After two weeks of very slow cycling (thanks to our wobbly start and the antibiotics that followed), we’re about halfway through our bike tour of Cuba and the towns of Santa Clara and Remedios are next on our agenda.
First up is Santa Clara, a city made famous by the fact that the last battle of the Cuban Revolution took place here in 1958. This momentous occasion is marked by a huge monument to Che Guevara.
Santa Clara is about 80km from Cienfuegos so we pack up early. We’re not sure if we can make the distance. There might be a headwind and we’re not always very quick with a baby on board. As we load up the bikes, the friendly B&B owner comes out to entertain Luke. Cubans simply love kids.
The road is fairly flat and – to be frank – a bit boring. We try (and fail) to figure out the many revolutionary slogans, and we gaze at the endless fields of sugar care alongside the road.
There are no real tourist attractions but we make our own fun at roadside drinks stalls. Keys always put a smile on Luke’s face, and almost everyone is willing to lend him a set when we stop.
To our amazement, we make Santa Clara by the end of the afternoon without feeling rushed. We strike a ridiculous pose in front of the famous monument (actually, it’s just Friedel looking ridiculous in this photo – why didn’t anyone tell her??) and head into town.
Santa Clara, as we soon find out, is a bike photographer’s dream! Here’s just one of the cool bicycles we spotted. This one is a moveable market stall.
And the local people are displaying some bike skills that make us quite nostalgic for home in the Netherlands!
Another day, and a few more kilometers down the road, Friedel gets the chance to try a Cuban bike. The back-pedal brakes barely work and the chain is rusty but it puts a smile on her face!
Luke, meanwhile, is more interested in the retro 1950s playgrounds and their squeaking swings.
Next up for us will be the city of Sancti Spiritus, and a ride that’s reputed to be the most beautiful in Cuba!