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Old 06-15-2013, 04:14 AM   #1141
Sunday Rider
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Location: North of T.Ho., Ontario
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Congratulations on your ONE year marker. What a wonderful adventure. At times it seems like you've been gone only a short time, but you have had many years of adventures packed in that time. Fantastic photography, write up, humour, and most of all great riding and facing adversity together. Best wishes for a safe journey.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:42 AM   #1142
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Location: around 43.07N, 89.4W often enough
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1 year

..hard to believe.

Thanks for taking us along.
'02 ST4s (r.i.p.)
'09 K13S
IBA #47605
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:30 AM   #1143
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Location: So. Jersey
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Originally Posted by ohiomatt View Post
I loving reading the ride reports on this forum because it reminds that there are still good people in this world..
Lately I need to be reminded more often. Is that because I'm getting old, or are most people jerks?
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:57 AM   #1144
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Congrats! Inspiring!
"Dogs do what dogs do" Abe Lincoln
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:06 AM   #1145
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Location: San Carlos, Mexico
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Wait... you mean your year on the road was better than sitting at a desk working 5 days or more a week?

Nah... really?

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Old 06-15-2013, 05:49 PM   #1146
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Lone Pine Ontario (or travelling)
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One year. Wow.

We are up ahead breaking trail for you's

I'll send you some waypoints later.

Your gonna barf when you see the great riding further south. We look forward to seeing you's again !

Keep up the great work on the RR!
Ride Our World
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:14 PM   #1147
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Location: Lower CA Desert
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Congrats on 1 year on the road. Keep up the good RR
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:37 AM   #1148
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Congratulation! It is nice to follow you during your trip. It make us dream and travel with you... and hope we can do it one day.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:27 PM   #1149
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Joined: Jan 2005
Location: land of the swamps!, Cajun Country LA
Oddometer: 2,503

Wow what a report.... and I love seeing the smiling faces in every shot!
NEW dash plates for your l
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:58 AM   #1150
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Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
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Mubarak Mubarak (Congratulations) and best wishes for 2nd and 3rd and so On. Looking forward to be part of all coming anniversaries.

Ride and Let Ride
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #1151
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Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
We watched the local Baracoa baseball team practicing

Rumour has it that Fidel was a pretty good baseball player and national sports was encouraged by the government at all levels that Cuba quickly rose to world prominence at each Olympics after La Revolucion. I don't know anything about baseball, but even I've heard of Jose Canseco.
I've read that Castro turned down a contract offer from the NY Giants.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:11 AM   #1152
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Updated from

We spent a few days travelling inland through Central Cuba, thankful that we were shying away from the popular tourist destinations and the hustlers that swim in those waters. We were pretty happy with being anonymous in the fairly priced Islazul hotels, so we ended up searching for them in the interior of the island. Our journey through the interior revealed a lot about the history of La Revolucion, the players and the events that have happened since.

More state-sponsored propaganda on the Carretera Centrale (main road)

Very cute lizards watch us eat dinner

The town of Moron, our stopover for a couple of nights

We chose to stay awhile in the town of Moron, which is not that touristy, but is used as a base for budget travellers who don't want to pay the exorbitant resort rates on the beaches of Cayo Coco, less than an hour to the north. Yep, that sounds like us!

Fidel the freedom fighter, in the jungles of Cuba

The Cuban 5

Everywhere in our travels we saw these 5 names, with slogans like "Free the Five!" and "They will return!". It's only later that we found out these five were Cuban spies that were sent to the US. In the 90s, they were discovered and convicted of spying against America, although Cuba maintains that they were only there to spy on anti-Cuban organizations launching terrorists attacks on Cuban soil from their base in Miami. Here they're hailed as heroes who gave up their liberty to defend their country.

Seamstresses in Moron

Pastel colours

Singing competition. Neda said that these girls were dressed in the same outfits that she wore when she was a kid in Croatia.

These students were all taking part in a music competition

Most of the buildings in Moron had these Roman columns

Local shoe repair guy - open air shop!

"Here we have to throw rocks without looking forward"

In 1983, construction began on a 27km causeway between Cuba to the island of Cayo Coco, opening up land access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. From the mainland, you could not even see the island. Fidel stood on the spot where the causeway was to be constructed and motivated the workers: "Here is where we have to throw stones without looking forward".

Riding to our beach day in Cayo CoCo

We didn't really do any research as to where to go once we hit Cayo Coco, and when we ran into a couple from France driving the same direction, they told us that they were heading to one of the best beaches on the island: Playa Pilar. That sounded good to us. Little did we know that Playa Pilar was on the western-most tip of Cayo Guillermo, the adjoining island to Cayo Coco and a one-way trip from Moron was 100 kms! We had left on half a tank and there were no gas stations along the way - Thankfully we had our spare tanks...

Playa Pilar: White sand as fine as baking powder, and clear turquoise waters as far as the eye can see

The next day we rode only for a couple of hours westwards to Santa Clara. It's an important city in Cuban history because this is basically where La Revolucion against the Batista dictatorship was won in 1958. Fidel sent his most-trusted Lieutenant, Ernesto "Che" Guevara to capture the city, and after his death a few years later, a mausoleum was built just outside of Santa Clara to house his remains and celebrate his life. This was the main reason we stopped in the city.

Taking in some music in Santa Clara

22-foot high bronze Che on top of the mausoleum

I didn't know much about Che Guevara before coming to Cuba, and it was very interesting seeing how the government portrayed this hero of Cuban history. In the museum next to the mausoleum, we learned about the young Argentine doctor, who came from a privileged family, gave up everything and fought in the jungles of Cuba to free the oppressed workers of the country and the corruption of the Batista dictatorship.

Neda reads the epitaph and translates for me

It was only later when we were able to read non-Cuban propaganda, that we learned of the war atrocities that Che had committed. The trip to Santa Clara was a fascinating lesson in one-sided history and education. It made me think that although in the western world, we have access to all sorts of viewpoints and editorials on history and world events, we most often accept a singular reporting that the mainstream media feeds us without bothering to dig deeper. Despite Cuba's stance on silencing all opposing viewpoints (they have one of the world's worst records for jailing journalists), there seems to be a hunger for freedom of press. We heard that blogs and ezines on USB sticks are passed around from people to people on buses, in cafes and wherever Cubans mingle.

We take for granted what we have until we do not have it anymore.

Comrade patrols the mausoleum

Leaving Santa Clara: "Where did everyone go?!?"

We kept our bikes overnight in a garage that only stored 2 wheeled vehicles. Since our bikes were as big as cars, we took up the space of 5 or 6 of their motorcycles! The garage was entirely full the evening before, but they were all gone by the time we left in the late morning!

Next stop: Havana! Very excited!
Gene R1200GS
Ride Reports: Ride The World! Indian Himalayas Iceland Europe New Zealand
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:19 AM   #1153
Gas Hog
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Great shots as always!
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:52 AM   #1154
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I suspect that the message meant to be conveyed by that sign (not doubting Neda's translation) is to exhort the workers to build the causeway without pause to look ahead. Could have had a practical as well as ideological intent too -- I would imagine that it would have been pretty dispiriting to tip a load of gravel into the ocean and then look up and realize you're trying to reach a place somewhere over the horizon...and think about how many more loads of gravel that's going to take.

I had never heard of either this project or these beaches before your report --thanks for showing them to us!
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:06 AM   #1155
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Location: San Carlos, Mexico
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Check out all the classic 50's cars. I know what this baby is worth in the US. Wonder what they sell for in Cuba??? Anyone want to go in halves on a big barge? Load it up with classic cars. Hey... it's only 90 miles to Florida.

Great pics and report!
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