Trinidad, Cuba – Heat Wave Over a Colonial Town

Trinidad, Cuba

Note: This post is brought to you by our friends Eric and Shauna who went to Cuba for two weeks. We are not lawless outlaws and did not go during our two weeks off the grid but thought you guys would be interested in our their story anyway.

Our casa particular owner, Rosie in Habana, set us up to be taken care of by her parents, Ruth and Mario, in their casa in Trinidad.

I was super excited. A carnival was in town and I was stoked because this was the first time anything substantial was happening in a city we were visiting. The plan was: First attack the historic colonial area and then move on to the madness of “Carnaval”.

Carnaval in Trinidad, CubaIt was noon and the strong, Caribbean sun seemed to really be at peak that day. We meandered our way through the cobblestone streets, through colorful, restored colonial buildings. The only thing I ever have to complain about with colonial cities is the lack of shade that can be found midday. Buildings, buildings everywhere and nowhere to hide.

We soon made our way into Carnaval and had no clue what we were in for. Stalls  selling popcorn, chicharrones, snowcones, bring your own cup $.25 beer lined the streets. Live music came pouring out of the speakers and the contagious songs made people dance in the middle of the heat, pitchers of beer in tow. The passion of Cubans is not to be understated.

In the swirl of all the excitement, the world seemed to have started it’s own dance as well and we headed home in a slight delirium.

As we lay in bed, in the bare essentials, as the wall unit and desk fan were all on high – it hit us.


Shaun-A immediately ran to the bathroom.


Hot dogs in Cuba

No we did not eat these. They are not what made us sick. However, I thought that I would bring up that nothing is more Cuban than… hot dogs?

Shaun-A can count the amount of times (s)he has gotten sick like that on one hand. Me on the other hand…

Shaun-A comes out of the bathroom with a defeated look on his(her) face as I rush into the bathroom behind him(her).


Can I tell you how much it sucks to share one toilet with two people who have it coming out of both ends? One toilet. Four holes. You do the math.

This cycle of trading continued on for what seemed like an eternity. In the delirium of sickness I started thinking…

Out of all places we had to get this violently ill, why did it have to be the place that we have no contact with family and no way to get money?


Oh God. What if I go to the medic and we don’t have enough money to pay for it since we can’t withdraw anything from the ATM or use our credit cards?


Think. I’m. Going. To. Die.

At about 4am the puking subsided and Shaun-A and I lie helplessly on the bed. Thank goodness we had out amazing casa particular “mom” Ruth to help us out and nurse us back to health. I couldn’t have imagined what this would have been like had we been in a hostel.

Much to her dismay we really don’t have much to say about Trinidad. So as promised, I highly suggest going there. I hear it is a really rad city with lots to do, things to see, and a crazy ass night life that doesn’t stop. Apparently it also has the best beach on the southern side of Cuba.

We wouldn’t know. We got very acquainted with our toilet.
Church in Trinidad, Cuba

Garden overhang, Trinidad, Cuba


Alley in Trinidad, Cuba

Chicharrones Cuba



13 Responses to “Trinidad, Cuba – Heat Wave Over a Colonial Town”

  1. Jaime July 22, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    I hate that y’all are always getting sick. Why doesn’t yalls stomachs understand yall are great people exploring the world and trying new things…lol!!! Ahhh I so wanna go to CUBA and now I could more than ever with my MEXICAN passport!!!

    • Erica July 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

      @Jaime: What a weird concept… to feel LEGAL there.

  2. Dalene July 22, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    You guys seriously have the shittiest of luck with getting sick. Hope that turns around for you soon…

    • Erica July 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      @Dalene: You’re telling ME. I just figure by the time we get home our immune systems will be able to conquer the zombie apocalypse.

  3. Terri July 22, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    OH NO!! That sound awful. **Knock on wood** I haven’t gotten sick eating while traveling, BUT for some reason I think my time is coming. 🙂 I hope you’re both feeling better.

    • Erica July 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      @Terri: It was by far our lowest moment on the trip. Best of luck to you when the time comes? <3

  4. Phil July 22, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    damn! You guys can’t escape illness on this trip! Are you carrying/taking cipro? It might be good to just blast your system for 7 days or so (2 500mg doses of ciprofloxacin a day). It will kill everything and you can buy it cheaply in any pharmacy. Sickness is so much worse in the heat. Sometimes it’s the heat itself that makes me nauseous.

    • Erica July 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

      @Phil: While that does seem like an interesting way to handle it, I’m not sure I could go that long without beer on purpose. 😛

  5. Emily July 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Sorry to hear you were sick! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve really been enjoying your (their) Cuba posts. I’ve got a UK passport and live in Chile, so getting there shouldn’t be a problem, but my husband who’s already been really didn’t like the tourist trail of just hitting the beach in Varadero. And of course you find the most info on Varadero, so it’s been nice to hear about some other places outside Havana that might give more of an insight into “real Cuba” outside the big resorts.

    • Erica July 25, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      @Emily: Thank you! I hadn’t even heard of Varadero until we got there. I had my heart set on Havana lol. I really would go out and try new places. The best people to ask would be your casa particular owners. They usually have some knowledge and suggestions on the areas.

      To be honest, the resort town was nothing like Cuba and kinda annoyed me. GREAT FOOD though.

  6. Sheryll July 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    OMG! I cannot imagine what being sick like that must have felt like. What an awesome experience for Eric and Shauna to go to Cuba ;). It’s always been a dream of mine!

    • Erica July 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      @Sheryll: It had been 20 years since I had felt that badly and I at least had my grandma around to soothe me. I was on my own for this one! It was pretty gnarly.


  1. Interview with Shaun and Erica of Over Yonderlust - July 21, 2013

    […] we’ve had to deal with has been gastro bugs, likely from our street food addiction. However, the worst sickness experience of our lives happened on the trip and possibly didn’t have anything to do with food. We planned our trip […]

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