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Classic Cuba (CKU1903)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | Pablo Piferrer | North and South America

We've been pretty lucky with the weather and the group has been magnificent, friendly and welcoming. We've laughed and enjoyed a pretty damn good 10 days! Thank you

City tour Havana!

Welcome to beautiful Cuba!! Where it's summer for 9 months of the year, the beaches are beautiful and the food and rum are amazing, but above all, the warm and welcoming people!

We begin with a very interesting and complete tour of Havana Vieja done by Christopher Baker, expert and passionate about Cuba like no other, so complete, we got to meet the Cuban "Harlistas" (Harley riders) who passionately live for their love to these motorcycles, so much, that they have had to improvise, overcome and addapt in order to keep them running

Pablo and Javi!!
Full car!
There are still some interesting vehicles around here
First stop, Plaza de Armas
The street infront of the "Palacio de los Capitanes Generales" is paved with wood tiles, the reason?! It's quieter when charriots go over it than stone!
Hotel Santa Isabel
"Palacio del Segundo Cabo"
"La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana" is beautiful
It looks amazing inside, too!
This is a typical doll from Havana, known as, "la Mulata"
Experimental graphics workshop, where you can buy very interesting lithographies printed in situ
Inside the Hotel Raquel, it is a completely different style to what we see inside most buildings.
Coche Mambí - From 1902 was used by Cuban presidents on their campaigns and for official visits
Lyng Chan's house is a Harley Museum
Very cool and interesting museum

Day 1: Havana to Viñales

First day egins sunny and a perfect weather forecast, but, this is an island in the Caribbean, and it's a Troppical weather area, it can quicly change, as it did. As the clouds gathered and the rain came down on us, we took refuge in the town of Mariel for a coffee before we set off again towards Las Terrazas, our lunch stop? Baños de San Juan.

After Lunch, a quick visit to see an amazng artist, Henry is a master! A very interesting chat with him and you see he is quite the genious.

The day is long, even though it's only 220 kms long, it is pretty intense as there is a lot to do, so we head to Viñales, our home for today.

Las terrazas lake, before we get to Baños de San Juan
Cool place for a swim, a bit further down we have some awesome waterfalls
Thor enjoying the possibility of taking some great nature pictures. National parks that are unique to Cuba
As we get close to Viñales, we can appreciate the unique geography of the area, those "mountains" are know as "mogotes"
Live music with dinner, our pianist wasso good, I thought it was a record player!

Day 2: Viñales - Havana

As the day starts, the weather looks cloudy, but it's a good sign, it won't be a hot riding day! we have 230 kms ahead of us through some nice forests and due to the rain the night before, it can get hot and humid.

First things first, fuel and a visit to a tobacco plantation, where we get to try the local organic cigars, very little nicotine as they are made without the centre part of the leaf. Reiner is our guide and he gives us a tour of the plantation where he works. The drying house and fields, and end with a present, a cigar to taste, soft, "light".

Off to see the Mural of Prehistory, for a quick coffee, before we follow the secondary road to Pinar del Rio for luch and onto the "highway" towards Havana, where a surprise is waiting for us!

The leaves are left hanging in sheds, it's so humid it can last up to 3 months!!
The mural shows the evolution of life in a natural sense of Cuba. made by
Leovigildo González Morillo, who was Director of Cartography of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba.
Surprise!!
Dinner at "El carbón" an excellent restaurant in old Havana, food is exquisit!

Day 3: Havana - Cienfuegos

We leave Havana again, this time heading east, our route takes us to Cienfuegos, famous for it's typical european style, founded by the french, it looks like a holiday town in the French Riviera.

Our first stop, the "Casa del Zunzuncito", the smallest type of bird, known as the bee hummingbird. These beautiful creatures are tiny and adorable, they look unreal!

Following on to see the Museo Giron, unfortunately, it was closed due to restoration, but it is a cool stop to meet locals and have a coffee or buy souvenirs at more than reasonable prices.

Last stop before the hotel, is the magnificent square in Cienfuegos, Plaza José Martí.

Jim eeting the owner of the house
Tree rats
Meeting the locals is really cool
Compulsory stop with the sign!

Day 4: Cienfuegos - Trinidad

A new day dawns and ourride takes us to Trinidad, where we get to spend two days enjoying a well deserved rest.

As we leave Cienfuegos, we go by the baseball stadium to meet with Alex, Player for the Cienfuegos Elephants and now teaching the new generations about the National Sport.

For lunch, the El Nicho Park has all we need to relax and enjoy the summer feeling this great weather gives us. Natural pools, beautiful waterfalls and great food, all with live music from two locals musicians to make it all that more special.

A short ride through the Topes de Collantes national Park and we land in Trinidad to enjoy an excellent dinner in one of the classiest and coolest restaurants in town.

 

 

The stadium is pretty cool, kids training and locals hanging out
Alex (right), explains about the importance baseball has to Cubans, Chris (left) translates and adds information
My feet are cooked, so, a nice cold bath should get them back to their less stinky self
The guys don't have much of a worry of where to get changed
Look at that lobster!
The lamb was exquisite!

Day 5: Trinidad rest day

A rest day begins as exactly that, later start and a great city tour with our Cuba expert, Chris.

We get to see the city from a less touristy perspective and get to meet some locals, between them, Lazaro Neibla, an incredible artist that works wooden blinds in a way you've never seen before.

A short ride after Lunch, takes us back up to Topes de collantes and a nice coffee near the beach

Ron teaches the bicycle taxi how to wheelie
Poor Javi, having to deal with Pablo is enough!!
Interesting shield on the street to mark where the pipes and sewage system goes through

Day 6: Trinidad - Cayo Santa Maria

Off we set towards the north of Cuba, to Cayo Santa María, an island off of the coast that is reachable by a 47 k road!

A beautiful ride with the sea on both sides, but first, a vsit to the Guaimaro plantation and house, a stroll down the historic origins of the cultivation and exportation of sugar in Cuba and some slightly saucier tales!

Off to Santa Clara to see the Mausoleum Frente de las Villas to see the Ernesto Guevara tomb and museum, before we set to our hotel, not without stoping by the Train monument.

Guarapo! Sugar cane juice
Manaca Iznaga tower
Javi and Thor at the train
Ron, clearly up to no good
They are for sure plotting how to be mischevious!

Day 7: Cayo Santa Maria - Remedios

While Pablo and Javier left early morning to pick up a motorcycle from trinidad, everyone got to sleeep in a bit, afterall, it's a short ride today, only 60 kms. Gives everyone the possibility to relax and enjoy the instalations and maybe stroll to the white sand beach to appreciate the unique colours of the ocean in this area.

After a free to ride moment on the Cayo road, a visit to the Sugar museum, gives a detailed view on the importance it has had over history. The process and the uses are enormous, makes us appreciate the rum we'll be drinking a little more!!

Deserved pause on our way back to Cayo, quick drink and pit stop and off we go!
Late start so as to enjoy the hotel and all it has to offer
As promised, arrived way before the stipulated departure time!
Stray dog looking for some love
Behold the power of destruction, silent killer!
Tonight, we celebrate! Happy birthday, Jim!!!
Jim wants to celebrate, and we are certainly not shy to accompany
(Left to right: Thorsten, Pablo, Jim, Yuri and Javi)

Day 8: Remedios - Varadero

A great day is ahead of us, first a cigar factory and off to Jovellanos, to visit an organic farm. Sunny and hot, as it's usual through this norther part of the island, but tonight we sleep in Varadero, and the cool air from the sea and all you can drink rum, is always welcome.

The visit to the farm is pretty damn cool, and the food is exquisite, certainly worth a visit.

A beautiful red tailed hawk
Great view from the hotel room

Day 9: Varadero - Havana

Last day is here, nevertheless, still a beautiful one.

First up, a quick ride through the central park in Varadero, followed by a quick coffe in Casa de Al, yes, Al Capone's house in Varadero and off to a magnificent lunch on our way to castillo del Morro on the east side of the Havana port, to get a beautiful glimpse of the city, before we rejoin the "busy" traffic downtown back to our garage.

Entrance to casa de Al
Bacunayagua bridge
Well deserved rest, Javi did a marvelous job, as always. Thank you, hermano!
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Add a comment Rate this post
Lea
Friday, April 26, 2019 at 16:41

Je recommande Pablo un passionné de voyages et de moto.... Il fait découvrir des endroits exceptionnels à bécane.
Small Group or course
Nabet
Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 13:47

Ouffff super blog ça donne pleins de bonnes idées de vacances je ne vais plus m’attarder sur le sujet les photos parleront d’elles même cependant j’invite tous les bikers à retrouver Pablo pour un prochain road trip qui j’en suis sûr sera magique
Carole
Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 18:21

C'est magnifique
Lea
Friday, April 26, 2019 at 16:46

Un seul mot suffit en effet
C est magnifique
Novella
Friday, April 26, 2019 at 16:50

Merci lea
Luana
Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 10:16

Wow, as always, your blogs make one dream about visiting these places!
Lucy Husum
Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 04:51

Looks like a fabulous trip!
Thank you for sharing your story.
Hugs
Lucy n Chuck!

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