Santa Clara

13th April 2011

Santa Clara [5] is where Che Guevara led the attack which derailed a government train carrying soldiers and weapons in the last days of 1958, thus securing the Revolución.  His remains lie in a mausoleum nearby.  We have now completed the Che trilogy, from his childhood home in Argentina to the place where he died in Bolivia to his final grave in Cuba.


We have been travelling on the modern comfortable and punctual Viazul buses, a good way to see rural Cuba.  For some reason only two places can be reserved from on the bus from Camagüey to Santa Clara and they were taken.  We got to the station early to be first for a seat.  There are invisible queues for many things in Cuba.  When you arrive you find out who is the last person in line (¿Quien es el ultimo?), then you go wait somewhere comfortable.  Someone will soon let you know if you try to go out of turn! 


Hitch hiking is organised in Cuba.  There are places to wait on the outskirts of each town (punto de transporte alternativo).  Here men in yellow overalls organise the queues and stop vehicles (government cars have to give rides apparently).  It might be a long wait though; we saw frustrated looking people waving fistfuls of pesos as cars sped by.


Santa Clara´s main square

Some of the buildings facing the square

Mausoleum and Museum for El Che

Church in Santa Clara

More horse drawn carriages than cars ...

... they even have their own traffic signs

Kids playing baseball, the national sport of Cuba

Santa Clara´s railway station

Saturday afternoon in the square

Ex social club, now a school

Reading the newspaper

Blanca outside her Casa in Santa Clara

Official hitch hiker stands along the highway

Viazul bus

Cuban Royal Palms dot the countryside