Che this and Che that........Welcome to Che-ville

Trip Start Feb 11, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Casa de Marisel

Flag of Cuba  , Villa Clara,
Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another Lada taxi took us to the house in Santa Clara. The room in the casa was nice, but nothing like Trinidad. Neither was the dinner. Oh God! Kidney bean soup, tonnes of horrible salad and oily burnt pork with crisps. Marisel kept insisting that the local restaurant food would make us ill. I think Barry was right, this was more likely to kill us. To be polite we ate what we could and said it was delicious. WeŽll risk the local stuff from now on. We went out for a few refrescos and listened to live music in the bandstand on Plaza Vidal before calling it a day.

We were on a mission today. We wanted to book a trip to go to a resort in Varadero. It was quite expensive in the tour offices so we booked it online ourselves. I think this annoyed the lady in the tour office, as she told us that the bus to Varadero tomorrow was completely booked up. I think it was just to spite us. Maybe we diddled her out of her commission or something. We were a little worried now that weŽbooked accommodation and had no way of getting there. A contingency plan of hiring a car and driving ourselves there was hatched.

There was no point in worrying about the unknown, so we ploughed on with our day, and took a bicitaxi to the Che memorial. They seemed to have found every item that heŽd ever touched or had the remotest connection to. We took some photos in the Plaza de la Revolucion, and then realised how close we were to the bus station. We wandered to the station and the Viazul lady took our names and told us to show up and hour before the bus to actually pay for the tickets, but reassured us that there was no risk of us not getting on the bus.

That night, we had the cheapest meal ever in the šLa Toscanaš Italian restaurant in town. It cost us $21 nacional pesos for 2 pastas and a pizza. About 80 cents. It wasnŽt particularly nice but it certainly did the job. We spent the rest of the night watching a local band in the bar across the road. On returning to the casa, Marisel asked if we could be out of the room at 10/11am as she had other guests arriving. We were not looking forward to our last day there. Trying to fill/kill 7 or 8 hours in Santa Clara would be no easy feat.

We arsed around the room for as long as possible, and embarrassingly, when we emerged the other couple were sitting outside. Eek! We got some fresh bread and  headed down Independencia towards the Tren Blindado. The derailed train carriage from the battle of Santa Clara. The museum inside the carriages was fairly uninspiring. You become so jaded by all the talk of revolution and the incessant propaganda. ItŽs not a revolution anymore, just status quo. Anyway, that trip only killed a few mins of our time.

We spent the rest of the afternoon falling off the wagon in the Pullman bar and the Europa cafe, after our two days of teetotalism. We ate lunch at Europa again , and it was there that we met Marisel and her husband. We offered to buy them a drink, which they declined. They did accept some crisps for their children though. We think this little sweetener saved us from some potential over-charging when we were paying up. We organised our own taxi to the bus station, and in the end had no problem getting tickets to Varadero.
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