Tuesday, May 1, 2012

we don't go to the mountains

alas- travel necessitates flexibility and our planned trip to the mountains today is canceled.  the bus company will not let the bus go and alternative transport methods take serious numbers of hours to accomplish the task... the plan had been to see a coffee plantation and have lunch and I think equally important escape some of the Trinidad heat and humidity.  it has rained overnight and things are quite steamy down here on the coast. the group discusses and discards a number of ideas - mostly because they entail inordinate amounts of time on the bus for limited amount of doing the thing we traveled hours to do.

here the threatening weather shows up quite clearly- this was taken as we were discussing our options for the day- LOL

a plan is cobbled together and we head off to the beach- it is sunny there even though we can see the rain in the mountains in the distance. most only want to see the ocean and the beach - not go swimming (any who want can come back later for that - 2 hours blocked in the afternoon for swimming if desired) so we check out the water and the sand and enjoy a bit of sunshine.

then we head back into town to visit a pottery where various objects (running the gamut from nice enough to completely crappy) are made. we see the obligatory demo and get to shop...

  (don't let the Che escape your notice...LOL)

birdcages everywhere- a few of the earlier posts have photos without any comment but we saw them all over the country in towns, cities and countryside homes and yards. they are brought to the park to spend time outdoors (or as close as they get to it.) these were in the pottery on the patio across from the potter's wheel.

one in the park across from the hotel-

then back to the hotel for a brief interlude before the bus takes us to the replacement lunch place (this day was to include lunch and so they feel like they need to provide it) a former prison that now has a passable buffet for the tourists.  upon arrival at the hotel we get the day two assortment of towel animals and decorations- LOL

the prison buffet has a gift shop where I spy one of the few baseball related items on the whole trip...

this is our last day in Trinidad and since our afternoon has been declared free - shots are poured at lunch... and a pub crawl is organized for the afternoon. Jennifer (good sport) opts in and I opt out deciding instead to spend the time making a few notes and working on photo culling. we all gather back at the courtyard of our lovely hotel around 5:30- the pub crawl group has returned and we break out the rum and wine we were given earlier today as going away gifts from the hotel (?) - the timing of the "regalos" falling just as we returned after lunch which we did not eat in the mountains- LOL

 the welcome drink and then the bottle from which the shots were poured at lunch-

a side note- the trip includes all but one dinner but has five lunches scheduled on our own.  this seems backward to me because it is during the day that we have a schedule to keep to and when a group meal would be easier to keep everyone on task then at dinner when it really matters little if we eat together and would give us more chances to explore more of the paladars (the only place in the country where they seem to understand the concept of not OVER cooking the food.) anyway- enough of the rant and back to the day.

here is a bus sitting outside the prison buffet place and a view down the main drag of Trinidad just as we are leaving the prison buffet to head back to the hotel.

the bici-taxi is clearly the preferred form for transportation- here some shots from around town-

later exploration bring us school kids and a variety of other activities (weekday morning shots taken just before we left town)

here a guy refills disposable lighters for 2 CUC ($2 US) - when a disposable lighter costs much less but is unavailable to buy -

mechanic works with makeshift equipment for a "lift"

as with many places - little to sell or for buyers to buy- here a breakfast shop window -

a man peddles sandwiches made at home to create a bit more income- the dog thinks some might fall down for him - LOL

a table top hardware store - everything - EVERYTHING is in short supply or not at all available...

the bread lady shows us her wares - you can see again the limited number of choices on offer-

we have a jolly cocktail hour with donated bottles of Havana Club to keep up the spirits of the pub crawlers and to enliven the newly joined party-ers. then we shift a few feet over to the table set for dinner in the courtyard for our farewell Trinidad dinner. Of course there is music and the world's best bar tender (25 years experience) helps create a festive mood. The cake is soaked in flaming rum before being served. and a few stalwarts head to the terrace bar (mostly cigar smoking rather than drinking as time draws near- once we return to Havana (tomorrow) we have only two more nights here.

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