Sunday, 15 April 2012

Cuba -- # 2 of 4

We went on a couple day trips while we were in Cuba. The first was to the city of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the way we stopped outside Santa Clara to see Che Guevara's memorial, and in Cienfuegos for lunch and a brief tour of some of the sights there.

Along the way we saw several abandoned sugar cane mills. They closed when the bottom fell out of the market. Cuba went from producing 8 million tons a year to less than 2 million.

In this shot, one of the old mills is in the background, and in the foreground there's a small rice paddy. Rice is one of the staples in Cuba but they don't produce enough so they have to import much of it.

Here and there you can stop and have a fresh drink of sugar cane juice. It's not nearly as sweet as you'd guess. It's very tasty.

A work crew on the rails. An interesting image but it illustartes the lack of funds in a decimated economy.

There are quite a few propaganda signs along the highways.

There are lots of horse drawn wagons in the rural areas and in towns too.

Another very common sight... Cubans hitching rides on trucks. I'm not sure if it's still in effect, but in tougher times, Castro dictated that state vehicles had to offer rides to their fellow Cubans.

One of the few "images" of Fidel that we saw.

Che's memorial outside Santa Clara. It's huge. His remains are here.

In a small town.
Our lunch stop in Cienfuegos... a yacht club.

Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos...

Near the Central Square in Cienfuegos.

Cienfuegos is a rich city compared to most Cuban cities. At points it almost feels North American.

But this shows the other side. It's a pharmacy... with minimal inventory.

There are now what they call CUC Stores in some cities. Not many, but a few. They're much like ours, with prices close to ours too. There are security guards in them and only tourists and Cubans with CUCs (equivalent to US dollars) can shop in them.

The images below on the other hand show the type of store most Cubans have to shop in, using the "old peso"-- 1 CUC is 25 old pesos.

They have only the simplest of goods.

Taken out of the van window, in harsh light, but the guy has a photogenic face for sure.

Back on the highway...
In Trinidad... a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The central part of the city has cobblestone streets... and chickens.

Looks like an intentional opening to show the composition of the inner walls.

I don't necessarily want shots of people that pose for tourists for pesos, but I usually take them anyway, and give a peso to help them out. Lord knows, most of them can use every penny they get, even though most of them look well dressed.

A beautiful oil lamp in the museum.

A few shots from the roof of the museum.

Street level offers lots of classic Cuban shots. You could shoot for hours.

On the way home... a poor shot, but one of the few remaining signs of the Russian influence. This was on the water tower in Varadero.
I'll sort out images of Havana & my Jeep Safari for the next post re Cuba.

A link to Cuba #3 of 4:

- fini  -



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