25/04/2013 - 27/04/2013
We left Trinidad the same way we arrived - by bus. At the bus station I needed the toilet. Alas, using public toilets in Cuba is a bit of a pain. They tend to be watched over by a toilet guardian who holds the toilet paper and will dispense a small amount to you in order to gain monetary reward. Because of this I'd carry my own supply around and thus avoid having to pay to wee. However, on this occasion, after I'd shown her I didn't need paper and I'd successfully made it past her and used the facilities, she still came into the bathroom as I was washing my hands and seemed to be demanding money regardless. I literally had no money on me, which I tried to convey and was able to then make my escape. But yes, using public toilets in Cuba is best avoided as much as possible. Even aside from the toilet guardians, there generally won't be a toilet seat, plus the doors are barely big enough to provide adequate cover and don't always lock. To then have to pay for the privilege seems a bit much.
Anyway, the journey to Santa Clara was about 3 hours and all fine. Again we were met at the station, though this time by a couple with a taxi and not the casa owner himself. They weren't displaying my name very prominently and didn't realise they were waiting for a couple, so it took us a few minutes to find them. We stayed at La Casona Jover and were met there by the owner Dennis. It was a really nice place and very different again to the previous 2 casas. It's an old colonial house, with high ceilings and such like. There was also work under way to merge it with the neighbouring house and add a fancy courtyard and possibly a small pool. We had dinner there on the first night and I went for the chicken fricassee. There must have been the equivalent of a whole chicken on my plate! I ate as much as I could, but there was still a large meal's worth left on my plate.
We only had the one full day in Santa Clara as there's not a huge amount of touristy things to do. The main thing we did was go to the Che Guevara memorial. There's the external monument, plus an internal memorial (with the eternal flame), as well as a small museum. All very tastefully done and all free! For dinner that evening, we ended up in a random pizza place, just because there were other people in it. It was decent enough, though my beer was so cold it had ice crystals in it!
The only negative aspect to our time in Santa Clara was when we were feasted on by mosquitoes as we slept. We were generally really good at keeping ourselves doused in spray, but we'd been a little lax that evening and sadly paid the consequence.
The Che Guevara memorial: