and disappeared too.
Was it the bright sun of the island along with the smell of the cigars smoked by its habitants that contributed to the creation of such euphoria? 

Or was it, maybe, the beautiful smile that was offered generously to us by the lovely little girl who had posed for us? 

 

Country: Cuba
Date: 2016
Route: Cuba
Cities: Thessaloniki, Mexico City, Havana, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, Guardalavaca, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Havana, Havana 2, Panama City
Duration: 9
Difficulty:
Population: 11.418.197
Rating:
comments
VIEW
comments
VIEW
Country: Cuba
Date: 2016
Route: Cuba
Cities: Thessaloniki, Mexico City, Havana, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, Guardalavaca, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Havana, Havana 2, Panama City
Duration: 9
Difficulty:
Population: 11.418.197
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Cuba
Date: 2016
Route: Cuba
Cities: Thessaloniki, Mexico City, Havana, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, Guardalavaca, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Havana, Havana 2, Panama City
Duration: 9 days
Difficulty:
Population: 11.418.197
Rating:
comments
VIEW