05 Jun Horseback Riding in Trinidad, Cuba
Horseback Riding in Trinidad
After a delicious breakfast just like the one we were greeted upon our arrival in Trinidad with, we went to meet Kyky to go horseback riding for the day. The horses were healthy, well-fed animals, unlike many of the others we saw struggling under tourist’s weight. One, in fact, fell over from malnutrition with a rider on its back.
Luckily, our horses were well taken care of. My horse was named Mulatta and she loved to gallop. Since I do too, we had a blast. We rode to a small restaurant on a farm in the country where everything on our plates was grown or raised there.
We met some interesting people, including a man in his seventies named Jose who’d taught himself the “tres” (a type of guitar with three strings) and played for us. We ate delicious red beans, rice, salad, veggies, chicken and fried plantains.
Next, we went to a natural crystalline pool beneath a waterfall to cool off. The water was so clear and tranquil that my reflection was solid on the surface. We swam for a bit, relaxing before the ride back. We ultimately returned home sunburnt and sore, but having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
After getting cleaned up again, we met up with Kyky to make a date with a Santero. Kyky believed strongly in the power of Santeria. They have as many saints as Catholocism, so that’s what I planned to do – I planned to find out my saint. He said the traditions come from the Congo, but it sure reminded me of my experiences studying the shamans of Ghana’s coast – particularly the spitting of firewater on their shrines.
The Santero, Victor, talked our ear off when we got there. We explained that we wanted to learn about his practices the way an anthropologist learns about a culture. While he was open to it, I’m sure it was a strange request and warranted further investigation on his part. We clearly weren’t his typical clients. Not that he was interested in money per se, but rather our intentions and what we planned to do with the information which he claimed could hurt people. He seemed like a genuine person and we expressed interest in the secrets his snail shells and coconut husks would reveal to us.
Our dinner was perhaps the best of the trip: steamed lobster in a butter garlic sauce, served with red beans, rice, salad and a small plate of chopped fruit for dessert. Maytee’s housecat mewed through the whole meal, sure of what she was missing.