So in the previous entry Cory and Elaine shared some thoughts on Cuba and how tourists are treated differently from nationals. For tourists that go to Cuba and only stay in a resort I don’t think they get an actual feel for the Cuban people. We spent our next day after all our chores were finished heading off to Playa Ancon. Here there is yet another beach. For a small fee we are able to use all the facilities at an all inclusive resort for the day. The food was much better than in Cayo Largo, but vegetables still seem to be sadly missing.
After Cory and Elaine had had enough time on the beach they headed to the pool and a little bit of shade under one of the pools palapas. It didn’t take long and those afternoon clouds that were becoming so familiar to them started filling the sky. At first a few raindrops didn’t bother them and while everyone scurried for cover, they stayed in place. By the time they realized it wasn’t letting up and they had to brave the rain, they headed indoors. It is a good thing that it was warm, and even though they had showered that morning they took advantage of the water pressure which was higher than they had been experiencing in the casas to have a quick rinse.
The casa in Trinidad was absolutely huge and the patio was amazing. After three nights here it was time to head to another spot.
We headed to the bus station early one morning to hop on the bus to Santa Clara. Our hosts in Trinidad had phoned ahead for us, and we were going to be met by friends of theirs at the bus station. Casas are big business in Cuba and when you first get off the bus, people offering you a place to stay surround you. Some are quite professional and have fold out board displays with pictures of their casas. Others have business cards, and others are just in your face.
Alberto met us and he had already prearranged a cab for us. He jumped on his motorcycle after giving the cab driver the address, and we met up at his house.
Once again this is a truly amazing house. We did a double take when we saw a flat screen TV. The room we were in was huge with extremely high ceilings and we had a private bathroom. The whole house was like a movie set out of the 1920’s. The bathroom even had a bidet (which didn’t work and doesn’t look like its worked for 50 years) An offer at the casas is breakfast and dinner for an additional fee. We are so very glad that we ate both of those meals at this casa because we are convinced that Alberto is a professional chef. Our choices for dinner were lobster, chicken or pork. For the first night Elaine ordered lobster and Cory ordered chicken, which they shared. The second night was pork, and the final night they reversed the first night. By the third night they were comfortable enough to ask Alberto what he made his soup out of. It was a simple vegetable soup that was absolutely amazing. Lobster dinner was expensive at $10 Cucs (for a two pound lobster) and the chicken and pork were $8 Cucs. Not only did it come with soup, there was bread, a salad plate and a plate of fruit.
As we have mentioned in some of our previous photos Ernesto Che Guevera’s image is everywhere in Cuba. It is in Santa Clara that Che first proved himself when he and his band of 18 stopped the Batista army of 350 soldiers by derailing the train. Cory and Elaine are still undecided if this man is hero or villain. Most people in the world (not the USA) hail him as a hero, and certainly the recent motorcyle diaries portray him as altruistic. We are not convinced. Further investigation would be necessary to come up with a conclusive decision.
The Che Guevera museum is in Santa Clara and it is here that his body now rests. He was executed in Bolivia and for years his body and those of his fellow soldiers lay in an unmarked grave.
After three days we were ready to move again. This time our destination was Varadero. Yes, we had finally had enough of the differences between nationals and tourists, so we were ready to just be tourists. A cab met us at 6:45 to take us to the bus station for our 7:20 bus.