Entonces, after a long ride on the bus, we finally got to Cienfuegos. At the bus station, people started jumping on us offering accommodation straight away, they would push and drag you by the hand, even though you are trying to get your luggage off the bus. After questioning what were the prices around this town, I called the number of a recommended casa and made a deal to stay there cheap. I wouldn’t recommend staying at any recommended casas – if you shop around you can find really nice casas, for a good price and with good friendly people. The place we stayed at was ok, but nothing to brag about.
The city itself is really pretty and clean. It has a strong European feel to it. It’s nice and there are plenty of places to eat or have a drink, but except for that there isn’t much to do. Every day we were there we were so tired, we didn’t check out the night life, but LP promises it to be good. We went to the very south of the city, where most of the houses overlook the bay, which isn’t that pretty to be honest. Most of the casas there are a lot more expensive and fancy. We found a yacht club, where we tried to meet some sailors, since we didn’t have flights out of Cuba – why not try to sail away? We didn’t see many people there except for the massive group of Indian students who were celebrating something, possibly medical graduation – pretty spectacular…and we met our kiwi friends, Adam and Sophie, who were our travel companions for the rest of our stay and taught us a great card game – dirty bird. 🙂 That night we had a few drinks and on the way home decided to call into a local beer hole for a cheeky last beer. That’s where we made friends with one cunning Cuban who was trying to get me to marry him first for $5000, then the price went down to $500. Curly didn’t manage to get rid of me that night!…
After enjoying a special vibe in Cienfuegos, we decided not to waist our time here anymore and move on to Trinidad. We got met at the bus station by casa hustlers and after making a pretty good deal went with them. The city of Trinidad is second popular for tourists after Havana. It is a very photogenic and colourful city. A lot of very beautiful craftsmanship is being sold on the streets. Lots of old fancy cars and even people are posing for you to take a good shot. Similar to Cienfuegos, there isn’t much to do except for eat and drink, but just outside the city there is a famous beach Playa Ancon. We went there for a day. Absolutely incredibly nothing special worth mentioning. Just a beach with relatively white sand and blue water. Zero visibility for snorkelling.
We had a good time with our new friends, just chilling and enjoying mojitos and a live gig of salsa on the main square, but it’s time to move on and we went to Playa Larga for some more beach times.
In Playa Larga we found ourselves a casa and spent a whole day diving in the bay of pigs, which was excellent. Me and Curly went for a cave dive, which is a very different experience from any other dive I have ever done. The underwater cave was quite deep and completely dark. It is a little bit disorientating to go with a torch, but eventually body and eyes adjust. After the cave we went out in the bay, because we had a lot of air left. The bay is very nice there, a lot of coral and fish, which we got to feed bread to, which became an awesome frenzy, with some fish eating right out of our hands.
Next day by the recommendation of Lonely Planet we went to Caleta Buena, where snorkelling promised to be good, but the main thing was a 14CUC entry into an all inclusive resort kind of thing. So it was a little bit of snorkelling (which was average) and a lot of eating and drinking. Especially drinking. On the way there our guagua went on the road smashing thousands of crabs. Poor things have one or two days a year, when they come out from the woods down to the beach to mate (lay eggs?) and a lot of them just hang out on the road for some reason, obviously getting smashed by fast going cars and buses. Crazy amounts of crabs – such a pity!
Anyhow by the time we got back home our boys were in a pretty ‘good’ condition. Then it started to rain, then we started to dance and run around the village in our swim wear, that way we made friends with our neighbours and other locals. Curly was trying to steal a bicitaxi, for that he got punished and the owner made him pedal to the next village to get some more ron. Fun times…
Next day our kiwi friends left for Havana and we caught up with them the day after. Couple more days we stayed with Ernesto and then early morning flight to…Nicaragua!