Cuba's Far East
you take on the challenge of the Far East Tour, you will continue
beyond Guardalavaca and wind through the lush hills of Maniabón,
passing campesino farms and tiny villages. The route swings
south from Banes, gradually approaching the the Sierra Cristal,
then turning back to the coast. It is a beautiful ride, but good
accommodations are few and far between, so days are long.
takes two or three days to reach Moa, the center of Cuba's nickel
mining and smelting industry and certainly not your final
destination. Around Moa, hillsides have been stripped and dark,
noxious smoke pours from the stacks of the huge Fábrica Che
Guevara east of town.
takes one more long day to reach Baracoa. Cuba's oldest city is
on the shore of a huge bay surrounded by lush hills and mountains.
Unspoiled beaches are close at hand.
Baracoa to the south coast, the route follows La Farola, the most
impressive mountain road in Cuba. There is a 20-kilometer climb
with only a few breaks. Riding down the steeper south side of La
Farola, sharp turns are cantilevered out from the sheer hillsides.
south coast is arid, and heat is likely to be the cyclist's biggest
challenge. Here, campesinos are working together in a large,
cooperative vegetable garden which must be irrigated in this
City does not win praise in most guidebooks, but we like it. There
is a pretty old church in the central square, and our favorite statue
of José Martí.