22/04/2013 - 25/04/2013
On the Monday morning we got a taxi to the bus station and then a bus from Havana to Trinidad. It was about a 6 hour journey. At the bus station in Trinidad we were greeted by a big crowd of people blocking the exit and waving signs and photos in our faces. Some of them were waiting to greet specific people, but the others were trying to get people to stay at their Casas. Thankfully I spotted my name on a sign and we were able to break through the crowd and meet up with Javier. I was quite excited - I'd always wanted to see my name held up on a sign!
We were staying at Hostal Javier. It was just a short walk from the bus station. Our room had its own private entrance, as well as a dining table, TV, fridge stocked with drinks (not free drinks, but cheap) and ensuite. We could also access a covered courtyard area where we could have meals. On our arrival, Javier sat us down and gave us a map of Trinidad and told us all about the various sights in the area, which was really useful. There was also a Lonely Planet we got to use while we were there.
Breakfast and Dinner were both available at the Casa, so we bought both. Breakfast was basically the same as at the previous Casa, except the fruit was in larger pieces and the omelette came with random green beans. It was slightly more expensive and the coffee wasn't as nice, though I did prefer the omelette. Dinner was good value for the amount you got, plus it was really good - definitely the best meals we had in Cuba. Jamie got a variety of veggie meals and I got to try some new meats. On the first night I had African Pork, which was really nice. On the second night I knew I was having meat cooked in a traditional Cuban way, but I didn't know what the meat actually was. It was like a stew or casserole type thing, really nice, tender meat. I tried to place it from the taste and was torn between lamb and beef. Turned out it was antelope! Definitely recommended. Then on the last night I had buffalo. That was nice too, but a little tough.
Trinidad's a pretty small place, divided into the old town and the new town. Weirdly the new town seemed quite run down and not so nice, whereas the old town seemed quite well maintained and had a lot of charm. It's obvious that they're reliant on tourism though - almost every building seemed to be either a Casa or a restaurant..
The Old Town:
During our time in Trinidad, we walked all over the town itself, plus spent an afternoon at the beach. In the evenings there's always live music and salsa dancing going on in the old town, so we went there for drinks on a couple of evenings. On one of the evenings we were also befriended by 4 stray dogs that decided to form some kind of protective barrier around us. The sausage dog was very cute and it took a lot of restraint to avoid making contact in case of disease. If we'd been in Trinidad a bit longer and if it hadn't been so unbearably hot, it would have been nice to have checked out the National Park and the waterfalls, but it's always nice to have a good excuse to return.