Sliding into Camaguey
Sometimes even the smallest gestures of kindness are the ones that are important! That was the thought that ran through my head as I pulled on my dry riding gear, that had been taken and hung up last night by our host’s.
Up on the flat roof I scanned the skyline for rain clouds and breathed in a new day. Past the metal security roof gate, the family sipped on coffee and chatted over breakfast.
Back at the main junction, we skipped over the two lanes, and u-turned into the gas station. Filling up both bikes cost us 45 cuc ($45)…ouch!
Today was going to be along one. We needed to make as many miles as possible, in order to give us some wiggle room to be able to explore and enjoy the south east of Cuba.
250 miles (400km) later and it felt more like a thousand. We’ve had heavy rain showers, with scattered rain, followed by a sprinkling of waterfall. We haven’t been dryer for linger than 20 minutes today. Finally our brains became water logged and we plummeted into a vial conversation, while we pondered the most disgusting description we could come up with to describe the riding conditions and precarious road conditions. We came up with…’the road is as slippery as… “fecking snot” and (my favourite)…”toad vag!” Yes, totally gross, totally juvenile and completely unnecessary. Welcome to the world of “nothing makes sense after 6 hours of riding in the rain.” And, it gets worse.
After a quick detour into a small town called Florida, we pushed on to Cuba’s 3rd largest city, Camagüey. On the outskirts of town as we mingled easily with the light traffic, while Lisa comically renamed what ‘Lonely Planets’ describe as the most sophisticated city after Havana. From that moment onward we referred to our new city as ‘spunk-bed’. If you speak a little Spanish, you’ll get it. Beyond juvenile!?!?!
Parked up in the city centre, a young man asked us if we needed assistance, sure we answered, understanding that we’d need to tip him for his help. But hey, what the hell, it would be a small price to pay, to be able to find a place to stop, which offered secure parking.
After countless, detours and a dozen quick zips down one way street the wrong way we pulled up in front of…
No. 164, e/San Antonio y Hospital
Tel: (+53) 52 40 41 97
(53) 32 24 53 34
It was going to cost us an extra $7 to park both our bikes in a neighbors front living room. We were sold. Our young friend was ecstatic with his $5 tip. Bearing in mind the national monthly salary is $20. I dragged our bags to the second floor of the casa before dropping onto the softest mattress I’ve ever plunged into.
Twenty minutes later and we’d throw on shorts and t-shirts and were wondering
the backstreets. It’s easy to say that Cuba’s seducing us.
Just a few blocks from our Casa we strolled into Plaza Del Carmen. Framed with small café’s and relaxed artsy hangouts, the square oozes a chilled atmosphere, without any effort or pretense. The group of life-size bronze statues of talking and eating is the centerpiece. The sun setting behind the simple steeple of the church and the shiny cobblestone street, made for a picture perfect image to close out our day.
We slid into Restaurant El Paso, and ate on the balcony for a delicious meal. It was just the two of us watching the sun set of Cuba. This is why we still travel.
What a day!