We were impressed by the number of families traveling with their kids by bicycle in general but even more here in Cuba. There is a lot of people in the world that are not chained to a 9-5 office job, and many kids that are having a school traveling year with their parents. These Canadian farmers -about our age- travel with their 5 year old daughter who is fluent in English, French, and is quicker than her parents in adopting Spanish thanks to her social skills. She engages a conversation with anyone or anything that crosses her path. Some of her family members and friends at home thought they were completely crazy, but surely they are an inspiration for many who are dreaming of doing this trip.
Since we could not take the bus to the eastern side, we rode to this town and we would make our way down to Soroa, visit Las Terrazas on a day trip, and then take a taxi down to Playa Larga. We considered cycling instead of taking the taxi but there are no tourist areas in between and we learnt yesterday that we wont find a place to sleep at all, let alone by drinking water, food, etc.
We said goodbye to the German solo traveler and the Canadian family, and started pedaling. Cycling from San Diego de los Baños to Soroa we choose the Carretera Central de Cuba instead of the big highway favoring slower vehicles and less straight boring roads. We also felt more protected from the wind with all the vegetation around. Drivers love using their 18-wheeler like horn for saying “hi” right next to your ear as you try to avoid falling into the next pavement hole. Once you recover from the shock and / or unbalance, they push the gas -or more accurate diesel- pedal, and your nostrils and lungs will travel back to the 50’s when fast cars exhaust pollution was cool (was it?).
We made it to the highly recommended Villa Arcoiris and were very impressed by the level of detail they put into the room, bath, and house in general. Dinner and breakfast were amazing. The host is a super decent educated lady taking care of her house and guests. She knows everyone around and can help you with anything you need. In our case, she arranged for us a taxi who would drive us down to Playa Larga days later.
We left our stuff at Villa Arcoiris, prepared a single pannier with tools and spare parts and went up to the Cascada and Mirador. This short 2km or so have been by far the steepest stretch we’ve done in Cuba. There was not a single cyclist on their bike, everyone except us luckily in a tandem, was walking up their bikes. People around and even us laughed at ourselves by how ridiculous it was to cycle that slope. But this is where a tandem bike -also- excels, we had 4 legs pedaling making cycling the hill possible. Both the Cascada and Mirador are highly recommended.
This is today’s Strava recording: