Hills and yet more hills

1-IMG_0162I set of before 5am in the pitch black, thank goodness I had rigged up the super bright LED lamps. My stomach was feeling ver queasy and I soon found myself doing emergency stops every fewย miles ๐Ÿ™ was it a bug in the infirmary or was it the food?

Imias was holding a full scale fiesta, still going strong at 5am! The Spaniards are truly an amazing race, partying all night, just close the main highway and I’ve yet to see them drink any water!

I stopped in Cajobabo to try and find some water before the mountain pass, The panaderia filled up my bottle and gave me a coffee with some dried up bread, some breakfast for the mountain ahead.

Then it was climbing, impossible to walk as it was way to far so it was crawling up in the lowest of low gears with every little downhill I thought that was the top alas not so. Plus still stopping every few miles, eventually I reached the summit.

At the summit there is a cafe alas he only sells beer and polishes his counter ๐Ÿ™ I’m totally sure there is a very non-socialist fix up going on over here controlled by some very large multi national drinks company all the soft drinks are sold in the latest aluminum cans etc and nobody sells the refresco fruits like in Media Luna.

So down I hurtled only to face yet another climb. Eventually I spotted a friendly looking old lady in her garden and asked her about a refresco fruita โ€“ she disappeared inside and bought out a yummy homemade banana & mango smoothie, no ice but was cool ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ refortified I continued into Baracoa.

Watch the manholes
Watch the manholes

It might have been part of a Lonely Planet once but nothing guarantees the end of a lonely place more than appearing in the guide! Baracoa was heaving, the Casa where my Geordie amigo’s were staying was full plus the place recommended by the German girls. Eventually a local guy came to help out he took me to a place, obviously not in Lonely Planet! But still acceptable if somewhat expensive for $24, so capitalism does work ๐Ÿ™‚

I spent the whole night, 15 hours in bed, with the worst diarrhea ever, fortunately the fridge was filled with water and the shower worked ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m staying here for at least a day to hopefully recover from my night in the infirmary!

48.6 miles biked and vertical ascent of 3,200feet Strava says 5,612 feetย https://www.strava.com/activities/433403262

Dare I venture into the town square to find the WiFi……

 

A Night in the infirmary

Guatanamo loco sheds
Guatanamo loco sheds

Guantanamo is a pleasant enough working city, I loved the city centre shop stocked with washing machines like some warehouse, only one model though! I left after a poor nights sleep proving that price doesn’t always equate with comfort. I biked past the loco sheds, apparently the Cuban rail network is currently down, so it was safe to lug my bike across loads of tracks. Past the militarized bit around the US base, although where does that rainline go with it’s new smart level crossing? Up the massive hill where you can look out over the US base if you go to the very top, no I didn’t! You then hit the banana plantations and yes even roadside stalls selling coconuts & bananas although each item in the stall is sold by a different seller. Bananas were 25p a bunch and coconuts 25p for 2.

Along the way the guys from Newcastle pulled up in their MG ๐Ÿ™‚ and gave me some energy bars sorely tempted to hop in the back ๐Ÿ™‚ . Quite a few cyclists coming the other way, I saw 3 different couples came past, one lot on Brompton’s, they must have been German as not as much as a smile came across. I was going to stop in San Antonio but at a cafe (yes they almost exist) I got harangued by a drunk so left. No one was willing to put me up which is remarkable when you consider the going rate is equivalent to a months wages!

Loco sheds in Guatanamo
Loco sheds in Guatanamo

Eventually I came across the Campismo Yacabo to be met by a stony faced lady who made it clear the place was full, I hung around using the campside bar ๐Ÿ™‚ after a while some guy called me over and showed me their infirmary, well it had a bed, toilet and a hosepipe so that’s where I slept. Dinner was $6 and they charged $12 for the first aid room. 4 German girls were also staying, they had biked over from Baracoa and the look on their faces didn’t bode well for me tomorrow plus they complained about the campside food….

48.6 miles biked with around 1800 feet of ascent no wonder I’m feeling knackered!