Hola, Got back yesterday from 2 weeks of cycling, hiking and sightseeing in Cuba. It started with a 9 day excursion of mostly cycling, including the Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad. We also hiked into a flood plain full of land crabs, swam in a tidal river hot springs, climbed into the mountains past a gorgeous water fall, and swam in the pond below. Most of the group was from Edmonton, with a few from Vancouver, Ontario, and the U.S.
Harry and I spent the last 4 days in Havana, staying at a Casa Particular in the same building as Peter and Ana, who operate the Canbicuba cycling company. Havana is the definition of diversity, with old and new; mansions and slums; rich and poor; fresh ocean breezes and auto exhaust; wide walkways and narrow streets; marvellous parks and congested city blocks; expensive tourist sites and cheap Cuban stores; in a minestrone soup of people of many colours from all over the world speaking many languages. Our weather was the best, and the tan proves it. We spent hours sitting and sipping pilsner outdoors at the Cerveza Factory in Havana Veijo.
We walked between 10 to 20 km. per day in Havana, except for Friday, when we cycled to Finca Viglia, aka Museo Ernest Hemingway. It was a gruelling 15 km. ride there, uphill, hot, on really busy and slummy streets. I wanted to cycle somewhere else, but Harry insisted on seeing this ‘must see’ in Havana. Did you know that every 3 days, 2 cyclists are killed in Havana? I’m sure Harry and I came close to being those 2. And there was music everywhere.
Canada sure is boring compared to Cuba. Cubans are the best, and the hope is that as Cuba gets busier with the Embargo gone, that they will not lose their love of life and of each other. They greet each other with warm embraces, kisses on the cheeks, and make us all feel at home, all one big family. Hope to send some photos when I get a chance. Adios, Dan.