To awake somewhere new. A rooster crowing in the distance, horse hooves clop-clopping on the cobblestone streets, unfamiliar voices in rapid transmission. All of this layered on the distant pulse of a regatone beat, and the minutia of a city waking up. Good morning, Trinidad.
Unknown to me at the time, but the casa I stayed at in Havana would have a profound effect on the duration of my stay in Cuba. Before I arrived I read online that casa owners would be able to suggest casa in other towns, and this is exactly what took place. Michele, the owner of the casa where I stayed in Havana, suggested I reverse my itinerary and visit Trinidad first, before heading west to Viñales. I didn’t have any preference, so I took his advice and ended up staying with his brother’s family in Trinidad. Verdict? Good move!
I was so discombobulated upon arrival due to the lengthy ride from Havana, that when Michele’s younger brother opened the door, my mouth opened and no words came out. He must have thought I was a crazy person, only staring at him. It wasn’t due to lack my of Spanish (okay, maybe a little bit), but it was because the two of them could have been twins! There was no mistaking that I had arrived at the correct casa. As a favor to Michele, he had asked me to deliver a pair of shoes and a book to his brother, for their mother’s birthday. Such a simple task, but it really made me feel a part of this tiny ecosystem of life that I had stumbled into.
It was special to awake in the mornings, and head downstairs for breakfast. It wasn’t another nondescript hotel lobby that leaves your memory as soon as you walk out of the door; this was someone’s home. Observing from my morning perch, family members and friends would pass me by and offer their early morning greetings. Immured in my castle of deficient language, I would offer a smile, and all was understood. The majority of my time in Trinidad I spent wandering around with no itinerary or timetable. The city is in possession of such a nebulous of intertwined streets, dotted with colorful homes. Sometimes it felt nice to let your eyes wander, and simply see where they might land. There was never a shortage of things or people to look at.