Day 1: Holguin to Guardalavaca

Best parts of the day: Sunshine, salt water, dinner for $4 and our Casa that came complete with pet turtles, baby chickens, a crocodile, a parrot, ducks, cats and dogs.

Lots of rolling but gentle hills. Riding out of town we noticed a lot of people staring at us, mostly out of curiosity. The roads are well used here, but for sure the right hand lane might be more accurately described as an Active Transportation Lane as there are horses pulling buggies (otherwise known as taxis), pedestrians, bikes and all sorts of creative methods of moving people. Not uncommon to see three people riding a bike; Mom, Dad, and Baby sandwiched in between.

Our water bottles ran dry but we finally passed a gas station that had a few things and we can tell you this: Cuban ice cream is the bomb! For $1.45 we sat outside slurping up strawberry ice cream thinking we had died and gone to heaven.

An interesting observation was made. There were a lot of Canadians all decked out in spandex on flashy carbon fibre bikes riding between Holguin and Guardalavaca. Very very few even acknowledged our presence as they whizzed on by. Some passed us so fast and so close it caught us by surprise. Weird.

We headed toward Guardalavaca without a plan of where we would stay that night but it all worked out. Down a rocky bumpy road that was impossible to cycle on, we arrived at our accommodation. Not quite sure if it was the right place, Randy stood outside the wall yelling “Victor? Victor!” until our host appeared. Apparently all the male members of the family are named Victor.

We walked down to the ocean and plunged into the glorious salt water and floated until we turned into prunes.

Let’s talk food again! We searched out a food joint where locals eat. We each ordered a plate of rice, one with chicken one with fish. Two others we met and dined with had shrimp. That would have been probably another $.50. Together with one beer the bill was $4. Another interesting observation: wherever food is being eaten there seem to be a collection of dogs and cats hovering nearby waiting for leftovers.

We walked back to our Casa in the dark after dinner. I mean absolute blackness,! Tired, we fell asleep listening to cows moo-ing, roosters cockadoodledoo-ing (which one hears everywhere here!)

Anita and our host Oscar, from Holguin.

Anita, Alexei and Randy. Alex works in a local bike shop in Holguin.

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