Saturday, 23 December 2017

Havana To Trinidad

Breakfast was slated for 8am. We headed to the dining room to discover a congregation of many more Australians. They were also ready for the start of their Cuban tour but with Intrepid, Peregrine's sister company. The breakfast provided was simple but generous. There was fresh fruit, bread rolls with peach jam as well as coffee and fresh papaya juice. They also offered freshly cooked eggs to your liking.

The common area of the casa

Corridor coming off the living room where all the rooms are

We were on the second floor of a building with VERY high ceilings!

The light fitting in our room, different to the children's

We had to sit outside

As the dining room was full. Mal having a great time chatting with them

Individually served made to order eggs
In the light of the day, we could appreciate the terrible state of disrepair of the some of the once grand European style buildings in Old Havana. The old American cars that roamed the streets were just like those seen in typical photos seen depicting Cuba. It really did feel like you were stuck in a time gone by.

Yoanis and Julio picked us up at 9am sharp for our first activity, a visit to the Havana Club rum museum. Once there, we had an English-speaking guide take us around and show us the traditional Cuban process of making rum. The tour ended with a free tasting which was heaven for some in the group!

Street outside our casa

One of the very few buildings in a good condition.

Havana Club. Time for rum!

Our drive today was towards Trinidad by way of the Bay of Pigs in the Zapatan peninsula. Yoanis gave us a lesson in Cuban history with particular emphasis on the relationship with the USA, as well as a lesson in Cuban fauna! The cityscape quickly gave way to country scenery. We stopped for lunch in a small town called…Australia!! It was a simple meal of our choice of meat served with rice, salad, soup and dessert. It was tasty but not the cheapest. Cuba, in fact, generally can be pricey.
The Zapatan Peninsula is a protected swamp area and is the biggest in Latin America. It was a birdwatcher’s paradise and was home to the smallest bird in the world, the bee hummingbird! Unfortunately, we didn’t sight any. Before long we had reached the Coastline looking out towards the Bay of Pigs. We had a choice of two swimming spots. The first was the inland Cuevo de los Pesces, swimming hole that was 92m deep, or snorkel off the coast. Both waters were crystal clear but we opted to swim in the warm Caribbean waters. The hardest part of getting into the water and the transition from land to water was very sharp coral. The snorkelling however, was amazing with plenty of colourful fish to spot. We had to finish out swim to continue our drive towards Trinidad. Most of the family caught some zzzs on the bus and it was around 6pm when we finally arrived at Trinidad and checked into our casas.

Our first lunch in Cuba

We would soon learn that this was a typical meal in Cuba. Meat, rice and some veges

Cuevo de los Pesces

Bay of Pigs!

Oma and Opa shopping already

Tired people....
Our welcome dinner was a short walk away complete with live music. We got an opportunity to try some Cuban cuisine including roast pork, shredded lamb (Ropa Vieja) and of course the all important mojito (cocktails here varied in price from 1.5 to 3 CUC ie very cheap!). It was a fantastic way to end our first full day in Cuba.
Let the cocktails begin!

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