We left Vinales before the sun rose, and spent the best part of the 8 hour bus journey in and out of sleep, reading, and chatting. We finally arrived in Trinidad late afternoon, we quickly found our AirBnB and dropped our bags, before heading out to explore the colourful streets of Trinidad.
Trinidad is a maze of cobbled streets packed with lines of colourful houses, all centred around a main square. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around and exploring the main square. Cuban households often have their front doors and windows wide open, so you easily get a look into a Cuban life just by strolling the streets. Trinidad was the trickiest place on our trip to find WiFi so we were grateful when we found a restaurant who had WiFi for us to check in with home and the ever changing Covid 19 status. That evening we ventured out to a restaurant which served tapas and Cuban dishes, which was a nice change to rice and beans which had featured in most meals on our trip so far!
The following morning we got woken up by our host knocking on our door because there was a misunderstanding on what time we were having breakfast. When then got up to have breakfast in our Casa before heading out for the morning. There is a recommended view point walk just outside of central Trinidad which we wanted to do before the day got too hot. When we reached the top, you had views of the town, the neighbouring mountains, and the coast line. There was a military station at the top which somewhat ruined the serenity.
We had some questionable pizzas for lunch, which were cooked in a BBQ.. and Harri’s veggie pizza had carrot and cucumber on. Teaches us for having something other than rice and beans! During the afternoon we headed to a hotel complex which has a pool which is open to non-guests. We had the strongest Mojitos of our trip and spent a few hours reading in the sun. That evening a lot of the restaurants were closing due to the lack of tourists, but we managed to find a nice little place where we shared a bottle of wine and had rice and fish.
The following morning we got woken up again by our host who was asking what time we were leaving a full 2 hours before check out time.. We reluctantly got up and packed your bags before heading out for a breakfast of coffee and omelettes. We were then heading to the beach for the last 2 days of our trip, but as it was only 4km down the road we thankfully didn’t need to get another long bus. We always like to mix up our transport whilst we are away, so we got a man on a bike to take us down to Casilda by the beach.
After checking in with our new host, we hired some bikes and headed towards the famous Playa Ancon, the best beach on the south coast of Cuba. We ended up cycling in midday heat, so it was a bit of a challenge so we stopped half way for our lunch of fresh grilled fish and more rice and salad. We finally made it to the beach where we made ourselves at home for the afternoon. As the sun was starting to dip, we headed back on our bikes stopping to watch the sunset at a beach bar on the way.
Once back, our host recommended a local restaurant for dinner which we headed out to but we found was closed. A man saw that we were looking for somewhere to eat, so took us to his restaurant where we had the best paella either of us had ever had and a few Cervezas. He was so grateful for our business and made us promise to return the following day!
After a lie in and great breakfast at our Casa, we got back on the bikes and headed to another section of beach where we spent the morning reading in the sun. For lunch we had some amazing paella and seafood pasta overlooking the beach. We spent a couple more hours there before heading along to a small fishing village a few kms along the coast, called La Boca. It was very small and run down but we managed to find somewhere for a couple of drinks and a great view before heading back to Casilda.
For our last night in Cuba, we headed back out to the same man for the same paella and plantain chips and a few Cervezas!
We got up early the next day and got a taxi to the bus station in Trinidad. We stocked up on a few snacks before our 6 hour bus back into Havana. We wanted to head straight to the airport as we couldn’t check in online or see if the entirety of our flight was still going. When we got to the airport it was 7 hours before our flight and we were told we wouldn’t be able to check in for at least 4 hours.. Havana International airport doesn’t have much going for it, with the only things to buy are cheese sandwiches and Pringles (no joke). So after 2 cheese sandwiches, a tube of Pringles, a film, and countless card games, we could check in. Here we found out that our Havana to Madrid leg was going as planned, but our Madrid to London leg had been cancelled but they were unable to assist us on re-booking or booking onto another flight. After yet another cheese sandwich, more Pringles and one last cerveza, we boarded our flight. We landed in Madrid and headed straight to the AirEuropa customer service where they told us the flight was cancelled and they couldn’t book us on another flight, so we had to book an eye watering expensive flight back from Madrid to London. Luke’s first attempt was unsuccessful as Iberia wouldn’t check him in despite having a boarding card for him because they had no receipt of payment, after a lot of tooing and froing between Luke, Amex and the airline he cancelled his flight and we booked the same BA flight. Far too much extra hassle but at least we were heading home. After 4 hours in a pretty closed Madrid airport, we could finally board our BA flight back to London.
Cuba was fantastic, vibrant and super friendly. Although there wasn’t 100’s of sights to see in every town, we had a lovely week soaking up the culture, colourful streets and laid-back atmosphere.