Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Segment 19: Central Cuba, the South Coast, and return towards La Habana (June 24- July 6, 2010)

Before we left Morón, we stopped at this place serving fresh cane sugar juice.  They had a whole team working on this juice production.  And it was cold and refreshing.

"In the cold, or in the heat, guarapo is the best."

spectacular sunrise, not far from Ciego de Avila 

this truck serves as public transport...

... and even Granma gits on.

finally showing signs of healing, after about three weeks

fishermen pulling in their take from a river

The iceman makes his rounds in Sancti Spiritus

The breadman on his trike

A fine cross section of Cuban people in Sancti Spiritus

soldiers waitin for the bus

on the way to Trinidad the monotonous flatness of the island starts to break up

"The earth needs people that work more and criticize less, that promise less and solve more, that expect to receive less and to give more, that say better now than tomorrow."- El Che

Carnaval in Trinidad

... this old woman is watching this madness below:

The beer never stopped flowing for days, with a bring-your-own-bottle policy. Cost for 1 liter: 7 pesos cubanos, or about $0.28 US.

freshly slaughtered, and freshly cooked

a pizza man in Trinidad with his ersatz oven

This guy was passed out sitting on the sidewalk, next to his beer, sawing logs into the night....

the neighborhood where we stayed in a casa particular in Trinidad

strange figurine from our casa particular
colonial architecture in Trinidad

with friend Wilkiel, a local cyclist from Trinidad

...street scenes in Trinidad...

the road out of Trinidad was loaded with crabs

beekeeping, Cuba style

on our way to Bay of Pigs, this is one of the longest, straightest, flattest roads we have ever seen

nearing Bay of Pigs, this sign says: "The mercenaries made it to this point"

luckily, the last 12 km to Bay of Pigs was on a lovely dirt forest track

... the only signs of life were these colorful crabs, who went scurrying sideways into the forest as we approached...

one of the most famous images from the Bay of Pigs invasion, in which a fallen Cuban soldier wrote his allegiance to the Revolution in his own blood on his airplane door, moments before dying.

four-chambered anti-aircraft artillery used in the Bay of Pigs invasion by the Cuban forces

image of the public trial of the CIA-trained mercenaries, captured during the battle

another very famous image from the battle, in which Fidel Castro is seen leaping from a tank, just before grabbing a rocket launcher and sinking the Houston, a US ship.  There is much speculation as to whether this is fact or fiction.

the beach at Playa Girón

defense bunker along the beach near Playa Girón

"Playa Girón: the first defeat of Yankee imperialism in Latin America".  The irony: we were here on the fourth of July.

wild pig near Girón.  The locals hunt and eat these occasionally

about to snorkel in the Bay of Pigs, at Punta Perdiz, between Playa Girón and Playa Larga.  Incredible coral formations, multitudes of fish.

celebrating one year of life on the road.  Here we are in Playa Larga, with a stack of Minuda (fresh fish sandwiches), and two cans of cold beer.

... images from Playa Larga...

Jeff´s nipple, one month later, and dubbed "healed" at this point.  The fact is, it healed up much better than we ever thought it would.

backyard inhabitant of the casa particular in which we stayed in Playa Larga

this benchmark meal, the best we had in cuba, featured fresh lobster, rice and beans, green beans, fried plantains, and fruit cocktail.  it was served at the house where we stayed in Playa Larga.

taxi, old school style, in Jaguey Grande

fell asleep with book open, waiting out the rain, in Nueva Paz

What`s up? You got a problem with me eating 8 pizzas?...

3 minutes later

sidecar in action, La Habana suburbs

curiously repulsive product found in Cuban shops

so then, what can't travel on this street?

some final images of our month in Cuba... packing up the bikes into suitable boxes the evening before our flight.  We had to fabricate the boxes out of cardboard fragments and old boxes that we managed to scrounge up by pleading to the airport shop vendors.  This project went far into the night...

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