Thursday, May 12, 2022

Palpité, Cuba

I had the opportunity to visit Cuba with a small group of photographers. After spending our first day in Old Havana, our group headed off to the city of Trinidad, a trip of 350 km (210 mi). Our guides had a lot in store, for, while our route was not the most direct,  it offered some wonderful discoveries.

Our first stop was in the town of Palpité, just north of Playa Larga. Palpité is a small hamlet, where, in the past wood was converted in charcoal. When we visited, that industry was shut down, possibly as an effect of the pandemic. Palpité is also the furthest into Cuba that the Bay of Pigs invasion was able to penetrate. Our stop here was for lunch, but we were early, which gave us a chance to explore the town. Lunch was at Don Alexis’, a restaurant that served excellent, and very fresh seafood, plus all the trimmings.

Hanging out on the porch

Flying a homemade kite

Cuba is home to the bumblebee hummingbird, the smallest bird species in the world. We visited a local sanctuary to see these birds close up.

From Palpité we drove on to the city of Cienfuegos. We were looking for gasoline for the cars, which was in short supply when we arrived on the island. We found a station with gas near the city’s malecon. While the cars were refueling, we noticed a class for young boxers going on along the waterfront. The teacher and the parents of the young boxers allowed us to take photos of them in action.

Our road trip was a wonderful introduction to island, and to the need to be prepared for improvisation that would be a part of our stay.

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