A few days later, we hop on a bus for a 6-hour journey and head for the beaches and a beautiful colonial town called Trinidad in the Santi Spiritus region. We are sitting under a cabana sipping mojitos, with the hot sun glistening over the clear azure waters of the Caribbean sea as I type this. It is a gloriously hot day but the breeze is refreshing and the water is deliciously cool. I think this is the most relaxed I’ve felt in months…years in fact and we stay on the beach all day reading, drinking cocktails and eating. Ahh, the life of a beach bum…I could get used to this. Trinidad itself is a very small town and we decided to venture this way because of the rave reviews it received in all the guidebooks and also the fact that the whole town itself is a UNESCO heritage listed site.
While it doesn’t blow us away like the other colonial towns we’ve seen elsewhere, it still has its charms. In a strange mixup of circumstances a travel agent, we had booked our bus tickets with accidentally booked us into accommodation here in Trinidad. I am perplexed when we get off the bus and I see a man with a sign bearing my name as I hadn’t arranged a pickup. Strange, I think to myself and he speaks little English so we assume this is the person that I had spoken to the night before when booking a room. After checking in we both realize the mistake but the casa is so inviting with its large rooms, high beamed ceilings, and the sunny outdoor courtyard that it sways us into staying.
As in most places we go, we meet locals all the time who ask where we are from. We tell them Australia but always preface that by telling them where we were both born. Partly because we are both proud of our heritage and also the fact that we are always greeted with puzzled looks who imagine that every Aussie is caucasian. We meet a man by the name of Luis Martinez one afternoon who recounts to us every geographical fact he knows about Malaysia and the Philippines with such glee. Many of the locals seem to enjoy chatting which is nice and in fact later in the evening, as we sit in the town’s main square watching the sun go down we chance upon Luis again and he has written a poem about us in Spanish. He goes through it line by line explaining (as he speaks no English and us no Spanish but we get the gist) how he imagined a boy from the Philippines and Chinese girl from Malaysia met in Australia and fell in love. It’s really sweet and quite touches us, he even writes the date, town and signs his name so we can keep it and remember this encounter. It’s a lovely piece of Trinidad that we take back with us and we are glad we made it this far.