The bus which is very comfy, leaves at 7am for a 7-9 hour drive to Trinidad. It makes a few stops along the way and we meet some of our fellow travellers. Mostly from Europe and in particular many seem to be from France.
Travel through the country side delivers two main findings. One, there is NOTHING in the way of poverty comparable to what we know in Nicaragua. Given our interest in low cost housing, we are particularly attentive to the quality of such home and are amazed to see the high standards of houses, either in villages, urban areas or country side. In all cases we saw homes that had good roofs, no dirt floors, no makeshift rusted zinc panels used to patch broken walls together and no out houses!
The other observation is that there is a healthy dose of road side subliminal (and not so subliminal) propaganda messaging about socialism, imperialism and the duties of hard working Cubans in advancing Che Guevarra’s ideals. Here is a sampling of our favorite billboards which we were able to capture from the bus.
Along the way, we share a bridge with Cuban cowboys and their herd…
When the bus arrives in Trinidad it’s a bit of a mob scene with people pushing cards of various houses with rooms for rent, for which they get a commission if they find and send someone. For our first night Ishmael (who drove us to the beach in Vinales), has contacted a family that has a Casa Particular and they have sent a “taxi” which is actually a bicycle with a two seater behind on which we put our bags and off we go. This particular casa turns out to be next to a bus terminal and is rather noisy. Next day we walk around and select the perfect casa – a house which has a lovely room above the house with its own grapevine covered patio and view towards the ancient church for $20. It’s a house that houses four generations of a family – whom we see each time we leave or come back as we walk through their sala, kitchen to the stairs to our little room.