[2/10] The 6 1/2 hour bus ride from Havana to Trinidad was fairly uneventful; sleeping, listening to audio book, reading, looking out the window. It was easy enough to find our apartment once we pulled into town; about a 20 minute walk from the bus station. We were a day late and had really hoped our host hadn’t given away our room. Thankfully, she hadn’t. We had the upstairs apartment to ourselves with our own entry; living room with balcony, bedroom/bathroom with a/c, kitchen, and private stairs to the roof with views of Trinidad. This was nice.
We walked towards Plaza Mayor, the center of Trinidad, to grab some lunch. On the way we passed a tourist office and asked about “El Cabana” tour; horseback ride into the mountains followed by a hike to a waterfall and natural swimming pool. She called another tourist office and secured two spots for us with lunch. Sweet.
Plaza Mayor is very beautiful with cobblestone streets, a central plaza with benches, a lovely church, and the tower of the San Francisco de Asis Convent to the west. To the east of the plaza are stairs lined with cafe’s leading to the Casa De La Musica. It is here where hundreds of tourists flood the stairs to to get wi-fi, have drinks, and listen to live music. We needed to get away from Plaza Mayor quickly. Too crowded with tourists. 🙂
To the north and west of the plaza is where the traditional residential area’s are. This is where the people live, and tend to their horses. It seems every other Cuban in Trinidad has a horse. The houses were beautifully colored single story houses on cobblestone or dirt roads. Everyone was friendly and said “Hola” to us as we walked by. This was a real treat. We only saw 2 other tourists walking around here (the rest were on wi-fi back at the Plaza). 🙂
We continued to wander the streets around the Plaza ducking in out of cafe’s and galleries; one gallery offered $1 Mojito’s for Happy Hour. How could we refuse!?
For dinner we found an amazing restaurant called Guittara Mia. We had Paella and Cuba Libre. It was inexpensive, the decor was beautiful, the service was superb, the live music was awesome (man on guitar, woman singing), and everyone gets a free cigar after dinner. How can you beat it?
[2/11] It was time for our much anticipated horse back riding tour into the mountains! 🙂 We headed to the tour office we were told to meet at at 9am. I showed them our ticket and the lady said “Oh, you bought that at [such and such] office. The tour is at 9:30am.” [Me]-“Great! And with horses, hiking, and swimming right?”. [She]-No. No horses. Only hike and swim and lunch”. Oh boy. 😦 We were pissed!!! Turned out there was another couple from Italy who had also bought the Horse Ride tour and were equally pissed. Alas, there was nothing we could do; either go with the hiking tour, or try to get our money back (the first tour office where we bought our tickets was closed).
In the end, the hike was good (only 3km total). The swim was very nice; not too cold. Swimming under the waterfall into the cave and seeing bats flying around was the highlight. 🙂 The tour ended with a buffet lunch of rice, beans, fish, chicken, and fruits. That was nice.
We ended our day in Trinidad wandering around the streets around the Plaza; more galleries, museums, cafe’s. Although it must be said, after a certain hour, it is nearly impossible to get a coffee and dessert anywhere. Everyplace caters to eaters and drinkers!~ It was very frustrating. There is only one true cafe in Trinidad (just west of the plaza) which certainly does have amazing coffee concoctions. After another dinner at Guittara Mia (the biggest lobster we’ve ever seen!), it was to bed. Up early tomorrow for our bus ride back up to Havana.