Biking along the Cuban motorways

Cuban motorway being white washed
Cuban motorway being white washed

After some thought I decided to get back to Havana along the Cuban motorway system it was about 6 miles further in distance but offers a much better ride.

I left Matanza on a very long slow climb but at least with motorway gradients you can always bike up, the road was pretty well deserted and at least the huge cars and buses can easily get pass as the road is at least two or three times wider than the standard ones so makes for a way more relaxing time.

1959 bridge
1959 bridge

I eventually reached the Puenta de Bacuna Yagua viaduct which came as a bit of shock when you suddenly find yourself hundreds of feet above the valley floor with a very low handrail indeed. Pretty amazing concrete construction built in 1959. Once across it there are a set of steps upto a viewing platform and tourist centre.

I stopped for an refresco in one of the huge roadside restaurants amusing to see the 5 piece Cuban band strike up when a tourist bus arrived. At one of the motorway hills I decided to do a detour and follow the coast road. True to form I ended up having to carry the bike and wading across a river by the beach where a hurricane had destroyed a bridge 🙁 I was ready for my prawn lunch by the sea after that!

Eventually I came to the Havana bypass which I followed around to get to the airport hostal and retrieve my tools and sort the bike out a bit. The amount of metalwork embedded in the tarmac is incredible an archaeologists dream in centuries to come. Motorway junctions are a bit of a nightmare and definitely not for the feint hearted. But I survived 🙂

At the hostal I gave the bike a wash to remove all the sand from my beach escapade, tightened the headstock and oiled the chain & gears.

The next day it was more motorway to get to Saroa. Since it was Sunday there was a huge local biking club out going into Havana. I had a huge wind behind me so made good time to Saroa. Saroa waterfall is nothing spectacular although it’s a steep hill to get to it and the local rip off boys want 3 CUC to get entry and ‘look after’ your bike. Whilst having a pee in the undergrowth some insect bit me down there, I made a hurried departure to my homestay, had a shower and lashings of anti-histamine cream.

Lots of pigs etc next door but I slept soundly but as my friend Andy aptly put it the countryside is a noisy place 🙂

Today (Monday 30th) I made another uneventful 50 miles on the motorway to Pinar del Rio the end of the motorway system. Tomorrow I will do the last leg of Cuba end to end by going to La Fe and the western most part of the island. I then want to explore The Vinales valley for a couple of days before getting the bus/train/taxi back to Havana.

3 thoughts on “Biking along the Cuban motorways”

Comments are closed.