Posted by: Alex MacGregor | August 6, 2012

Biking to the Beach (With Bonus Revolutionary Museum!)

Spending a couple nights in Trinidad, we were able to enjoy some activities around town.

Our main activity was renting fixed-gear bikes and riding to the vaunted Playa Ancon, 15km away. Could it compare with Las Terrenas, we wondered?

The road passes you through the little beach town of La Boca.

La Boca, with a crowded, rocky beach, mainly caters to Cubans. The gringos hang out a few miles up the road.

Biking out to Playa Ancon. Most of the traffic was rerouted onto a new road, making the ride pretty pleasant.

This bunker made us nostalgic for Albania

We passed through a big cloud of flying insects. Fortunately, and unlike in Mozambique, these flies didn’t seem interested in landing on and crawling all over us.

We eventually got to Playa Ancon. Is it as nice as Las Terrenas? Unfortunately not. It was crowded, and with murky water that prevented you from spotting the seaweed on the bottom. We realized that as beachgoers we were completely spoiled, and only Las Terrenas will suffice for now on (although Paradise Beach in Haiti definitely does the trick too, if you’re in the mood for total isolation).

Later on, back in Trinidad, we strolled around town a bit more.

We were drawn to this bell tower from afar: after all, it pops up in the background of many Trinidad postcards; why not find out what’s inside? It turned out to be the Revolutionary Museum (no name was apparent, so that’s what I’ll call it).

Apparently being drawn to the museum by the impressive bell tower isn’t particularly common, since not a single other tourist visited while we were there. This would be a pretty lousy place to be a bathroom attendant, we thought. (In Cuba, you pay to use the bathroom in all cases.)

In Cuba, museums are more valuable as a source of commentary on society rather than for factual information.

A gunboat used during the revolution, presumably.

The revolutionary museum serves multiple purposes. It also apparently is a place where people come to…learn.

Proudly-displayed wreckage of an American plane shot down in ’62.

Extremely detailed drawings and maps of the military aspect of the revolution. Far too much detail for anyone who only loosely understands the revolution to find valuable. Very little context is provided.

The revolution is Cuba’s national obsession (at least among people who like the revolution, I guess). People don’t model railroad in Cuba; they build model landscapes of revolutionary battles. The lack of complementary information makes these almost meaningless to someone without a deep understanding of the revolution. The location of the place being modeled or its significance to the overall conflict was never clear.

The museum is housed in an awesome building. I guess that’s a perk of being a revolutionary government: you can take buildings like this and put your museums in them.

Maybe they’d get some more tourists in here if they fixed the stairway up to the tower?


  1. Hey!

    Nice to see you still on the road. We met in Vic Falls in 2010

    I did a few weeks backpacking in Cuba a few years back. Loved Vinales and Trinidad. Will catch up on your older posts. Been away a bit

    Hopefully off to Vietnam in October.


  2. Just caught up on your posts! Everything looks amazing. I want to go to the tiny town in Nicaragua where the mayor gives hiking tips.

  3. […] revolutionary history aspect of the trip had gotten a bit overwhelming at this point. Between the revolutionary museum in Trinidad and the armored train museum and Che pilgrimage site in Santa Clara, I had kind of […]

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