Cuba Red-tiled roof top of Trinidad, Cuba

Published on May 14th, 2016

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CUBA: Trinidad

Ha! And YOU thought I was done blathering about Cuba. No way. Though this will be the 8th post on my visit to “The Forbidden Land”, I still have plenty of pics and oodles of memories I haven’t shared here. So let’s get on with it shall we?

Playing in the surf at Playa Larga, Cuba

Playa Larga – a sleepy little beach haven – my favorite corner of Cuba.

When last we left off, I was blissfully wiggling my toes in the sands of Playa Larga (the infamous “Bay of Pigs”) along the southern Caribbean shores of Cuba. Indeed, I always deliberately leave my itinerary freely open as I skip around a new land, rarely making any advanced reservations – precisely so as to move about as swiftly or slowly as I choose. And while I’d originally thought but a night or two at Playa Larga would be plenty (as I’ve never been much of a “beach person”), after a third night I remained reluctant to peel myself away from that idyllic beach-side corner. Nonetheless, my remaining time in Cuba was swiftly running out, and I still wanted to check out…

Yes, Trinidad.

The blue domes of the New Cathedral, Cuenca, Ecuador

But, I already live in a “gorgeous colonial town”.

Interestingly, when I was researching my Cuba itinerary (a chore that I enjoy almost as much as my trips!), Trinidad was reported by many to be an absolute “must see” – a “gorgeous colonial town” chock full of charm. O.k. great, thought I, but as I gazed at online photos of Trinidad’s cobbled streets, I couldn’t help but think “But… I already live in a wondrously beautiful colonial town with spectacular cathedrals at every turn, and cobbled streets oozing with charm.” Could Trinidad possibly be better?

Hopping on a Playa Larga bus bound for Trinidad – less than 3 hours later, I had my answer.

Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, Trinidad, Cuba

The Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

 
 

Um… nice enough, I suppose. Cobbled streets and brightly painted facades on the many tourist tiendas lining the central lanes, plus a single pretty, but alas a bit ordinary (sorry Trinidad, but compared to Cuenca, I can only be honest) iglesia in the center of the plaza.

Don’t get me wrong – definitely worth a visit, and – if you don’t happen to already live in a spectacular World Heritage site like me – I’m certain you’ll swoon at Trinidad’s many charms.
Plaza garden, Trinidad, Cuba

Hand crocheted scarf, Trinidad, Cuba

My hand crocheted souvenir scarf.

 
And I did find plenty to do there including grabbing a geocache (natch), (uncharacteristically) tossing down multiple icy mojitos every night at a tiny stand along the curb (I mean, at a mere $1 each for a cup of minty rum goodness – wouldn’t you?), buying a requisite souvenir scarf (hand crocheted in a riot of delicious color), and holding the hand of my travel chum from Playa Larga as she got her first ever tattoo.

Getting a tattoo in Trinidad, Cuba

Her first ever TATTOO!

Geocaching in Trinidad, Cuba

My Scottish travel chum pawing through the geocache goodies.

Trinidad-Cuba 8 Posts on my adventures in Cuba

I also snagged some great air-conditioned (of course) digs (negotiated) for $20/nt. including a humongous breakfast each morning on the rooftop patio. I should add – this, after first checking out a casa particular that my Scottish travel chum (who I’d met at Playa Larga) had arranged in advance (based on a year-old newspaper article).

Uh, what the newspaper dubbed a “charming” room turned out to be a dark, stuffy cubicle up a rickety staircase, with NO.AIR.CONDITIONING, on the opposite side of town, far from Trinidad’s main attractions, and MORE expensive than the digs I found on the fly, within 15 minutes of arrival.

In short: yet another example of “I wanna SEE where I’m going to sleep, before I commit to sleeping there, thankyouerymuch!” And while the place I found for myself didn’t have a 2nd room available, I was able (in less than another 5 minutes) to snag a fine room nearby for my travel chum.

My casa particular in Trinidad, Cuba

My digs in Trinidad. This is what you get when you grab your accommodations on-the-fly.

 

And I enjoyed a full day choo-chooing my way into the countryside on the “Valle de los Ingenios” (Valley of the Sugar Mills) steam train:

Click on the bitty arrows icon on the lower right to view an enlarged slideshow.

 

And finally – a bountiful potpourri of pics I snapped as I wandered about Trinidad:

Click on any image to view an enlarged slideshow.

 

But as my Cuba departure flight loomed ever nearer, after 3 nights in Trinidad, I still had one more corner of Cuba up my sleeve. Nearby Playa Boca was said to be more off-the-beaten path (less touristy, more tranquil), plus I wanted to take a peek at the beach at Playa Ancón.

So stay tuned for (at least) one more tale here on my many adventures in Cuba.

See? I TOLD I wasn’t even near done with blathering about Cuba!


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!



2 Responses to CUBA: Trinidad

  1. We’d checked out the US approved Visas tours for Cuba a couple of years ago (when we were in that part of the world) and thought they were a huge scam as well as outrageously expensive. And while we’ve known there were ways to get around the prohibited travel to Cuba for US citizens we still haven’t done it. Eventually, as the restrictions ease even more we’ll make it but, for now, I’m loving your Cuban adventures!

    • Dyanne says:

      Yup, the “People-to-People” licensed tours – no doubt a gubberment contract thing.

      But actually, it’s not a matter of “getting around” the prohibited travel for U.S. citizens. Even though we can now travel independently to Cuba (i.e. under the recent “independent license” thing) it is technically still illegal for Yanks to travel there – unless you meet one of the 12 (quite stringent) “authorized” categories. And I might add – none of which involves wiggling toes in the sands at Playa Larga.

      That said however – my research (not to mention common sense) confirms that such convoluted restriction are seldom/impossible to be enforced when re-entering your U.S. native land with “the scarlet letter” in your passport. Nonetheless, each of us must determine just how renegade we’re willing to be.

      Me? Cuban immigration actually gave me the choice of stamping a separate slip of paper or my navy blue U.S. passport. I hesitated for but a nanosecond, and nodded towards my passport, please!

      And something tells me… I’m not likely to end up in a cell on Riker’s Island (for daring to snub my nose at a 56 yr. old spat between my behemoth native land and a tiny island off the coast of Florida) anytime soon. 😉

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