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Old 03-22-2013, 10:41 AM   #1006
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Cuba - Day 9 - Baracoa

Starting with a Casa breaky which set us up for the day our setting was fit for a king and queen ... so we will take that!!



After our breaky we headed out to a waterfall which was $8 CUC each for a 40 minute walk .... you have to be kidding us ... no way, unfortunately we are just viewed as a treasure chest full of money rather than people.

Price came down to $5 CUC each which was still way over the top so due to their greed they lost everything and we decided to go 1 km down the river to a free place we could fluff around in the water which was very nice.

Mirium contemplating life on a rock in the river ... probably wondering how the hell she got tangled up with the two dodgy kiwis



Two girls sitting on the two rocks keeping an eye on the getaway car



On the way down there was bridge that was a little worse for wear ... coat of paint should fix it





No worries the locals had blazed a track around it



Continuing back down the road we stopped at the chocolate trees to see how they grow, amazing plants with amazing colours





It was getting toward lunchtime so we headed to a Rio (River) restaurant where we had lunch and it was outstanding and cost $5.80 CUC so much better value.

My coconut drink with real bambo straws ... awesome!!!



This was Ellens drink, everything in a natures own bowls ... perfecto



There was a tour group coming in for lunch and they had a pig on a spit which unfortunately we could not get our hands on



The smell .... ouwh the smell



Finishing lunch we headed for the Playa (Beach) to sit in the sun on the beach, we pretty much had the place to ourselves other than an older woman who decided we looked like very rich tourists.... no boobie shots today sorry



After that Playa we went to another very off the beaten track Playa and met some locals who were super friendly and vey nice people.



These guys were really cool and very welcoming ..... cool.......whiteyfoos



On a complete turn on the above this is Wifi in Cuba and pretty much somes it up

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:37 AM   #1007
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Cuba - Day 10 - Baracoa To Caleton

Leaving Baracoa with good memories we took the scenic highway, along the route there were people selling chocolate, bananas, oranges and a coconut and jam mix.

This is the "gift" highway scenic route that Fidal gave to this area in 1960 as access previously was only by boat.



Stopping at one guy to buy some sweet bananas he said wait a minute and all his other friends came over and mobbed the car trying to sell anything and everything and they were yelling so it was not very nice, the guy tried to charge us about 20 x what they were worth so no-one there made a sale.

(Photo courtesy of Miriam)



Next guy we saw was sensible and asked a reasonable price so we bought a lot from him.

Arriving in a small town called Imias the road was closed, accidente the policeman said, so we had to go around through the back streets before getting back out onto the man road.

We came across scenes of despair with people crying, hugging each other, holding hands and some just staring into space like they were owed something so it was not a good look at all.

Getting back up onto the main street we looked left towards town and could see and oddly parked bus and emergency services galore.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later driving down the road an ambulance caught us up, we pull over to let it go or I should probably say let all SIX of them go .... all lights and all sirens they were not mucking about even with the very uneven surface on the road...very sobering



It is just something you don't see every day .. actually ... I have never seen this before!



We don’t know what happened or the outcome but by judging the mood on the street we suspect at least one (or more) may have died as it was pretty somber to say the least.

No photos out of respect to the families for the injured and or deceased, best to the families involved from us.

The cheerful mood in the car changed to that of wonder and respect given the size of the event for a small town however dooms day had not finished yet.

20 km along the road, people everywhere, buses, police etc and people examining the road a local truck had lost a wheel and gone off the road and rolled down a 10 meter high bank, again no photos out of respect.

We were stopped by the police as they examined the road looking for something which were don’t know.

On our way again we settled in to get to the bank and tank the car, arriving at Guantananmo Ellen and I went into the bank, it was a hell of a mission just to get money but we got it in the end, NOTHING is easy in Cuba other than getting a Casa Particular, getting a Taxi or spending money IF you can get it.

We had a quick lunch stop or pizza the standard lunchtime affair in Cuba, Miriam returning with the fud



Carrying on our journey we went through Santiago De Cuba but with more interesting things to see we skipped through and out the other side to take the coastline road.

We stopped to sort out which way we were going and saw this a BIG city bus



We did get navigationally challenged at this point, a local stopped to "help", he was there maybe a minute or max 2 then wanted $5 CUC .... ($5 bucks ... I don't think so)

Peter and I talking with Mr.5CUC



We had stopped right beside a big square with art so that was cool



Heading out from the city our trip started again, neat coastline road with who knows what in stall for us and based on the earlier part of the day nothing would surprise us ... or so we thought

The road was badly damaged so we were in first gear at times, this was a ship gun turret poking out of the water



Did I mention the road was rough



Nearing the end of the day we started to look for accommodation, spotting a campismo we pulled in to find it was full, one of the guys siad he had a Casa Particular 2 km up the road, 2 rooms and yard to park the car .... perfecto.

Arriving we looked at the place .... right on the waterfront ..... s e r i o u s l y basic with no hot water .... that is us!!!

Getting sorted we all relaxed and organised tea with our Casa.

A few photos of the place and surroundings ....

The Casa



The local fishing boats and view



USS Montana (see youtube).... Cuban style



Kids in for a swim



After a good day ... sunset



Casa fud ... WOH HOH .. it tasted as good as it looks

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Old 03-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #1008
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After the Dnepr/Ural, that Citroen is a Renault !!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #1009
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After the Dnepr/Ural, that Citroen is a Renault !!!

Oooops ... but it is still white
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:40 PM   #1010
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Originally Posted by Two Moto Kiwis View Post

Another local Ural sidie, these are everywhere from the west to the east



I see your 'sidie'... and raise you a 'speedie' (excuse the reflection off the tv screen)



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Old 03-22-2013, 06:08 PM   #1011
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Mojitos and a fine cigar.
Sounds perfect. I'll have to remember that.
Keep the amazing Ride Report coming.
Q~
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:46 PM   #1012
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Originally Posted by SkycamNZ View Post
I see your 'sidie'... and raise you a 'speedie'
.... hmmm I find that raising something else (no pics tho )
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #1013
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Mojitos and a fine cigar.
Sounds perfect. I'll have to remember that.
Keep the amazing Ride Report coming.
Q~
Heya Q~ ... the shameful thing is my moose piss drinking hat has been sent home due to space efficiencies ... good thing is WHEN you come to NZ to stay with us we can pick up where we left of which was here .....



Mojittos and cigars on Two Moto Kiwis
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:51 PM   #1014
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Mojitos and a fine cigar. Q~
PS ... I want that shirt
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:57 AM   #1015
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:57 AM   #1016
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Page shortening post again
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:47 AM   #1017
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ya thanks, you guys make my mornings brighter. Keep it rolling.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #1018
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Cuba - Day 11 - Coastline Road.

Breakfast was organised for 8.00 am ... at 7.00 am Miriam knocked on our door and said breaky is ready!!!, Ellen had already gone out for a walk so we almost waited for her before we tucked in.

Again we were given a stunning day to play with, Ellen took some early morning shots.

My fav!!





Given the hour earlier we were accidentally given we made good use getting on the road at 8.15 am for our long and slow portion of the trip on the southern coastline road which was literally WW3 for 180 km.



In places the road was washed out and some bridges were destroyed but still being used ... this was something new for us.





The watermain pipe had kinked and split so they just made new joining sleeves at bizarre angles and welded it back together stick squirting water out .... fixed



There were no warning signs, no nothing to say you will be decapitated if you drive on that side .... imagine driving into that at night .... you would not stand a chance!!

The coastline offered stunning scenery and exciting views, the road did however come to an abrupt stop were the tunnel had collapsed and the road beyond repair, they had cut a new road/track up and over the top.



This was more of a 4x4 track than a main road so with some effort from some local Cubans we pushed the car over the first steep bit.







They showed us the next bit which was steeper but not as stoney, using my 28 years of 4x4 experience from New Zealand I put the car into first (it was an auto) so it would not kick down I used momentum to get over the stoney loose parts and gunned it on the bedrock parts to keep my momentum up and reached the top in one hit while the Cubans were standing there waiting to push me ... no way man I am a Kiwi!!!!

View from the top



Next mission ... the road narrowed to a single lane so the tar road completely destroyed.



As Murhy would have it we meet the only car in a long while on the one lane stretch ....and it was a white rental car as well. / 4wd





Upon successful completion of our off road excursion we continued to Pilon however our offroading had not finished, this bridge middle span had sunk, this time there was a sign in the middle of the road.

Look closely you can see a Ural sidie coming across







So with the offroad section then c o m p l e t e ...... well not quite





On the guard rail all the concrete had spalled off where the reo steel was corroding and expanding blowing the concrete off, this is a very common scene on coastal Cuba





We spotted a resort on the way to Pilon, it was very hot and we were hungry so we drove in, we walked in like we owned the place and Peter and Miriam went for a swim then we drove down to the beach hut.bar/lunch spot.

We ordered 4 burgers and asked Cuanto Questos (how much) and he replied it is all included (but we were not staying at the hotel) so again we asked how much and the same reply was given so OK we will have 4 burgers, we had intentions of paying at the hotel but he was adamant we didn’t have to pay ... he won ... but we did try.

Continuing on after our gratis lunch thanks to Che we went to Manzanillo to the money exchange for Peter and Miriam. We parked the car in the town square and some guy came up and started washing part of the car then walked off???

He returned so I went out and said “No” we did not ask you to do that, he glared at me then walked off, I said to the other guys time to leave so we went back to the car to find it smeared in mud, the arsehole had come back and smeared mud over the windscreen and down the left hand side.... great guy.



We left and I saw him on the street, we stopped and I yelled out in my most abusive spenglish but he didn’t seem to give a shit, narrow minded little man he was.

Check this out, 5 on a Ural sidie, they still had space for a few more



Our journey today at ended in Bayamo, we had a nice drink at a local bar and got eaten by mozzies, Lonely Planet recommended this nice garden bar overlooking the river ..... it was more like overlooking the sewer and stagnent mozzi pond so don't believe everything you read in Lonely Planet, we don't but we read Peters book.



Choosing somewhere else to eat so we weren't on the menu our somewhere else the food was excellent as was the service until we went to pay then they tried to rip us off .... again, we paid the bill in full, it was only $1.50 CUC but it is the principle so we left no tip which would have been worth $5 CUC to them, yet again greed sets them back.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:11 AM   #1019
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ya thanks, you guys make my mornings brighter. Keep it rolling.
Heya Mike

We are trying mate

The above section of the road would be mint on a big adventure bike eh.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:14 AM   #1020
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Cuba - Day 12 - Bayoma To Holguin

An early start with breaky at 8.00am ....8.50am Cuba time, then our all inclusive night we had to pay $2 CUC extra to get our car back ... there is ALWAYS an addon with Cubans pretty much no matter what even if it is in writing, sorting that out (paying) we hit the road heading toward Holguin.

Arriving at Holguin we went back to our Casa from 5 days ago as they had our knife and spoons etc and they were great people with a nice place to stay, we were very appreciative of there help in getting our good kit back we gave them a good tip/extra for helping.

From there we went out to the beach at Guardalavaca, nice place it was too but very touristy.

I don't know what lengths you have to go to a photo of a winder surfer when people just get in the way



I was trying to work out if this was Coca Cola......



The beach



Peter and Miriam just relaxing



Another beautiful old car immaculate ... would love to take that home



Returning we followed this, again a very common sight to see.



Peter and Miriam had tea with us at the Casa then we walked around town, very clean streets with terrazzite ... lavish finish for a street!!!!.



On returning back to the Casa Peter and Miriam were leaving to Vinales so we walked with them up to the bus to say goodbyes.

Ellen and I walked back through town and there was heaps happening, Ellen bought me some candyfloss which was real treat but it was not pink like it is in New Zealand. It cost 2 pesos which was 8cents.

There was an orchestra playing awesome music with a conductor that was so into it you could feel the soul through the music, nearing the end a few of them stood up and did their solos showing off their talent while letting loose again this was very cool and they were loving it playing passionately to the audience. They use washing pegs to hold their paper, very cuban style. Unfortunately, we didn’t have our camera with us.

We did return with our camera but they had finished, we did however get to see an open air movie which was war based and about how they had succeeded with their idea ... what a surprise.

The more interesting thing for us was the DVD player strapped onto the back of a bike



... and the projector taped onto a stand



Back to home base at 9.40pm it was bedtime ready for the morning hike before jumping on the bus to Giego de Avila.

It was quiet as Peter and Miriam had left, we really enjoyed our chance meeting and 5 days cruising around doing some very interesting stuff, onya guys you made the middle part of our trip special and fun.
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