Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
583Trip End Ongoing
We had bought a road directory so we thought it would be easy, but we had used that word thought, which doesn't always work. We managed to drive for five minutes before we were lost, the road signs here are bad !!! Once on track, once again we got lost. This time it took around an hour. What we thought was the correct road, was in fact not. We chucked a u-turn and onwards we went again.
About ten minutes later, a guy waved us down, so we stopped. He showed us a card which showed that he worked for the same company as our hire car. He knew we were lost, and as he was going the same way, he jumped in and navigated us to our next town, Cienfuegos. And two and a half hours later, we had arrived.
On first inspection, it seemed like a nice place. Big square with a park, some nice buildings and a big picture of Che. As I had a new addiction, Mojitas were the order. We sat down, chucked a couple down, then made our way back to our casa. Along the way, we passed another Che plus some other political signs. It was interesting, but there was more to see tomorrow.
The following day, we set off back to the square to begin our walk. Starting off at Park Marti, we visited the only Triumpant Arch in Cuba. Not very special, but it was ticked. There was also an old palace and a theatre. We knew of this last place as we had visited the bar the night before. Trust me, they make good mojitas !!! Not far away was the Prado. There is one in Havana as well, and the closest thing it reminds me of if Los Ramblas in Barcelona. As this was the longest road in Cuba, we followed it to the end. It was around 3K's in length. Along the way, the buildings changed, until the last K was like old concrete art decoish beach homes. Most were run down, but there were some nice ones. Near the end were two huge old restored buildings from the 1920's, one was now a resort whilst the other was a hotel. They were nice, but even better was another villa, the Palacio de Valle. It was built by a Spaniard from Asturias and he had built it in a Moorish way. It was very Islamic, but there were no Moorish scripts, however, it was not in the best way. Partially restored and being used as a restaurant, it was quite weird seeing this out here considering how many proper Mooriush ruins that we have seen over the years. Still, each to their own.
Back on the tourst trail, we walked the 2.5 K's back, and then 3 K's more out to the Tomas Acea necropolis. It was hot but well worth it. It's described as a copy of the Pantheon, it does look similar in the respect it does not have any Elgin Marbles !!! Other than that, not really. There were a couple of memorials to the fallen victims from the revolution. It was nice to see them. Maybe it's a morbid fascination that I have with the war dead, or maybe not. Also in the cemetary were some nice graves, so we hung out just shooting as you do.
Once we walked back into town, there was only one thing to do, and that was go on a Mojita crawl. We sampled them at various bars, but discovered that the best lay in the theatre bar, so that was the place to end up after each dinner !!!
So that was a good experience. Our first town outside of the capital, slower, cheaper, more political, but still a great place in it's own right. Oh yes, I forgot, the mojitos, the mojitos, I have a new love in my life !!!