After breakfast, I headed up to my room to brush my teeth and clean up before meeting the others on the bus for what would be our final ride of the trip. We drove up into the hills above Havana, passing some interesting sights, including the Cuban national baseball stadium.
It was on the drive to our destination that I realized I had screwed up. At breakfast this morning, I had worn my cycling clothes, but not my clip-less bike shoes. I was wearing sandals. Darn it! Oh well, I haven’t crashed, gotten lost, or gotten sick on this trip, so if the worst thing I have to endure is riding in sandals, I’ll be all right.
We ended up at an old Russian built restaurant that had a familiar Russian Orthodox Church look to it’s architecture. We took a group picture, and then the WOW CUBA team reinstalled the original pedals on my bike so I could ride in sandals. They would have had to reinstall the original pedals at the end of this ride anyway, so it was no big deal.
The scenery on this trip was still rural for the most part, but without the fields of crops. Along the way, I saw a couple of young girls who were hanging out in front of their simple house. It looked like such a great shot, I asked them if I could take their picture and they readily agreed.
One of the nicest things about the Cubans is that they are always accommodating, even to tourists like us ,who, in their eyes, must look to be taking pictures of nothing special. I resolved to get more people shots in the little bit of time I had left in the country.
The scenery rolled by quickly and my lack of clip-less shoes didn’t hamper me at all. In fact, it felt good to have my little “piggies” being air-cooled.
The restaurant had a small garden as well as pens of animals and I wondered how many ended up on the pizzas. We had several different varieties of pizzas, and they were all good. The experience made all the better as they were washed down with some ice cold Crystal Cuban Beer.
It was a nice tour and Nelson knew his way around the city pretty well, including where to get the best deal on some of the world famous, Cuban cigars. I haven’t smoked cigars in quite a while, but not buying at least a few while you are here was almost sacrilege and akin to not seeing the Empire State Building if you were in New York, so I imbibed.
Jim was a cigar aficionado as well as a fluent Spanish speaker, so I took his recommendations and let him do the talking. He made sure that he was getting his money’s worth and left out of there with dozens of stogies. I purchased 5 and gave him one as a gift for lending his expertise.
We returned to the Sevilla a few hours later and had some time to start packing before dinner. I had made a critical error by using a duffel bag to carry my things instead of a suitcase and was paying for it now. The bag was starting to rip open on the ends, and I was afraid all of the contents would spill out on the trip home. Danny from WOW CUBA was there to rescue me with a roll of duct tape, which did the trick.
The home was fantastic and had beautiful botanical gardens, verandas, and a wonderful wine cellar. It was owned by an Italian Sommelier who had married a Cuban woman, and they had entertained many of Cuba’s elite. Judging by the paintings that graced the walls, the beard himself – Fidel, might have dined here as well.
For dinner tonight I had Spanish Paella, which was enormous and could have fed at least 3 people. I tried to share, but some of the dishes the others had ordered were equally as generous, so I had to leave a lot of it untouched. Oh well, going out with a bang with the final big meal of the trip.
In the meantime, while don’t you meet me back here tomorrow for my final day in Cuba.