Rest days in Manzanillo
The Furthest South

April 25, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes:
Was that the alarm going off? Ugh, it’s too early! Shut it off! Shut it OFF! These were the thoughts inside my head when the alarm clock started blaring at o’dark-thirty this morning. After a few days of taking it easy, staying up late and sleeping in, I guess I just wasn’t ready to be up at the crack of dawn today. Still, it’s a necessity in this heat to get started when the temperatures are still in the 20’s since they will invariably be 35 or so before noon. Amanda didn’t sound too good first this this morning, but she assured me she would tough it out, so we started loading bags downstairs and then went to enjoy breakfast.

Despite “breaking” the budget every day, I really enjoy the breakfasts that we get at the Casa Particulares. They typically include fresh fruit, fresh bread, fresh-squeezed juice, fresh coffee and I daresay, fresh eggs. I think this really sets us up for success for the rest of the day, especially since meals throughout the day include such delicacies as cold hot dogs on a stale bun, or my favourite, pizza flavoured baked bread.

We were on the bikes just a little past 8am today. I think Manzanillo is built in the middle of a crater, because it seemed like we climbed a LOT to get out of it, although I don’t remember climbing to get in. Today there were a lot of small hills, but that just meant there were a lot of small downhills. This combined with the wind behind us for a change made it a really fun ride.

I’m not too certain how fast we were going, or how long it took. I mean, I do know, I can look at Amanda’s statistics, but on days like today I don’t really care. It was just a nice day to ride bikes.

Tomorrow we have our first climb of the trip, upwards of 300m, and that’s something I’m looking forward to; to see how my body likes climbing in the swampy, hot, and humid mountains of Cuba. For now, we’re checked in to a hotel, because the Casa in Niquero is already full, and it’s an interesting contrast. Climbing 3 flights of stairs is a little different, but hey, there’s a bar at the bottom at least! We’ll talk to you again tomorrow, cheers!

Oh, hi! I’m back! So tonight there is a big party in town, and there is a live band and everything. They’re setup across the street from the hotel. Amanda and I went down and listened to some music, and since there were a lot of people dancing in the street, we joined in! Later on, when Amanda went to take some pictures of the giant organ, she was accosted by an old man, who took her in his arms, and made her dance like you wouldn’t believe! Good times!


Amanda writes:
Today was a very nice ride. I wasn’t feeing 100% this morning but went for it because I just figured you always feel worse in the morning. Having rested for two days I was confident I could make it. Time just flew by and before we knew it we had arrived in Niquero.

The communities all seem so connected. People all walk around the streets or sit on their porches talking and everyone is out and about. The farmers fields have rich soil growing mangos, sugar or coconuts or they have many animals. I enjoyed observing again the simple pace of life by most in Cuba. Farmers working with tills being pulled by some type of animal instead of a machine, transport by bike or horse, games played by kids with whatever things they could get their hands on. I think it would be incredibly overwhelming for a Cuban to land in a city in North America due to the pace of life and volume of cars.

I thought about home today. Are the Canucks still in the playoffs? How are the Yankees doing? Today is my oldest nieces 13th birthday today and April 20th was my youngest nieces 8th birthday. It’s the first time in their lives I haven’t been able to call them on their birthday. Tonight we will sing happy birthday loudly and hope they can hear it across the oceans.


Today’s Photographs

Rest days in Manzanillo
The Furthest South