Ross´s first long bus ride

Trip Start May 01, 2008
Trip End May 11, 2008

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Flag of Cuba  ,
Saturday, May 3, 2008

Today is Rossīs first long-ass bus-ride.  Itīs six hours from Havana to Trinidad! 

We started our day with coffee at the Plaza Vieja after breakfast at our casa.  The plaza is undergoing a major renovation, and it looks like it might end up being the center for tourism in old Havana soon.  We also did the usual internetting (slow, but not so bad).  Then it was off to the bus terminal.  Our driver gave us the īscenicī tour of Havana and tried to get us to take a cab all the way to Trinidad.  We politely declined. 

The bus started off pretty well, but within the first three hours we had a flat tire.  Ross turned to me and asked me how long I thought it would take to repair - I think his heart died a little when I thought it would take 2 hours.  We were pleasantly surprised though when it only took 40 minutes.  Of course, half way through changing the tire it started to rain! Lightly though, so it wasnīt so bad. We also met some nice folks on the bus, Kara and Leigh from Australia (Melbourne, to be precise). 

Ricardo was at the bus station to greet us and took us to our casa just past the main plaza.  We had a weird interchange with his wife.  She seemed pretty insistent that we have dinner in the Casa, but we didnīt want to.  It turns out that most people in the city eat in their casas, so she just thought we were being weird.  However, given the language barrier, it struck us as a bit pushy.  In fact, most of Trinidad struck us that way.  There were touts everywhere trying to get us to eat at their unofficial paladares and stay at their casas...itīs pretty clear that tourism is THE industry in town. 

For dinner we went to a place listed in our guidebook, Sol y Son (now just called Sol).  Everyone from our bus was there.  In fact, Kara and Leigh showed up!  It turns out that the place is listed in both the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide (which weīre using).  It was great - I had fish, and Ross had some sort of pulled pork stew that looked great.  Desert was fantastic too - flan. After dinner we went for drinks with Kara & Leigh at Palenque de los Congos, the local Casa de la Trova. The first band that played was great, and then it got into a bit of afro-Cuban dance that was still good, but a fair bit more repetitive. 

Our casa: El Bolo y Tahiri.  To get there, go past the casa de la Trova, around the corner, up the hill on the right, itīs the pink house at the top. Itīs one block south fo Jose Mendoza and where the street meets Ernesto Valdez Munoz.  (It didnīt have an address in the guidebook.)  Ask for Ricardo.   It was simple but comfortable, and cost 30CUC per night.

Another point of note: some money was stolen from our bags when we checked them with Viazul, so a word of warning. 
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