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Cuban Serenade (CKU1601)

Friday, February 5, 2016 | Manuel Marabese | North and South America

DAY 1 - Arrival in Havana

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!

Our group photo in front of Museo Giron.

DAY 2 - Havana City tour

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.

The sea is still pushing mighty waves against the Malecon.
Sunday in Callejon de Hamel is synonym with Santeria and rumba party!

DAY 3 and 4 - Havana to Viñales

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!

DAY 5 - Viñales to Playa Larga

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!

DAY 6 - Playa Larga to Trinidad

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.

DAY 7 - Rest day in Trinidad

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!

DAY 8 - Trinidad to Cayo Santa Maria

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. 

Today we eat at a very modest and tasty local pizza place: 2 pizzas for 1 euro. Quite a bargain!
Sepp and Marianne enjoying a local pizza.

DAY 9 - Cayo Santa Maria to Remedios

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.

Isn't that Parque (main square) pretty?
Dinner time!
And now also dancing time!

DAY 10 - Gran finale: back to Havana

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!

Lutz and Nicole celebrating the arrival in Havana!
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Nicky & Lutz
Friday, February 5, 2016 at 22:28

Hola Compadres,

after this superb blog we would actually book the next Cuba Serenade again Very nice pictures and many lovely moments to be remembered.

Hope you all had safe travels home or to your next destinations.

Muchas Gracias, Manuel!!!

Hasta Pronto
Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 01:01

I agree with Nicky and Lutz. A great tour, brilliantly run by Manuel and ably assisted by Javier. The stars of the show were the Cuban people themselves. What a treat!
Until next we meet amigos...


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