!! 6 long waiting hours !! Neither one more nor one less ... until we have the car keys in hand (200 CUC deposit returned to us on return, 137.25 CUC second driver, full and secure deposit in addition to what has already been previously paid) that we had previously hired from Spain as we put you in the PREPARATIONS. Why so much wait?
And here the time passes VERYYYYY VERYYYYY SLOW !! A few phone calls from the hotel (3.75 CUC), a couple of beers (our first BUCANERO and CRISTAL -5CUC-) and heading to Santa Clara.CAR RENTAL IN CUBA (UPDATE):
On the date of our trip it was not possible to book a car in Cuba (and currently comparators still do not work as in other countries). However, for all inquiries that come to us (which are many) seeking the security of having a car upon arrival and after the good experience of Isaac's parents, we recommend Book online previously one of the economic range of EnjoyCuba because they also have a wide range of vehicles to guarantee your reservation. + All information explained in
Before, with our Transtours agent at the Hotel, we booked a scheduled excursion (the only one we will do on the trip) to go to Cayo Largo on DAY 6 and so introduce ourselves that day at Varadero Airport.
Meanwhile, they explain the Cuban artichoke diet, consisting of 3 ingredients basically by which Cubans keep that stylized line: tobacco, rum and women. Good policyhehehe
At noon, after a beer, we checkout at Mercure Sevilla (ARTICLE IN CHAVETAS WITH ALL THE DETAILS HERE) and we set sail for Santa Clara. The inner part of Cuba awaits us and begins to surprise us since we take the car. Driving is very easy. The "eight ways" They are almost for us even though… we did not stop dodging antipersonnel mines, !!! SOCAVONES MENUDOS that there was all over the highway!
Of course, we do not stop making coffee on the entire highway. And it is that the sense of Cuban circulation is totally invertomile, from horses along the "8 tracks", a level crossing, cars that cross the medium as if it were a city, people who sell garlic and onions throwing themselves on top even if you went to 110 ( by the way, we made good purchases of nougat -1CUC- to kill hunger). The fact is that I think that no one wins a cafe, and after a couple of turns to take a gas station (14.05 CUC), go in the opposite direction by the highway next door and some more "light" (-37 points in Spain if we count the beer while driving), we already feel totally adapted, hehe.
We arrived to Santa Clara in about 3 hours (270 km) and we stop to see its main attraction, the Mausoleum of Che, a commemorative statue ... forced to pass
From here we begin to feel our true journey. 95 km separated us from Trinidad, our goal of the day. Almost unintentionally we began to enter a small road between the mountains which led us to the poorest interior of Cuba. Constructions of very small farmers, of wood, almost demolished some of them, "güajiros" on all sides, but that did not prevent people from being very pleasant and the houses seemed to have a very good atmosphere. In fact, on the way we took 3 people who were telling us stories on the way to Manicaragua, because here the means of transport is the finger, what they call doing "BOTTLE", an unrepeatable experience. !! We will repeat it!
He was already missing ... but we did ... we stopped to buy a roncete for the road (3 CUC), which was already done at night, and some tobacco (0.35 CUC). We also go through a kind of camp where we swell to distribute candy to children.
Night fell between the mountains by Collantes Cap until we are completely alone on a bumpy road and steep slopes, but I think one of the best experiences we will find in all of Cuba. Without light anywhere, the moon was our only guide. The feeling of loneliness was such that we had to stop breathing it, far from our destiny. We got out of the car and spent a while breathing that open-mouthed nature of what a virgin nature of such a place can hold. It is impossible to describe the feelings. From now on, tobacco and rum (and a little help from the "moon") took us to Trinidad, but the body was in another dimension. What a peace. And that seems to be that there are esoteric legends of the night of Tope de Collantes that we would find out later ...THE MYSTICISM OF BUMPER STOPS:
Tope de Collantes is one of the great Natural Reserves of Cuba, belonging to the mountains of Escambray. Caves, rivers, ravines or natural pools share space with the most important animal species in the country.
But Tope de Collantes is full of legends and mysticism. In fact they had told us that we couldn't even think of being there at dusk. It is said that there have been few who spent the night in a cave or rock formation in the area, after lighting the fire, they could live in their flesh visions of strange phenomena, faces in the smoke of the logs and profiles of old. Many anthropologists tell a multitude of anecdotes of their archaeological expeditions to the place ...
Trinity. !! TRAVELABLE !! A picturesque town of cobbled streets stuck to the coast, old houses, cars from another era ... It seems that we would have gone back 80 years in history. What has led us to Trinidad? The truth is that it is a destination that we would not have chosen if it had not been after reading our colleagues on the internet forums.
We went directly to the private house (Casa Milagros) that we had previously looked at and sent us (with the excuse of the relative who has arrived from Germany - it seems to be very typical) - to the Carlos House (ARTICLE IN CHAVETAS WITH ALL THE DETAILS HERE) (25 CUC) of unsurpassed treatment, absolute privacy and great appearance. A Cuban family that adopted us since we arrived. A copious dinner (10 CUC each with "shrimp", rice, noodles, dessert and 1 CUC a can of lemon), a good conversation, a relaxing shower ... and we still had energy to go to the House of Music. Ambience no ... !! Ambientazo !!
There is a feeling almost impossible to explain. And it was not the effect of alcohol. Was to enter The House of La Trova, we sat at one of the few tables that was free and our song of the trip began to sound (5 Cubans playing "Chan Chan" by Combay Segundo a few meters from us). The mojitos arrive (5 CUC both) and we are still listening to that. That was when we thought we were adapted when a new surprise left us amazed. We were sitting in a room, having a mojito with a band of Cuban musicians and there was no roof on us… we were outdoors !!! It took us 1 hour to realize. It is difficult to convey the sensation with words but it is something more than what we are explaining and what we are used to in Spain. Surely more than one will be thinking "how good that rum, go couple of keys" to say this, but you had to feel that moment ...
The night continued in The House of Music (with Juve talking to a mobile guy?) and we ended up in a discotheque also in the open sky and entering the house at 6 in the morning (52 CUC cubatas, mojitos, lemon cans, disco entrance, etc ...) ... we mounted such a fuss that he went to the landlord to see if something happened. !! If we are some coffees!
Well, we leave you, and although I don't think we will ever be able to explain the accumulation of feelings we have experienced today, we know that a little bit has come to you.
Juve and Isaac, from Trinidad (Cuba)
EXPENSES DAY: 264.75 CUC (approx 190.47 €)