Despite being in my own private room, I actually put in ear plugs last night.

I found out this morning that there’s alot of natural alarm clocks that will wake you up early.

There’s the barking dogs, the roosters crowing, and the man going up and down the street yelling some phrase in Spanish which I assume is him advertising he’s selling something.

So, yeah, earplugs it was.

I ended up still waking up at a semi-early hour of 7:30 in the morning anyway.

I had plans to go on a walking tour at 9:30 so I popped out a bit early to grab some breakfast beforehand.

Each casa offers breakfast here in Cuba, usually for $3 or $5, but it’s just a plate of fruit, some bread, and a juice.

Well, I’m not a huge fruit guy and, of course, because of my gluten allergy, I can’t have bread so I’m always going out looking for breakfast instead.

I managed to find a highly recommended place near the meeting point for the walking tour so I went there.

They had opened at 8am but when I arrived I was told them were doing something (renovation?) and wouldn’t be open again until 10:30.

Well, crap!

I didn’t have a plan B for breakfast and I was out of time anyway.

Guess I’d be doing the tour on an empty stomach again.

Recurring theme on my trips it seems.

If there’s one aspect I really need to improve while traveling, it’s definately preplanning how I eat in the mornings especially when I’m heading out on a bus or going on a day trip early.

Anyway, on to the tour…

Free Walking Tour

Again, as with my tour in Cienfuegos, I was the only person to signup for the English speaking tour of the city.

It’d just be me and my guide Alex one on one exploring the city together.

Normally, I much prefer larger groups where I can kind of fade into the background and make notes about what I hear and see.

However, these one on one tours have been amazing here in Cuba.

I find there’s less talk about the monuments or attractions a city has and much, much more talk about Cuban life and politics.

This was true for this tour as well.

Being one on one allowed me to ask so many questions as I’m genuinely curious and bemused by how everything operates here in Cuba.

Even after going on a handful of tours already, I was still learning new things.

That being said, I can’t really share any of that here on this blog.

Let me tell you why…

The guides tell you alot and they don’t sugar coat the life here in Cuba.   They’re honest about everything and answer any questions you have.

The caveat to this though is that they’re putting themselves out there and could get in trouble if, say, a certain someone retold the stories in a blog and the wrong people ended up reading it.

Now, do I believe that scenario would happen with this tiny little blog?

Not really, but am I willing to put these tour guides who I genuinely appreciate and cherish at risk and in fear of getting punished sometime down the road?

Hell no.

So, I heavily edited the last blog I wrote about touring the city as I’m going to do with this one.

It does leave me in a bit of a quandary though because, honestly, the stories I’ve been told and the things I’ve learned about Cuba are fascinating and definately worth sharing, but again, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble either.

So, the solution I came up with was to just write a generic recap of the tours now and then, eventually, at the end of the trip, I’ll share all the interesting stories and things I learned about Cuba with you in a separate kind of recap blog.

I’ll just leave out who told me what and where I learned it from.

And trust me, the stories are eye opening and amazing and really give you good, hard look at how life is here in Cuba.

So, with that, let me just say that, again, this tour was amazing I’m going to break my “no promoting” rule and share a link to the company I used for the free walking tour.

Oh, and as always, yeah, it’s a free walking tour, but give them some money at the end as a tip.   It’s worth it.

Lunch with friends

The tour was over at noon, I tipped Alex $10, shook his hand, and headed back to my casa.

I had arranged to meet the two couples who I keep bumping into at 1:30 for lunch which gave me a little time to just relax and cool off in my nicely air conditioned room.

I actually love the way I’ve been going about this trip not over planning.   Usually I do something in the morning, have lunch and then relax and cool off in the afternoon before heading out to dinner when the sun’s gone down.

At 1:30, I met up with Patrick, Jensen, Catherine, and Anne.   My much coveted art piece that they had transported from Cienfuegos was in Patrick’s hand.


Not only is it a cool print, it also now has a great story behind it on how it came to be in my possession (by the way, the story expands tomorrow).

For lunch, we went to a small sandwich place they had gone to yesterday.

It wouldn’t have been my first choice because, obviously, I can’t eat sandwiches because of my gluten allergy but I figured there’d probably be a hamburger on their menu too and I could have one without a bun.

And, honestly, I was kind of craving a hamburger today.

When we got there I disheartened to see that they only had two things on their food menu, a vegetable sandwich and a ham sandwich.

Now, along with not eating the bread, I’ve also been staying away from any fruits and vegetables that don’t come with a natural peel because of the tap water they are cleaned in.

So, I could order a ham sandwich hold the bread and hold the veggies.

Yeah, I’d be paying $3 for a piece of ham.

I mean, it’d be funny as hell to order that but, cmon, I hadn’t eaten yet today and my belly was demanding more.

As I was trying to figure out a solution, the waitress let me know that there was a place across the street that sold things like chicken and rice and that I could order it there for takeaway and bring it here to eat it with the others.

Works for me.

Next question was: Do they have clean ice for their drinks?

She answered in the affirmative which meant I’d be having a pina colada with my lunch too cause, ya know, it’s always #pinaoclock.

So, that’s what I did.   I went across the street, got my chicken and rice and ate with the others sipping my pina colada.

Needless to say, it was a great little lunch.

By 3pm I was back at my casa.   My shirt was drenched in sweat.   Long gone was the nice, mild 21C temperature from this morning replaced with a sweltering 29C humid afternoon.

Time to relax.

And relax I did.

In fact, I ended up falling asleep for a few hours waking up around 7:30.

It was night out, the sun had gone down and, with that, the temperature was nice and bearable again.

Time for some dinner…

Burger craving

As I said earlier, I was craving a burger today.

I had so many lamb, pork, chicken and lobster dishes recently that all I wanted today was a nice, greasy burger.

Alex had pointed out a good restaurant on the tour earlier so I headed there for dinner.

They had a hamburger on their menu but restaurants are notorious for being out of things here in Cuba.

So, my first question… do you have a hamburger available?


And you know what the next question was!

Clean ice?


Ah, heaven!

One deluxe burger with ham, cheese, and egg and a pina colada please.

Who are we kidding – that first pina colada was long gone before my burger arrived so I ordered a second.

Who is this guy?   The Todd back home doesn’t really drink and now, here I am, having pina coladas with every meal.

Oh my God, that burger was amazing!

For the burger and two drinks, my bill was 3300 pesos ($13) with a 10% tip (called a tax) already included in the bill.

Even so, I still tipped an additional 20% on top rounding it up to 4000 pesos ($16).

Hey, maybe it was just the pina coladas talking but that was a damn good burger.

And, it’s Cuba and why are we here at the end of the day?

To help and support the Cuban people!

Viva Cuba!

Cuba Trip 2024, Trip Journal, Trinidad, Cuba
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