The day started late as Randy discovered that yesterday’s bone-rattling ride shook a screw right off his pannier and he needed to improvise a repair. Randy’s always prepared for every possible mechanical failure so we managed.
Everything great about Cuba seems to be found here in Baracoa, and to top it off we enjoyed some beautiful scenery on our 20km ride to get here. It’s an ocean-front town, with a long and interesting “malecon” (like a promenade along the coastline) to walk along. Thank goodness the ride here was easy. Yesterday took a lot out of us. we will spend three nights here, so cycling for a few days!
“No hay” is a very frequent term used here, and means “not available today”. You hear it everywhere, applied to almost everything. There are a variety of restaurants and we found one with English translations. Awesomeness! There was spaghetti noodles on the menu! You could order it up with cheese, ham & cheese, vegetables & coconut sauce, shrimp, lobster, or fish. Meatballs (permanently no hay) of course were not even an option and the lobster option was no hay.
All the Cuban cities we have seen have a central square where everyone congregates to socialize. We made like Cubans and planted ourselves on a bench to watch the world go by. Soon we recognized Eddie from Belgium, the fellow we encountered on the rough road yesterday.
Belgian Eddie (as we call him) is travelling on his own here in Cuba and has been here for about 30 days already. He has done more than 2000km in that time and will likely complete another 2000 before he goes home in about three weeks. He was showing us his meticulously kept handwritten journal of his travels and I couldn’t help but notice that he frequently does 150-160km a day. He’s travelled the world–Himalayas, Japan, Kazikstan, Indonesia. The important point of note here is that the culture and atmosphere are conducive to making new friends. Belgian Eddie did 150km yesterday over that rough terrain that darn near killed us! Belgian Eddie put our distances to shame. Belgian Eddie is 66 years old.
As we walked along the Malecon earlier we saw a statue of Christopher Columbus who visited Baracoa in 1492. Maybe next year there will be statues of a Randy and Anita who visited in 2019?
We packed very carefully and thoughtfully for this trip, but there’s one thing we should have brought that could have made our lives easier. A thermos. We could have filled it each day at the Casa and made our own coffees.