Weekend 2 – Santa Clara

Today unfortunately the bus was a few minutes late but not as late as last weekend.  This weekend we headed out to Villa Clara province where we stopped at a small farming town called Esperanza.  Once here we stopped to walk around town and visit the local high school that is named after Camilo who fought during the revolution along side Che and Fidel.  After this Leyva’s uncle who told us his personal story about his time fighting during the revolution graciously hosted us and then we had a wonderful meal in a buffet style service.  Before lunch since we ate late around 2 o’clock we were taught the entire different dance moves that we needed to know.

Around 4 after our wonderful workout from dancing and huge meal we headed into Santa Clara where we stayed the night.  After arriving and getting settled into our rooms we walked around a bit before dinner and were Abel to stumble upon the old church in the city Iglesias de Nuestra Senora del Carmen which was very pretty with amazing architecture.  Dinner that night was at a restaurant near the Parque Vidal that only accepts Cuban pesos instead of the convertible pesos.  The selection at this restaurant was limited to say the least and the food was not something most people were used to.  The tomato soup that I order was basically melted cheese with a tablespoon of ketchup in the centre and then the spaghetti was all right although the noodle was a bit different.  Overall it was an interesting experience to say that I have eaten at a state run restaurant.

Sunday morning started with an amazing breakfast of fruit and scrambled eggs with pineapple juice.  Around 10 o’clock we headed out to see some of the site of Santa Clara.  The first place we stopped was at the Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado, which is the location of where Che and 18 other gorillas derailed an armoured train that caused Baptista to flea the country.  It was very interesting to see the train cars in the exact spot where they derailed.  After that we headed further down the street to the Estatua Che y Nino monument, which is a smaller version of the Che monument across town that we visited later in the morning.  On our way back to the hostel to meet the bus we hoped on to the horse and buggy taxis which is the 6th mode of transportation that I have used since arriving in Cuba.  After meeting up with the bus we headed across town to the Conjunto Escutorico Comandante Ernnesto Che Guevava monument, which is located at the end point of the Che, pilgrimage.  At this site there is the Che museum and the mausoleum where Che’s remains are located.  After visiting these monuments we headed back to INCA and along the way at a restaurant that was in the middle of nowhere but had decent food.  We arrived back to INCA around 5 so we were able to relax a bit.

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