Blowin' past Matanzas! (to Playa Jibacoa)
Rest Day in Guanabo

May 29, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Ok, today we’re really going to do it. We’re going to try super-hard, to ride less than 40km, instead of 100km. Our destination today is Guanabo, one of the Playa Estes communities near La Habana. (Edit: We failed – total distance 45.7km) The plan was to reach the beach, fly some kites, surf some waves, and just take it easy. (Edit: SUCCESS!)

The ride today was pretty much all flat, with the wind at our backs. Oh, we found another Casa in Playa Jibacoa, on the western end of town, about 7km from where we stayed last night, so we didn’t have to break our rule. Oh well. Ok, the ride…yeah, a mixture of spectacular and unspectacular. Watching the waves crash into the rocky shoreline while cycling is pretty cool. Watching oil derricks pump crude into nearby storage containers, with the air smelling like sulphur, is rather un-cool.

The biggest challenge we faced today was finding a Casa in Guanabo. Two things working against us include the fact that it’s a Friday night in a beach-community, spitting distance from Havana (30km away). The other is that Casa Particulars here, can, and do rent to Cubans for a similar rate as we pay. The result? All of the Casas we tried were full. Of course, we’re pretty particular about our Casa Particulars. For instance, we wanted one beside the beach…like, with waves lapping the bannisters on our bed…and we don’t want to pay more than $20CUC ($20USD). Prices here in Guanabo ranged from $25 to $65CUC. Most of the places are full on apartments, or the whole house, not just a room, which is different than in all of the other places we’ve stayed so far. So I guess I can understand people charging more. In any event, after 2-hours of searching, we found a place a block from the beach, with a Casa Owner who speaks english, and we’re paying $20CUC.

Did I mention that it’s the weekend??? There are tonnes of people here! The beach is jam-packed! We took the kite down to the water and I flew for about an hour, while Amanda read. Afterwards, we took our surfmats out into the rollers, and had a great time. The waves here end up being strong enough for body-surfing, and just high enough to create a nice ramp effect for the mats. Amanda and I fought for some of the bigger waves, even going so far as to play “bumper mats” in the surf. Huge waves = huge laughs = huge smiles = two tired cyclists.

There are lots of places to eat here, and we went to an awesome cafeteria for lunch. I had a massive hamburger. It felt so good to eat, like a real hamburger, although in Cuba the origin of meat is always suspicious. It may have been pork. For dinner, instead of going out, we opted to buy some spaghetti noodles, pasta sauce, and fresh vegetables, and made a nice pasta dinner back at the Casa. After back-to-back 100km days, I took the initiative to call for a rest day here tomorrow…here’s hoping we have another fun time on the beach together.


Today’s Photographs

Blowin' past Matanzas! (to Playa Jibacoa)
Rest Day in Guanabo