Day 6: Sagua de Tanamo to Moa

Today is the second half of the distance we had planned to complete yesterday. We are glad to have split the distance up because the hills today were quite long and laborious.

The beautiful vista that we woke up to this morning changed as the day progressed. As we approached Moa the landscape changed from lush greenery to brown and rust-coloured hillsides. Moa is a copper mining city and we have heard about it being an unrewarding experience. Not so! Despite the fact that as we entered the region we could see the big black plumes of smoke in the distance.

Prior to reaching the city the new friends we made the other night in Myari passed us with their four bikes all piled on top of and inside the trunk of their 1950’s taxicab. On their way to Moa. We stopped roadside and talked in the shade and we’ve been staying in touch via email. We’ll meet up with them again in a few days in Baracoa.

As we reached the city’s edge we came across a gas station complete with ice cream! One flavour of course. Today was caramel. Oh, how lovely that tasted!!

In central Moa we were happily surprised to see a Commercial Center. Tomorrow we want to get to our destination as fast as possible because we hear there is a beautiful beach so we bought a few items that will be our breakfast. Two cans of fruit cocktail, a pack of 4 cookies (first time we’ve seen those!), 5L of water, one Cerveza (beer) and one Refresco (soda). Felt like we struck a goldmine! Here’s how it works; you pay the lady, she gives you a receipt and you show it to the guard at the front door who closely compares the items to those on your receipt before letting you exit. Standard procedure.

The children are precious here! Randy spotted a little boy in our street tonight trying to fix a home-made kite that had broken. He gave the boy a Hot Wheels car and the boy was very emotionally moved by the gift. So little but it means so much. These are the moments we love most. Earlier in the day I saw two young boys playing catch on the side of the street. One had a baseball glove that was far too big for his hand, and the other was throwing him rocks to catch. Next time, we bring baseballs! Tonight as we walked the streets we discovered a small group of young children following us, laughing and giggling, running ahead from time to time to get a good look at us, then quickly retreating back.

Here’s how we found a Casa tonight: our host last night made arrangements then told us to “go into the city, and at the rotunda (roundabout), ask someone to show you where Jessica’s Casa is”. (In Spanish of course) Ok, a little vague (Moa’s population is 80,000), but it worked out. Things always have a way of working out.

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