Rolling to Cienfuegos
Cycling la Bahia de Cochinos

May 24, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: We woke up today, determined to find, and ride the coastal route to Playa Giron, which is in the Bay of Pigs (yes, THAT Bay of Pigs). We had mapped out our route using a nifty little offline-maps app that we have on our iPad, and even then it proved a bit of a challenge to find. Once we did find it though, the day passed in relative quiet, except for the birds, and bees, and whatnot that flew along beside us through the swamp/jungle today.

The track in question is little wider than a wagon, and follows alongside the coast for 60km, from Castillo de Jagua to Guasasa. After Guasasa, it turns back into a road, albeit a really shitty one. So, if you’re an aspiring cycle-tourist, and you want to find it, just head west out of town on the Circuito Sud. After crossing the second bridge, make your first left on an unmarked road, it actually looks more like an onramp onto the highway. Eventually in the distance you’ll see the old nuclear power plant. Keep riding straight towards it. When you reach the power plant, turn right and ride west again on the asphalt. Make your first left, and the dirt road will turn into a sandy/rocky strip, veering west. Follow this….forever. Every once in awhile, there will be beach access paths on the left side. If you’re lucky, you might spot a large iguana, or crocodile, like we did. Beware the chirping insects the size of hailstones which will do their very best to fly into your helmet. If you are sans helmet then…good luck!

There was nowhere along this route to eat, but fortunately we planned ahead, and had bought a package of cookies. This, plus an energy bar each, formed the basis for lunch today. We ate it on the rocky shore of the Caribbean. There were lots of mosquitos, which I guess we expected, what with being in the Zapata Swamp and all. Overall, this is a great ride. The ground is flat, and with our 26×2.0” tires, the sandy track wasn’t very difficult, except for one spot near the end which had us pushing for about 200m.

We arrived in Playa Giron around 5pm, and there were lots of Casas to choose from. We noticed more tourists, but again, many of the Casas sit unoccupied. This is one of the nice things about travelling Cuba in the “low” season. We chose a Casa just down the road from “El Cocodrilo Restaurante”, which is where we found dinner for a very affordable 180 pesos ($7.10CUC). I think the secret was that I asked to see the menu with Cuban prices in it. For example: The “gringo” menu listed fried chicken (pollo frito) for $4.50CUC, whereas the menu we had, listed it for 40 pesos ($1.75CUC). All said and done actually, the food was only $5CUC, and the drinks another $2. Back at the Casa, they had wanted $12CUC each for dinner…so we saved a bundle!

We’re not sure at this point whether or not we’ll spend a day exploring Playa Giron tomorrow. That’s one of the great things about travelling like we are…we get to choose in the morning!


Amanda writes: We chose the coastal path on this day. We ride with 26 x 2.0 tires and had no problem. This road/path would not be passable by most cars. There are no food stops along the way and once on the trail; there were zero cars. It was a great break from people for a day as we did not see anyone on the trail. There are many bugs, birds, lizards and mosquitos so bring your bug spray; we even saw a crocodile! There are at least 10 places to pull off and eat lunch along the Caribbean Sea and there is no one in sight. If you’ve brought a tent and have food you can easily split this into two days and enjoy the solitude. Many casas to choose from, no need to recommend one. Lot’s of food options Playa Giron.


Today’s Photographs

Rolling to Cienfuegos
Cycling la Bahia de Cochinos