CUBA – TRINIDAD
CUBA WEEK 1:Thursday December 8 – Saturday December 10, 2016
We’ve only been in Cuba for 2 days and already seem to have spent an awful lot of time queuing – bus tickets, internet cards, bank, ATM. The bureaucratic inefficiencies are mind boggling.
In Santa Clara we were pleased that we arrived 2 hours before our bus departure as the booking office had a huge line. Even though we booked our tickets days earlier we had to lineup again to pay for them. Over an hour in line with only one person at a time allowed into the ticket masters office.
The government bus line for tourists – Viazul was comfortable enough for the 3 hour bus trip to Trinidad. The countryside we passed on the way was unremarkable being dominated by sugar cane farms. It was only as we started to approach Trinidad that scenery improved somewhat with ocean on one side and a mountain range in the distance.
From the bus station, we avoided the touts offering taxis and/or accommodation and found a place we both liked in a large Spanish colonial house run by Marcella and husband.
Accommodation settled we tried the Trinidad office of ETECSA for an internet card. Their office in Santa Clara had run out of internet acess cards. This time there was no line to get to the door, but the door guard informed us that no cards can be sold as their system was down so the cards cannot be ‘activated’. I protested the cards do not need their system to be activated as we had a phone, but she kept shaking her head … no no no… try mañana! We have given up and refuse to buy a card from the guys in the park offering them.
Apart from many frustrations dealing with ‘officials’ we liked the feel of this town. As we walked around there is an easy languid feel to the streetscape. Everyone seems relaxed and no one is in a hurry. Even the touts offering taxis on every corner are not overly pushy. The town is UNESCO listed for its colonial era architecture. The listing has resulted in some money being invested in building restoration works. Wonderful city parks with musicians appearing spontaneously and playing for as long as anyone is around to listen.