Livin' La Vida Boca
Playa GIRON-imo!

May 23, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Leaving La Boca, we got some sticker shock when we saw the bill for the Casa. Apparently when we negotiated the rate for dinner, at $8CUC, our hosts took that to mean, $8CUC each – which we think is ludicrous, especially since we took the time beforehand to try and make clear our expectations. I managed to get the bill reduced down a few dollars, but Amanda spent most of today dwelling on it, at how often people try to take advantage of us as tourists here in Cuba, as if we were walking-talking bank machines, always ready and willing to dispense cash to needy Cubans, of which there appear to be many. It left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths after the last few relaxing days in La Boca. What was most frustrating is that we confirmed not once but twice at the outset that dinner was $8CUC for two people. “Ocho CUC por dos personas”. While Cuba is beautiful and the cycling peaceful, the continual habit of people intentionally ripping us off is tiresome. Just when we think we’ve made a friend, they looking at our pocket books and we’re left feeling like they were only being friendly to us to get money.

To get onto the road to Cienfuegos, we ended up riding through Trinidad, which like most Cuban cities, is pretty easy to get around on a bicycle. I think we spent more time riding slowly behind a tractor, than other cars spent driving slowly behind us..After that, we just let the wind at our back take over, as it blasted us along the coastal road, even up small hills, towards our destination. The terrain changed to more rolling hills, and less wind, in the afternoon. It felt pretty hot actually, away from the coast, although my thermometer said it was only 34C.

From atop a hill, one can see the smokestacks of some factory or another, spitting smoke above Cienfuegos, and there are one or two tall apartment buildings also, yet it is still about 20km away. The first thing I noticed when we entered the city was an impressive looking cemetery. We navigated through the streets into the downtown area, past a baseball stadium, and several cafeterias. After riding down the “main drag”, we opted to turn back towards the baseball stadium and we picked the first Casa one would see coming into town, which also happened to be right on the malecon. Afterwards we walked back up the street in search of food. There are lots of options to choose from, but we chose our go-to food, pizza. After eating, we walked around Cienfuegos for awhile. It also felt touristy, with a nice malecon, and overall a general sense of cleanliness. The air of expensiveness seems to hang like a pall over this entire region of Cuba. Even street-food items like pizza are twice the price that they are in other regions.


Today’s Photographs

Livin' La Vida Boca
Playa GIRON-imo!