Since my mother died, I didn’t think I would ever again be led astray by women in their 70s but Trinidad proved me wrong.
Trinidad is one of the key tourist destinations in Cuba. It has handsome buildings, good restaurants and bars and is in reasonably good condition. It comes with a fair amount of touts: Taxi? You want Taxi? Maybe tomorrow? Restaurant? You want restaurant? Etc. Mostly a polite ‘No gracias’ does the trick but once, after repeated hounding J and I found ourselves saying in unison ‘Just fuck-off’ in our mother tongue.
We stayed in Casa Los Mangos, a lovely casa particular run by Fiona, an Aussie who is friends of two of our friends in Bundanoon. Also staying there were the evil Irish sisters, Mary and Clara.
We all got on well so we arranged to meet them, Fiona, and her husband Osniel in a local restaurant for a civilised meal. We achieved that, but then decided to head off to a live music place, Casa Trova, with Mary and Clara. There are Casa Trovas and Casa Musicas in every town, with a mixture of music, many tourists, some locals, cheap booze and some excellent dancers. It is lovely to watch really good dancers, ones that just flow and enjoy it. Others take it very seriously and concentrate very hard, looking slightly like they are keeping a fart in, which can be good to watch too. The only downside is that you can’t really hear yourself think, so after a while, I was thinking about heading home. Clara, however, knew of a place that served great mojitos with high quality rum, so off we went. Whilst it was closed, we found another open air dancing place and stayed there until it closed. Clara then spotted a very small bar with a collection of youths dancing outside, so insisted we had a quick drink there. It was a very basic place; when I asked for the loo, the guy took me outside, around the corner and pointed against a wall and said ‘That’s what we use’. Very sophisticated.
After closing time, we wandered in a very indirect way back to Los Mangos and decided it would be a good idea to polish off M&Cs bottle of rum, whilst we talked politics and general bollocks. And so it was 3am…….
The next morning was a tough one. I felt like I was 70 when we started our three hour horse ride in the baking heat.
J came out of the room at about 9.55. J is not normally a morning person and resents having to be civilised, until she has been up for an hour or so. I am normally a morning person and talk from the moment I get up. J can find this annoying.
On this morning, my hangover state was high, and no talking was a good idea but it became apparent that 6 hours of sleep was not enough to mitigate the effects of 10 hours of drinking and she was full of the joys of spring and incessant chatter. God, it was a tough few hours. Now I know how she feels most mornings.
The ride took us to a sugar cane farm where I got to squeeze the juice out of some sugar cane then drink it, with or without rum. We chose with; it helped me a bit, but did nothing to shut the wife up.
Anyway, the moral of the story is, if two elderly Irish ladies suggest you go for a drink, say yes, have fun, but keep the next day free.
Besides the evil sisters, Trinidad is one of the better places to visit and Los Mangos was an excellent Casa, with great breakfasts and a super friendly host. I recommend visiting both.