Nice Colonial Town by the Mountains

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Flag of Cuba  , Sancti Spíritus,
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 1 - Arrival, Town
Had someone waiting for me with a sign at the bus station and good a rickshaw to the casa. Ended up being a bit anoyed when I had to pay the rickshaw driver who was a friend of the casa owner. Had I known this I would have walked from the bus station since I new where the casa was on my map and didnt have far to walk to get there.

Casa had a lot of character and a really nice room with a fridge and on suite. Once again thought I wouldnt eat in the casa and would instead try finding somewhere around town instead.

Still had some time left in the day so went for a bit of a wander around town. Looked like a nice place to wander around in. Came across some kids at one end of the town playing baseball which seems to be a popular sport in Cuba. Most cities seem to have there own team and usually see kids playing it in the streets with the most popular version involving a stick and drink cap. Guess this is cheap and just as importantly when you hit the cap, even really hard, it doesnt fly to far through the air.

Day 2 - Topes de Collantes (Parque Guanayara), Casa de Musica
Ended up being told this morning that I couldnt stay the extra 2 nights since the lady already had a previous reservation. Found it interesting and annoying that this hadnt been mentioned the night before. At a guess I would have to say that I was getting moved on because I was not buying dinner and the people who had made the reservation were and so would make the owner more money so got preference over me.

Left my bag at the casa and headed for the tour truck. Guess it was a truck so that it could cover the rough terrain we were covering. Had a nice ride out to the pak with some good views back towards the city. Lots of hills and lots of trees with a few homes dotted around here and there.

Got to the trail head and had a nice walk through the forest to the first stop which was a waterfall . Found the guide to be funny as well as providing some interesting information about the park and forest. Falls were nice enough if a bit small.

Kept walking on from here and wandered through a large patch of bamboo before reaching the water hole you could swim in. Only a few people jumped in for a swim with me being one of them. The water was definately chilly. Ended up pulling myself up the small waterfall using a nearby to take in the view from the top. I then jumped the 3-4m from the top back into the water.

After a short swim continued walking and along the way passed a termite nest before reaching the place we were stopping for lunch. Had chicken for lunch and after a short walk to the truck we were back on the road.

Next stop was a coffee planation where we got a discussion on roasting beans and were able to buy some coffee if we wanted to. We then continued on to our final stop which was a scenic lookout point. This spot we had passed earlier in the day and after a walking up a small hill we had some nice views of Trinidad and the nearby coastline.

On the way back to Trinidad once again saw how locals travel. In this case it was in the back of a trailer attached to a tractor. Guess cars are expensive so most people dont have one. As a result, those that have some sort of vehicle make a few dollars by offering rides on the back of them.

Upon getting back to Trinidad had to first go and change casas. Had been earlier offered a guide to another place which I decided to take since I had a tour and didnt feel like walking around to look for another casa. Place was just one street away and while the room was not quite as nice, the family living there seemed nicer than the old lady who had kicked me out. Given breakfast was included and dinner was cheap I'm guessing that the room normall went for 5 CUC less and I was getting a cheaper rate on food due to the fact I was paying the same roon rate as the place I was leaving.

Went for a wander around town and came across a few horses and donkeys in the streets. Also a whole bunch of tourists around the place. since it was late in the day ended up heading towards Casa La Musica where I had a beer, listened to band and watched the Salsa dancing. Found that as time went by, the steps beneath were I was sitting filled up with people. Both local and tourist. Given the number of people here it semmed that this was a popular thing to do in town. Ended up staying only an hour or so since it was getting cold and I only had a t-shirt.

Day 3 - Museums, Cerro de la Vigia, Churches, Town Streets, Salsa, Casa la Trova
Spent the day wandering around town and through some of the old houses that were open to tourists. Lots of antiques around the place.

Decided  to get a better view of town so headed up the hill located behind the cathedral. Once again came across kids playing baseball. Had some nice views of the town on my way up the hill.

At the top found a TV Tower that was fenced in. Also found that some guy (assumming it was the security guard) was trying to make some extra money by fencing off the back part of the hill surrounding the tower. While the tower had a big sturdy fency, the bits of chicken wire fence erected next to looked tacked on. When I approached the fence the guy was saying you couldnt enter and had to pay him if you wanted to go further. Security reasons.
While on one side the fence extended to the cliff edge, on the other side it didnt have a cliff edge to extend to. Ended up wandering around the other side of the fence without even noticing the fence at first. Luckily the guy was busy with another couple on the other side of the fence and didnt notice me.

Ended up walking around the fenced off tower for some nice views of the valley and mountains behind the hill. Also watched the birds gliding above the valley floor for a while before heading back down the hill towards the town.

Had lunch in a small restuarant where a band walked in played a couple of songs then wandered around collecting money. Decided that this must be busking Cuban style. Rather than do it on the street you walk around the various bars and restuarants and do it there before moving on to the next place. Guess the nice thing is that it can set a nice atmosphere for the place but unlike when I first arrived I no longer feel a need to give away some money just because someone decided to come into a place and play something.

Spent the rest of the day just wandering around the town and ended up in Casa la Musica where I decided to take a couple of salsa lession. Stuff I was doing was pretty much the same as I had done in the Salsa classes I had once taken before my Thursday Karate class.

Headed back to the casa for dinner which ended up being a really nice red bean soup and fish in a galic and butter sauce

Ended the day once again visiting the steps outside casa la Musica as well as wandering into Casa La Trova for the music that was playing there. Had hoped for more classical Trova sing at Casa La Trova but unfortunately ended up being more salsa style then Classic Trova.

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