Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Cuba Part III: Cienfuegos!

Cienfuegos is a colonial port city in Cuba, so we figured we'd better swing through while we were in the region. Overall, it was my least favorite place (but I still liked it!) so if you're pressed for time while in Cuba, I'd say you can keep your time minimal here (or skip it).

There's a lovely seawall that runs along the city, kinda like Havana's.

The inside of the car that drove us there. Our driver doesn't have a good radio, but he had a DVD player hooked up, and he played us lots of music videos on the drive. This was our longest travel day - about 6 six hours.

We booked a place with Jacobo, and he and his wife were so lovely. They have a great house. She made us fresh pina juice on our arrival. Jacobo was working across the street in his auto shop when we arrived. He's an engineer.

There was a huge thunderstorm that rolled in, so we hung out on the open balcony for awhile.



It finally stopped raining, so it was time to head out and explore.








Movies for rent.

Ice cream flavors. Coppelia is the place to go, but apparently they only take the locals currency, and we didn't ever really have any, so we didn't make it in. Also, the lines for it in Havana were super long so...maybe next time.




I matched the building.

The main square was lovely.

Wifi spot.




I was obsessed with these colorful trees.



This was a train park. Looked a little desolate.

She was taking dance lessons and we stopped to watch for awhile. There's so much great dance and music here. 


Back to the trains. Cuba does have a functioning railroad and at one point we thought about trying to take it across the country, but all research points to 'that's a bad idea.'

We walked past the city center towards a graveyard full of baroque architecture and open graves.


These are the local taxis/buses. I loved hearing the clip-clop of the horses feet. There's a route that ran by Jacobo's house and we heard it regularly.




Finally at the cemetery. There was a lady at the front who told us it was technically closed, but since we walked a long way, we should come in for a few minutes anyway. She gave us a quick history of the place. The cemetery is segregated, and many graves are damaged and open. Rain covered up the bones.







Heading back into the town center. The light got real good.








We started looking around for a place to eat, but we were down to our last bits of cash. I still hadn't been able to change my money. A guy started talking to us on the street and told us about a great Cuban restaurant, so we went to check it out. One look at the menu, and it didn't fit our $20 budget for the night. We had to walk out. Whoops.

We went around the corner and found a busy pizza place. We could get two drinks and a pizza for under our budget, so that settled it.

Back at home we watched some Cuban tv and enjoyed the blessed AC.

Homemade breakfast. Great juice and mango.

Jacobo called someone that would get us to Trinidad later in the day, so we set out to explore a little more. I also ran back to the city center to change my money at the one place in town. It had shortened hours due to a 3-day holiday, but I made it in after a bit of a wait. We were rich again! The process took awhile - they counted my Canadian bills a couple times and had to write down all the serial numbers. I got less than I expected, but whatever. Worry-free.



You can get bread here, and then you can buy an onion from the guy walking the streets with an onion necklace.


We visited the Terry Theater in the main square.






We set off to walk to the south of town to see a few other things. It was blazing hot and crazy humid. We made a pit stop at a pizza stand for some shade and drinks. We could've taken a bici-cab, but we sucked it up and walked.








We visited this old palace that is now a hotel and restaurant.








The only thing resembling a grocery store that I saw the whole week. We loaded up on a case of water.

Not much else in there we wanted to buy.

Cienfuegos has a baseball team, so we stopped by the stadium. I would've liked to make a game. It was so, so hot at this point.


Last view from our balcony before leaving. Our cab showed up right as we got home.

We took a private cab for 90 minutes to get to Trinidad. I asked our cab driver how you can become a cabbie in Cuba. He said his friend owns the car, and he drives it about 20% of the time. He makes very little money and can't really do anything else, but the job market is very controlled.

Inside of the car. Bouncy seats.


Bye, Cienfuegos.









Getting into Trinidad.

Rainshowers.


Next stop, Trinidad! My favorite place, where we stayed longer than planned. It's awesome.

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