This tour starts with a surprise. The bad storm of the previous days has flooded part of Havana and our hotel Presidente happens to be right in the wettest spot! We need a gondola like in Venice now!
This Edelweiss tour is quite special: since the starting city is so special, we begin with a rest day to enjoy some of its marvels. The roads are luckily dry again and we can visit some sights in the old town Habana Vieja like the Palacio de l'Artesania, where we are welcomed with a Cuban coffee, accompained by a Cuban sigar mathed by its counterpart Havana Club Ron anejo especial! What a start, we can indulge in this sins just because today we don't ride.
Finally it's time to ride! A lush park, Las Terrazas, puts big smiles on our faces with some curves across the hills and a refreshing lunch stop at Baño de San Juan, right Harry?. In the afternoon the road gets a bit more rough and some riders feel the bumbs. Don't worry, the next days will be easier!
Yesterday we had the chance to rest a bit with just a short ride around the Mogotes area but today it's gonna be a long one! Nearly 400km separate us from our destination: the beach of Playa Larga, at the end of the Bay of Pigs, where in 1961 the CIA-supported army tried to invade the island and gain again the control of Cuba. But Fidel Castro, El Che and all their guerrilleros needed only 72 hours to defeat the enemy. Cuba was conquered with the Revolution in 1959, and nothing would interfere with this achievement!
Let's start with a swim in a tropical deephole: Cueva de los Peces, also known as El Cenote among scuba divers. After that refreshing stop we need some cultural sight: Museo Giron and its display of historical photos and a documentary about the Bay of Pigs Invasion are a good insight into Cuban events.
The rest of the days goes into a smooth ride to the picturesque colonial town Trinidad with a lunch stop by the water in Cienfuegos.
Once in Trinidad we have a relaxing rest day with a ride in the midst of the sugarcane plantation visiting Torre de Iznaga, followed by a yummy seafood lunch right on the caribbean beach of Playa Ancon. What a tough life for us riders!
The road across Sierra de l'Escambrey is known by the locals as Topes de Collantes: a nightmare for any car driver, a delicious dream for any motorcyclists! Dense forests of Royal Palms and panorama views over the Caribbean Sea and the inland lake are delighting us.
Our sightseeing and emotional event of the day is the Santa Clara stop: we pay homage at El Che visiting his moument and his mausoleum-museum. Fidel erected this monument in 1997 when the remains of Ernesto Guevara and the other guerrilleros killed in Bolivia during the attempt of an uprising came back to Cuba. The big and bare square emphatizes the magnitude of Che Guevara's statue.
This place is so wonderful that we truly deserve the whole morning to relax at the resort. Yes, it's quiet busy with people, those tourists of the all-inclusive beach&relax vacation... But the fine sand and the turquoise water despite of the cloudy sky are really worth it!
In the afternoon we ride to the colonial town of Remedios, once capital of Villa Clara province, with a stop at the Museo of the Azucar, which is both a museum dedicated to sugarcan production and a collection of impressive steam locomotors.
Last day is usually short on our tours, in order to permt some relax at the end... but not this time! We had our relax "on the way", so the last ride is pretty intense: nearly 400km, all without autopista, crosisng the inland on the Carretera Central.
Once we got into Havana, we indulge a bit more around town with a couple of sightseeing stops at the Capitolio and on the Malecon. Are we watching some sights or are we becoming the sightseeing? According to the public that gathers around us everytime we stop, it seems we are part of the Cuban show!