After a short 1.5 hour drive to Trinidad through lush valleys and hills, we managed to get right into the heart of town only one-half block from my Casa, and the owner of my Casa was standing at the corner when we stopped to ask someone where the Casa was! How bizarre is that!!?? Perfect! Thanked the Austrian couple for the ride and they headed for their Casa, while I followed the owner to my Casa.
This Casa is the nicest one I’ve been in yet, and only 25 CUC! My room has an elegant air, they have an upstairs outdoor sitting area on one level, and above that a top level with even superior commanding views. And they’re very kind people, very helpful, as most ALL the Cubans I’ve met have been. Their Casa name is Hostal Pujol and Family, and I highly recommend them! They’re also in a fantastic location to the main sights and attractions of Trinidad – within a few blocks of everything!
After settling into my room I went out to learn where the local bus to the beach picks up people in the morning, then on to the Viazul bus terminal to purchase a ticket two days out for Santa Clara (if you don’t purchase your tickets a few days ahead the bus may be full on your desired day of departure), and then headed up toward the heart of Trinidad. Along that relatively short walking route I passed an entertainment center focused on the Beatles – WOW! it was called the Beatles Disco Bar!
The center of Trinidad has a park, Museum, nearby churches and terraced steps near restaurants where you can access wi-fi and live music performances in the evening.
After checking wi-fi at the terraced steps and getting a bite to eat, I headed over to the nearby Museo and climbed the tight circular staircase to the top for the stunning 360 degree views of the entire Trinidad area.
Later that night the terraced step area had an amazing Salsa band onstage – great music and lots of people up dancing.
Next morning caught the 9 a.m. bus to the nearby Playa Alcon. It’s a beautiful white sandy beach but so utterly tourista – everyone started drinking right away or heading off with the snorkeling/scuba diving expeditions that were leaving every half hour. I lay in the sun awhile, walked a little on the beach, but the entire tourism thing was repulsing me. Every time you turned around or even so much as blinked someone was trying to sell you something or get money from you somehow, someway. I’M the one that needed money, dammit! Guess my stress wasn’t helping.
I didn’t stay long enough to catch the 3:30 bus back to Trinidad – headed back a bit earlier with a young Belgian couple in their rental car. Walked to an early afternoon dinner at a lovely little restaurant recommended by Trip Advisor. It was already so busy I was lucky to get the last table available. The next couple in line were looking at me so I offered to share my table with them, and they accepted. They’re two young tour guides from Serbia! Lovely souls, excellent English, and very interesting! During our conversation I shared with them my need to get money sent to me, and the man took his cell phone out and located the Western Union in Santa Clara (my next destination). He explained how he receives money through Western Union and it’s no problem for him at all. My hopes to finish my trip as planned (instead of leaving the country early) began to return.
That night I walked up to the terraced steps to email my brother in Seattle to ask him if he would be able to send me a loan through Western Union. My email sounded almost like a scam but I couldn’t think of any other way to write it at that moment – I was feeling slightly desperate! A few hours later when I returned to the terraced steps to check email again, there was an email response from my Bro! He’s a smart cookie – while he said he would do it, he also said it sounded like a scam and he proceeded to ask me a question that only I would know the answer to. I answered immediately giving WAY more info than he had asked for, just so he would know with absolute certainty that I really was his one and only Sis.
Back at my Casa, the owner made a reservation for me in Santa Clara, I paid the bill, packed up my bags and prepared to get a good nights sleep for an early morning departure. I was beginning to enjoy my trip again, feeling almost totally relieved and stress-free… that was a bit premature, as it turned out…craziness was lurking in even the best laid plans, as I was soon to discover!