Cuba biking and Cultural

This was a biking trip of Cuba provided by Wow Cuba (WoWCuba) and they did a great job. IT was a cultural trip was well as a biking trip.  We rode about 30 miles per day for six (6) days (180 miles) through central and southern Cuba west of Havana for the most part.  

and our group was comprised of 6 : Julie, Pat, Orna, Bennett and Arden and me below. 

We rode about 180 miles over six days through central and southern Cuba and for the most part west of Havana.  We visited the towns of: Havana, Santa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Banao, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Caleta Buena and back to Havana.  Along the way we visited many museums, and parks and gardens. 

For me it was also a time to revisit my economic studies and the developmental retirement proposed project I created for those studies in Cuba back in the 1980’s concerning a retirement proposed community in Santa Clara created for Americans providing California style housing on a golf course with tennis courts, workout facility and fine pool anchored by a Global Hotel chain offering dinning in a couple of different facilities and a small health clinic in the Hotel. In addition, there was a yacht basin located to the south and access for both for the community was provided by the train. The benefit to Cuba was the project provided housing for the Cuban workers and the health clinic was staffed by Cuba health care workers. The trip also provided me the opportunity to review how things have developed economically since the revolution as almost all land labor and capital are in the hands of the state (communism) versus the libertarian view (my view) where land labor and capital should be in private hands.  The discussion will be on tab to left.

 On to our adventure:

We flew directly to Havana from Ft. Lauderdale with no problem but we were required to get a special VISA that showed our program helped the locals.  In Havana, we stayed in the 4 star Sevilla Hotel and it was nice but the rooms needed some updating and work.  It was an elegant hotel and one of the top ten in Havana. They offered an incredible dining experience on top floor with great views of the capital and downtown

We had a nice dinner on the top floor in an elegant setting – look at the capital out the window 


 and with music. I even played the piano for one song.

While in Cuba we went to the Ballet in the National Theater

and the performance was great which was the “Nut Cracker” 
and visited the Revolutionary Mueseum which is house in a beautiful Building with many informational pieces and the Mueseum is incredible artist

Outside it displays various military equipment

 

We also would walk the streets with the old colonial buildings and visit the many sites like the forts, the Capital, The revolutionary museum, National hotel to name a few and along the way it was normal to music being preformed and people practicing Salsa along in the streets.

 

 The sites were nice and horse drawn buggies are still used and old 1950 cars 

 

In the evening we went to dine in some nice restaurants and the food was very good 

On our second day we were transported to Santa Clara on the Tourismo Bus and we stayed in the hotel Central Inn in Santa Clara. The town had a great theater but unfortunately I missed the performance

The Hotel Central Inn was a nice hotel and It  is a small historic inn situated in the city’s civic square, with commercial centers and cultural institutions being part of its immediate surroundings. Santa Clara, holds a special place in Cuba’s revolutionary history. It is the Capital of the province of Villa Clara, this city is a mini pilgrimage destination for Che Guevara worshippers and it is one of Cuba’s top 5 largest cities by population.

 

Famous for the Battle of Santa Clara, Santa Clara was taken over by a revolutionary battalion led by Che Guevara by the afternoon on New Years Eve 1958. It is seen as a decisive chapter in the revolution as President Batista escaped Cuba within 12 hours afterwards. We visited the Che Guevara historic site below and Che is buried here after being killed in Bolivia, his remains were returned here. 

 From Santa Clara we rode our bikes oubt 30 some miles

 

And the Miller’s came across their town and celebrated

and ended up visiting a farm along the way and were transported in on real farm equipment.

The host prepared a nice lunch 

We arrived in Sancti Spiritus saying in the very nice hotel Don Florencio and many people still use the horse for transport as we passed them all the time. 

The town was very nice with great Colonial Architecture and we visited many colonial museums. We dined on fine cuisine and had a few too many bottles of wine

 The next day we rode to a cattle breeding farm

You can see some of the hills that are there.  I think the highest elevation in Cuba is about 5,000 feet so about on line with Denver

We rode to this ranch 

 We ended up in a small town and stayed in a hostal called Lola and it was a nice hostal.  From here we took a ride on a sugar train with Arden at the helm

through the farm lands and along the way we passed farmers and small villages

 

 

We ended up at this cool 150 foot tower behind Arden

It was a watch tower at one time. What a view from the top of that tower below

We ended up in the town of Trinidad and took a dip in the Ocean.  Trinidad was a great told Colonial Town with many museums in the town

and the view from the top of the tower 

We rode down to the beach for a dip in the ocean


and that night celebrated Christmas 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

     The next day we rode along the coast line to Cienfuegos and we visited a botanical Gardens and that was nice and one of the oldest in Cuba.

 

We reached the botanical gardens 

It features over 2,000 species and collections of orchids, palms, ficuses and bamboo.

We spent the night here in the Jagua Hotel which was very nice with fine pool. The sites around the hotel were just amzing at sunset . 


Plus there was a great historic beautiful property below


where we dined and wined and danced .

 From here we rode to the beach at Caleta Buena and along the way we visited another revolutionary museum

When we got to the beach we went snorkeling and it was great fun seeing all kinds of fish, eels and the water was just prefect in temperature and clarity.





There was the possibility to dive but for me not enough time to do it all.  The Bay of Pigs was nto far from here and we visited it as well. Then we were transported back to Havana where we stayed in the Hotel Seville as well and the next day we rode from one of the higest points in Cuba on back roads back towards Havana. 

At the top I got a great picture above and various shots along the way back in Havana

Back in Havana again we toured the town and went to the Ballet and then the next day we left in style

and flew home. Various shots below