Today was a free day in Trinidad, so 5 of us (Graham, Barbara, Lisa, Peter & myself) decided to do the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) train ride. The train departed Trinidad at 9::30am, and the station was only a 5 minute walk from the guesthouse. The train was quite old and in need of maintenance (what isn't in Cuba?) but was enjoyable.
There was little sign of sugar cane plantations, but some old buildings along theway.
I first stop was at Iznaga, where we had a break for one hour. The hacienda Manaca main house (yellow building below) has been restored and converted to a restaurant. I climbed the 45m tower for some spectacular views of the countryside.
There were many stalls between the station, the hacienda and the tower. The tower offered great views, but the steps were steep, and there was a strong breeze lowing through the balconies. We then continued on the train to the terminus at the old Trinidad sugar mill museum where we had a further one hour stop.
The Trinidad Sugar Mill was established in 1893, was nationalised in 1959, and closed in 2001. There was a small village next to the ld mill, and the following photo shows a typical ox and cart scene which is typical throughout rural Cuba.
We then returned to Trinidad on the training, arriving about 2:30pm, just in time to join the rest of the group who were catching the bus to Playa Ancon, a popular beach resort just a few kms outside Trinidad. We stayed there for several hours, catching the bus back to Trinidad at 6:00pm, but not before enjoying some cocktails on a Caribbean beach, as evidenced by the photo of me drinking a Mojito. The beach and water were beautiful, and the afternoon was a relaxing break.
After the beach, I joined John & Sally for dinner at a local restaurant.