Saturday, 19 August 2017

Bahia de Cochinos, Cuba

Getting from Trinidad to Vinales was our big road trip day in Cuba.
(For our tips on driving in Cuba see our travel blog, Exploring the World.)

We were both very keen to get there via The Bay of Pigs and Australia.
The trip to Playa Giron and Bahia de Cochinos gave us lots of experience on the local roads.
We were puzzled, then fascinated by the rice drying process we passed on the local roads. 
The line of rice stretched on for hundreds of metres with various people raking it (and guarding it) along the way.

Obviously we avoided driving on it, but there were times when this was impossible. But no-one seemed to mind. 

I love road trips.
I love the road signs, verges, corners and bridges.
Driving through the local areas makes the transition from one town or area to the next feel more fluid and natural. I like to note the changes in vegetation, architecture, weather and all the socio-economic factors like type of work, housing, infrastructure etc.

First stop was Playa Giron and the Museo Giron on the south-eastern end of Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). 
A large sign on the beach announces that 'Here North American imperialism suffered its first major defeat.'
The small museum was a captivating mix of photographs, film, documents and weapons documenting the anti-Castro invasion. Having grown up with the American version of events, it was fascinating to finally hear and see the other side. Propaganda and revisionism played a part in both accounts.

Our next stop was right at the northern tip of the peninsula at Playa Larga.
Along the entire way from Playa Giron to Playa Larga, monuments and memorials honouring the Cuban defenders lined the road. Many had fresh flowers.

It was a beautiful (though blustery) day and the Caribbean was looking gorgeous. 
Snorkelling, diving, fishing and bird watching are popular activities around here (according to our Lonely Planet), but we didn't actually see anybody engaged in any of these things.

Ours was the only car in the car park and we were the only people on the beach.

Two Aussies travelling through Cuba couldn't not go through the little town of Australia!
According to wikipedia, Australia is named after the sugar factory (now closed), the Central Australia, which like other mills in the area, were named after continents.

During the 1961 invasion, Australia became famous when Castro used it as his base of operations.

However, there's not a lot to see there now.

Next week - Vinales!

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The long walk home - Trinidad, Cuba

We're drawing to a close, our time in Trinidad.
Mr Seasons and I happily walk a lot when on holidays. 
These final pictures were taken during our afternoon walking session.

I loved the look of the cobblestone streets, but they were rather difficult to walk along.
Generally, we hugged the narrow pathway next to the houses.

I could have taken photos of this crumbling church all day.
The late afternoon sun made for stunning light and shade effects.

Iglesia de Santa Ana is an 18th century church that is now bricked up.
My DK Eyewitness Cuba says, 

'the square is a popular place to gather, and is a favourite with children  who come to play ball games.'

And they did!

We then strolled down General Lino Perez, although once again, this simple act highlighted one of the problems for travellers in Cuba. 
The Lonely Planet map only uses the new post-revolutionary names whereas all the locals still refer to the streets by their original names.
In actual fact we strolled down Calle San Procopio towards Parque Cespedes/Plaza Carillo (another very popular wi-fi park for the locals).

The park was buzzing with locals. Music was blaring from multiple places. Every second person was on a device of some kind, alcohol was being passed around and teens were gathering in noisy groups.

The walk back to our gorgeous casa particular was into the setting sun. 
We followed various back roads home.
We knew we were close, when we found the train line.

After our huge day out, it was lovely to come home to our quiet, green casa - being run by an Australian woman, now married to a local man (I'll do a post about all our casa's and their wonderful hosts later). 
We had a fun evening chatting, drinking, eating, singing and getting to know the pets.
And of course, trying a Cuban cigar!

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Old Cars of Trinidad, Cuba

Cuba is full of 1950's cars and trucks as well as some 1970/80's Russian Lada's.

Some have been lovingly restored for the tourist market, but most are kept together by a hope and a prayer and any spare bits that can be found around the place.

Some modern Chinese cars are now appearing, mostly to be rented by tourists.
It was easy to find where the tourist hotels were as they always had a line of modern rental cars parked out the front.

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot.