We booked a "mini-bus" from Vinales to Trinidad. When a large '50's wagon showed up, with seven other people already crammed in, we questioned if we could fit in at all, let alone our gear. With little remaining options to get to Trinidad, we piled in. It was a long eight hours, crammed in the front seat, sun glaring with oil dripping on our feet. We made friends, and it will be one ride we will never forget.
Arriving in Trinidad, we walked the cobble-stone streets, exploring shops and restaurants. Then, we got off of the beaten path, walking through back alleys and dirt paths; we glimpsed some of the real Cuba. Here, smiling faces were waiting to have their photographs taken.
We split our four days--staying two in the city and two on the beach. In every casa, we were taken in like family. At the beach house, we participated in a birthday party, where they killed a goat for the feast. We drank beers on the patio, and attempted to dance with the family, all while not sharing a common language. We rode their bikes down the Caribbean, and discovered our own private beaches. We would trek to town to meet our friends for dinners in the city or relax on the patio steps and watch the sun set.