The Day the Road Ended
Wind ... the Bane(s) of our Existence(s)

May 11, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: As you can see from the cycling stats, it was a long one today. Originally we had planned to cycle about 70km from Moa to the Rio Cabonico campismo. Unfortunately, when we arrived, despite the place having people there, music playing etc..we were told that we couldn’t stay because they didn’t have authorization for foreigners. So we cycled on for another 10km, kinda down a road off of the main one we were following, and ended up in Nicaro, where we heard there was a hotel. Except in Nicaro, we had the same problem. No foreigners allowed. Finally after the sun had set, and with most Cubans getting ready to eat dinner, we made it to Mayari where we were able to find a Casa.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to us, except now we understand it a bit better. When we stay at a Casa Particular, the owner/host has 24 or 48 hours to report our presence to Immigration. Also whenever we show up at a Casa, the first and most important thing to do is the paperwork, if Immigration officers show up and hand out a 1,500CUC fine to the owner for not being on the up-and-up. The reason why these other places can’t take foreigners is usually because there are no Immigration offices nearby for them to report to. It’s dumb….but it’s how it’s done here I guess.

Basically since we left Playa Imias a few days ago, the terrain has been non-stop hills. First La Farola, which was more mountainous than hilly, but then after Baracoa, and again today, there has been nary a flat stitch of road. Looking at our Garmin track, it was up, down, up, down all day long. The only saving grace at this point is the wind at our back; a nice strong 25km/h tailwind.

It rained on us today, for the first time since we got here. I mean, I remember it rained in Ciego de Avila way back when, but we weren’t cycling at the time. So here we are today riding along when FLASH! BOOM! A thunder and lightning storm erupts ahead of us. We ride into it, get a little wet, and then we hit the town of Sagua de Tamano, where we stop for lunch and hang out until the rain lets up. Our clothes were already soaked with sweat, so apart from worrying about the road conditions, it’s not like the rain had any adverse effects on us.

I forgot to mention yesterday that Amanda noticed her front rack had broken. One of the bolts holding it into the fork had snapped off, leaving a piece inside. We found a friendly “ponchera” who was able to at least fortify my temporary repair (zip-ties) with some copper wire. Hopefully we can find someone better suited or experienced who can back-drill out the old screw, and find us a new one to put in.

We got a little turned around when in Sagua de Tamana, so don’t be afraid to ask for directions to Mayari if you need help. Cyclists take note, there IS a Casa Particular on the western end of town here. When we found it, we had only been riding for about 40km and thought there was somewhere to stay further down the road…if only we had known!


Today’s Photographs

The Day the Road Ended
Wind ... the Bane(s) of our Existence(s)