Cycling Cuba: If its not over 35 degrees, humid, uphill and into a headwind I´m not interested
Met up with the cycling group and we headed out of Havana to get the bikes. Interesting start to the cycling, as a dog started chasing me after 5 minutes. It obviously decided it didn’t like the look of me as it suddenly just went for me. It wasn’t foaming at the mouth but I certainly wasn’t hanging about to see if it just wanted to play ball and I managed to outrun it.
But then after 10 minutes I got a puncture. Normally the support bus stays at the back but it had overtaken already, so while I pushed someone had to cycle on and tell the bus to go back (cheers Joe). So ended up spending 5km on the bus on the first day which was disappointing, but it was the only time I spent on the bus on the whole trip. 25km was a relatively gentle start distance wise but the roads weren’t in good condition so it was hardly a smooth ride, and there was a pretty steep hill on just a dirt track to finish. That night was spent in what can generously be described as a pretty grim hotel in Matanzas.
The next day the distance was upped to 61km - hard work given the heat and humidity. Stopped at Guama crocodile farm to see the, err, crocodiles. They were all just lined up pretty much sun-bathing, then one of the rangers started throwing fish over the fence and they all started clambering over each other to get the food. It was not dissimilar to all the Canadians at the baseball game in Toronto trying to get a free t-shirt. The highlight was when Liber, our cycling tour guide, grabbed Ruth, a girl off the tour’s leg, and she (not unreasonably) screamed thinking it was a crocodile!
We stayed the night in Playa Giron, which is where the Bay of Pigs invasion was. Had a look around the museum; was quite interesting and you could get a pretty good idea of what went on even though it was in Spanish. That night was spent in what can generously be described as an even grimmer hotel than the previous night. Our bathroom had a variety of insects living in it, while Urs and John’s room had a chair in it that had an insect infestation.
Next day was a 67km ride, pretty undulating…
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