I woke up early to explore Trinidad and still have time to hang at the beach. The town of Trinidad is spectacular. It looks completely unreal. All the bright homes, cobblestone roads, fuckin horses and carriages. It’s 2016 and it’s real. Honestly, it’s beautiful. It’s also a weird place and maybe I’m overly sensitive but it also makes me uncomfortable. There are bus-loads of European tourists walking in huge groups on these historical tours taking pictures like the city is a zoo for consumption. It’s awful. I mean I guess I did it too but it’s my intent to do it with honor and respect. For me it’s going back in time to possibly catch a glimpse of what life looked like when my grandparents and great grandparents were growing up. I don’t know but it’s a weird vibe. I was hella cracking up when there was a group of late teen early 20s Cubans that were mocking the tour because I fucking get it 1000%. Sometimes it’s difficult to be woke but it’s better to realize your surroundings instead of being ignorant to the hype.
I ended my walking tour at the plaza in hopes of getting a wifi card. I purchased 4 of them and was pissed when I realized my iPhone wouldn’t connect. Not sure if it’s an American thing but damn is it ever annoying. I’ve literally spent $30 on Internet since I’ve been here and total usage time has been 1 hr 20 minutes with a slow ass connection. Part of me was glad to be disconnected but sometimes it’s nice to check in, especially when your family and friends think you may be dead. In any case (and more importantly) I’m absolutely amazed at how people are able to do business given the fact communication is challenging and incredibly expensive. It’s a testament to the Cuban spirit because let me tell you I know first hand it’s not easy. And I don’t really even know it like that.
I was finally able to get wifi and check in. I had a bunch of ‘are you dead’ emails (I couldn’t check google voice texts) but ha I’m still chugging along having a good time.
The taxi stand was directly in front of the Internet cafe so I was able to secure a taxi round trip ($16 CUC) to Ancon beach. It was beautiful. The water was calm and crystal, the sand super duper fine. It was a first where I didn’t get in the water because it was too cold, but I relaxed, napped, people watched and read. It was super chill. I needed that, although it would have been nice to see more than super pale Euro tourists at the beach. But maybe because it’s a Wednesday on a random week in January. Maybe on Semana Santa it goes down. Who knows.
Trinidad reminds me of a Cuban adult Disneyland. You’re in Cuba but like no, not really. The way people initially received me I would imagine it’s hard to be a Cuban there. They obvi don’t go to tourist places but yea. When I enter places people look at me like you know you’re not supposed to be here and then are like oh well disculpe you look Cuban/ I thought you were Cuban. Da fuq? I straight up started speaking English like a real American everywhere I went because otherwise it’s not a good look. In this situation I think it’s good non-Cubans can’t buy property or else this town would be completely owned by foreigners. Who knows maybe it already is. Cuban gentrification for real.
Final conclusions: the architecture is fantastic. I enjoyed walking around because I imagine it looks very similar to how my family grew up in Puerto Rico and Colombia. It’s a fun place if you want to walk around, go to the beach and hear some live music but if you want to be in Cuba to be in Cuba this isn’t it. I’m sure my experience would be different if I wasn’t traveling alone, and I’m sure I’d feel more comfortable partaking in all the different bars and music venues. Pues, next time.