AfroCuban music Manequitos de Matanzas

Just heard it and loved it. If you like afrocuban music I bet you will too. Enjoy.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwDnCmJhpzI]

A bit of information on the band from http://www.afrocubaweb.com:

The group got its start in 1952 in a bar in Barrio Marina in Matanzas, Cuba, when a group of youths began following the rhythms of a song by Arsenio Rodríguez that was then playing, using dishes and bottles, as is the style in “kitchen rumbas.”

Popular tracks:  “El guaguancó de Matanzas” (Siboney,88), “Los Muñequitos de Matanzas” (Ace,90), “Rumba caliente” (Qbadisc,92), “Oyelos de nuevo” (Artex,93), “Real Rumba” (Corasón,94), “Vacunao” (Qbadisc,95) o “Po Iban Eshu” (Qbadisc,96).

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas are part of the living legend of African music in Cuba, and they remain very close to their Abakuá (Efik/Efo) roots. Abakua (Abakuá)  is an Afro-Cuban men’s initiatory fraternity, or secret society, which originated from fraternal associations in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Known generally as Ekpe, Ngbe, or Ugbe among the multi-lingual groups in the region, these closed groups all used the leopard as a symbol of masculine prowess in war and political authority in their various communities.

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Cuba essentials prices and basic information

Valid in October/November 2012, note tourist season starts in November and some prices are going up then

Exchange rate:

1 EUR – 1.2444 CUC

1 CUC  – 24 CUP

Prices:

Food:

  • Coffee (small strong with milk out of window) 1 CUP
  • Bananas 2 CUP for bunch
  • Juice 2 CUP
  • Pizza (very popular) 2 – 5 CUP (Michal says 5 – 10)
  • Rolls (Pan de…) with ham, eggs or sausages sold from a window 1- 2 CUP
  • Waffle cakes in the street 3 CUP
  • Sugar cane juice (in a village) 12 CUP
  • Donut small cup 2 CUP, big one 5 CUP
  • Beer (Bucanero or Cristal) 1 – 1.5 CUC
  • Rum 250 ml 1.5 – 4 CUC
  • Breakfast in Casa Particular 3 – 4 CUC, dinner there 6 – 8 CUC
  • Dinner in a restaurant 5 – 10 CUC
  • Chocolate cake Varadero 3.85 CUC
  • Pan de Tortilla & Pan de Jamon Varadero 5 CUP each
  • Spaghetti in Santa Clara 4 CUC
  • 2 coconuts with rum and 1 plain together 5 CUC (beach Trinidad)
  • Fish in the hotel beach bar in Trinidad 6 CUC
  • Fish (the best we had) in small house based take away 50 CUP

Transport:

  • Taxi airport – Havana 25 CUC
  • Taxi from China town to Old town in Havana 3 CUC
  • Taxi Havana – Vinales 12 CUC per person, 60 CUC per 5 passanger car
  • Taxi Vinales – Playa Mulata 40 CUC
  • Taxi Playa Mulata – Havana – Varadero 60 CUC + 40 CUC
  • Taxi Remedios – Cayo las Brujas official taxi 50 – 60 CUC, unofficial 35 CUC
  • Taxi Remedios – Caibarien 5 CUC
  • Taxi Remedios – Santa Klara 20 CUC

  • Horse cart from Che Monument to city center 1 CUC for 3 passangers
  • Taxi from Trinidad to the beach 1 CUC each (5 CUC)
  • Taxi Trinidad – Havana airport 25 CUC per person (120 CUC)
  • Taxi from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 in Havana airport 20 CUC!!!!!! better don’t be there for the last moment and bare in mind Conviasa departs from domestic flights terminal even though it is bound to Carracas. We bargained to 10 CUC, still…
  • VIAZUL on different routes:
  • Havana – Vinales 12 CUC (3,5 h)

  • Vinales – Trinidad 40 CUC (8 h)

  • Trinidad – S. Klara 12 CUC (3 h)

  • S. Klara – Varadero 11 CUC ( 3 h)

  • Havana – Santiago 60 CUC

  • Varadero – Trinidad 20 CUC

Accommodation:

  • Price of a room in Havana 20 CUC
  • Room in Vinales 6 CUC per person (15 CUC per room)

Other:

  • Havana tour in old American car (1 Hour) 30 CUC
  • Casa de la Musica in Havana 20 CUC
  • Entrance to a club in Vinales 2 CUC, toilet paper in this club 1 CUC, mojito 2.5 CUC
  • Bike rental in Vinales 1 CUC for the first hour, 2 CUC for 2 hours and after that 0.75 CUC per hour
  • Entrance to the caves in Vinales (1st) 3 CUC, (2nd) 5 CUC
  • Casa de la Musica Varadero 10 CUC
  • Organised tour from Varadero to The Bay of Pigs or Havana 40 CUC per person
  • Straw hat and leather shoes in Havana 15 CUC
  • Left luggage in Santa Clara 2 CUC per bag
  • Entrance to Art Museum in Santa Clara 2 CUC (additional photo charge 5 CUC)
  • Entrance to The Cave (club) in Trinidad 3 CUC
  • Body balm in Trinidad 3.5 CUC (in a shop you have to leave your bag in the locker and then at the exit security goes through your shopping, don’t loose your recipt!)
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Beach near Trinidad yet another face of Cuba

I be honest this post is not going to be long. I write it only because of a sense of obligation. I just want to show the fans of beach what the beach in Trinidad looks like. Because it is located in the southern part of the island you can find there amazing shells and parts of coral reef from Caribbean Sea.

The water was perfectly flat. Not a single cloud on the sky.

Beach TrinidadThe colours of the water – amazing.

water trinidad

Fancy hotels, sunbeds, palm trees, beach bars, salesmen, shells, crabs… I went for a walk with Marysia and we found some shells which we took home with us. I had a coconut with rum which was the highlight of the morning. I think you will enjoy the pictures below. The next post will enclose all the prices I wrote down and maybe some useful information. I know I was looking for things like that while planning my budget.

 

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