Could Do More Than I Did
06.02.2015 - 07.03.2015
There is more to see and do in Trinidad, Cuba than what I experienced.
I am not complaining, just commenting that one could spend more time here than I did.
This is the stop where we stayed in the privately owned particular (bed and breakfast). You can see more photos and a description of that in the blog posting "Put Your Head on a Pillow."
I caused a bit of confusion that night.
While on the tour bus, our guide read off our names with the name of the our particular host. Then we all clambered off the bus to clusters of waiting Cubans.
No one said anything to anyone. Our guides did not seem to be making any further attempts at connecting us.
I walked around saying, "mi llama Paula. Tu llama Conchita?"
I don't even know if that is remotely correct grammar.
Various people pointed toward a trio of waiting hosts.
I walked over and asked, "Conchita?"
"Si, Si," was the reply as the other two women who were supposed to stay at Conshita's joined me.Then they herded us along the unlit, cobblestone streets for about a mile.
None of the hosts spoke English. None of the guests spoke Spanish.
Although we had been told we would have a trek to our hosts' homes, one in my group loudly complained the entire way about having to walk. It was NOT I.
We arrived at a very large home with central plaza and many guest rooms. I had a very large single room. The other two women shared a room.
There were still some complaints from my co-travelers. The hosts were busy cooking and trying to make us comfortable.
Suddenly, one of the guides appeared at the home with five other members of our tour.
We had come to the wrong particular. This was not Conchita's. It was Maria's.
My complaining co-traveler threw a fit. She refused to move. "We all asked the name. They should have not said Si, Si. I am not moving from here."
Fortunately, it was a large guest house. They had enough rooms to keep her there.
I gladly went to where I was supposed to stay and was joined by two other group members who shared double occupancy. We never did quite figure out where they were supposed to be.
Lo and behold if one of those ladies didn't cause another hullabaloo the next day.
Our host gave us a map and showed us how to walk to the Plaza Major. He said if we returned by 10 AM, we would have time to view the ceramics factory and still walk to meet our tour bus by 11.
We started down the cobblestone streets.
Two of us wanted to take our time, get some good photos, and see the sites. Maybe even talk to one or two people.
One of the ladies was determined to get to the plaza by 9 AM. She walked quickly and never looked back as the two of us ambled. At some point we lost sight of her. We were a little worried about her, but figured we would meet up in the plaza.
Eventually, we did meet up. It was approaching 9:30.
She was in a snit and wanted to get back before 10 AM, so started to return to the particular. She could not get adjusted to "Cuban time" or a leisurely vacation.
I ran after her asking if she knew where to go because I had the map.
She replied, "Of course. I am going up this street and turn left."
I gave her the business card for our particular so she at least had the information if she needed to ask someone for directions.
The other co-traveler and I did some shopping and took more photos.
Then we started walking back to the particular. About 1/3 of the way home, we see our host coming towards us. "Where is (not to be named co-traveler)?" he asked. "I have phone call from plaza. They tell me she cannot find way."
We kept on our merry way home.
Eventually, we were all reunited.
These two episodes illustrate occurrences with group travel:
- It was never mentioned that she had been lost. Several days later when I referenced it, she said "I think you are making a pun." (pun??????)
- I had a reputation in the group for taking off on my own to explore - I never got lost, but I sure would have made a good story out of it if I had!
- The "complain about walking" member frequently took off on long walks without the group - she just didn't want to do it when it was not her idea.
Some members of our tour stayed in parcticulars closer to the plaza. After dinner they walked down and watched almost the entire town come out for music and dancing in the street. I am sorry I missed that.
Trinidad has many galleries, craft vendors, and souvenir shops.
They also have museums - none of which I found the time to visit.
Trinidad has a visitors' bureau with information and tours available in English. It is close to some of the beach resort areas, so has been developing the tourist trade over the past few years.
Here, you seem to be able to see the obvious difference between the areas where tourist income has made a difference and where it has not.
Trinidad has been known for ceramics production for many years.
The large government-owned factory that makes the urns in the public square was closed for the day.
We did visit a workshop that received many awards from Fidel. It is now a privately owned company that employs several people and pays taxes. It is on the tourist route. Watch this home video by a Rumanian tourist to get a complete picture of the workshop.
We also had a fine lunch.
Many of the paladors use clever ways to identify the Senor and Senora toilets. (They usually don't supply tissue however.)
This was one of our favorites.