I woke up at 6:30 - far later than I wanted to - and had just a few minutes to finish up before breakfast. I was glad I packed the night before.
We had the same breakfast as the previous day, and then bid adieu to the Don Florencia hotel and the beautiful town of Sancti Spiritus, Cuba.
Several of our group were sore from the previous day, and I could tell that some of them were wondering if here, on only the second day of riding, had gotten themselves in too deep. No worries though as you always were just a head pat away from enjoying the scenery in air-conditioned comfort.
Today’s ride was set to be a little longer at 65k, and would take us to the outskirts of the lovely town of Trinidad. We were expected to have a tailwind, but this would be negated by a couple of steep hills about 12k out of town. Oh well, I was here to ride, not to worry about riding.
Back on the road I was struck by all the forms of transportation that the Cubans use: horse drawn carts, buses, trucks, antique American cars, and the ever-present Russian VAZ 2105. Some people of course had no form of transportation, and it wasn’t uncommon to see them standing out on the road and holding out a wad of pesos in their hand trying to procure a ride. I guess in Cuba, your thumb just didn’t cut it when it came to getting a lift.
We took another break at a small rancho another 15k up the road and met a group of young women from Nova Scotia who were touring Cuba on their own. They had all recently graduated from nursing college, and it was their reward to themselves. They seemed to be quite capable cycle tourists and hit it off swimmingly with our group, especially with the fellow Canucks.
Before long, the landmark tower of Trinidad, Cuba came into view. Trinidad is one of the best-preserved cities in the Caribbean from the time when the sugar trade was the main industry in the region and is a popular tourist attraction. The tower was used to keep an eye on the slaves that worked the sugar cane fields in days gone by.
At the base of the tower an open-air market had sprung up, and we were offered a chance to do a little shopping before getting on the bus to head into Trinidad proper. I bought a nice tablecloth for Char, but passed on the Coke can cameras. LOL
The best part of the resort though was it’s access to the water and the Caribbean. Most of us simply dropped our bags in our room and, as they say, hit the beach! The water was great and it felt so good after a day’s ride. Still, we couldn’t stay in too long because, you guessed it, it was time to eat again and we had to get cleaned up for dinner.
Dinner was a buffet in a large outdoor dining room with a stuffed oxen drawn cart as its centerpiece. The food was just okay, and the service was less than stellar. Despite the luxuriousness of the resort, most of would say by the end of the trip that this was probably the least favorite of all of our stays.
Still, it gave Randy (Mr. 77 countries toured by bike) and I a chance to catch up. Although I don’t think I could ever catch up and hear about all of his incredible adventures.