Cuba
Reparto Moro

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11 travelers at this place

  • Day14

    In Search of Che Guevara

    March 15 in Cuba ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    After three days in Trinidad, we were really starting to feel at home in the place. The streets that had looked so confusing when we arrived, now felt familiar. My home for the three nights had been the magnificent casa particulaire owned by Carlos and Jenny Amenidides. They really had welcomed us and proven to be exceptional hosts.

    We bade our final farewell after breakfast and walked our luggage back to the waiting bus. Our destination for the day was the famous city of Santa Clara - the place where the image of Che Guevera is everywhere. But before we could begin the day;'s ride we had a tortuous bus transfer up high into the mountains.

    Anyone who thinks that Cuba is all flat, has no idea what they are talking about. The driver had to use all his skill to negotiate the narrow roads and the tight switchbacks. At times the gradients were so steep that I was worried that the bus would not be able to struggle to the top of the next climb. The roof of the bus regularly bashed on the low overhanging branches.

    At one spectacular vantage point we stopped to climb to the top of a viewing platform where we could see all the way back to Trinidad and the Caribbean Sea beyond. It was an ideal spot for another group photo.

    Then it was back in the bus for another 30 minutes of serious climbing. I was certainly glad we didn't have to ride THAT section ! Eventually the bus stopped and we were told to get ready to ride. I looked ahead at the next section of road and noted that it went straight uphill. Lee had told us that the day's ride would be a DOWNHILL ride, but once again he had lied.

    For the next two hours we alternated between long fast descents and steep climbs. Although the climbs were not long, some of them were very steep. I am happy to admit that one two occasions I got off and walked to the top.

    The scenery that we were riding through was probably the prettiest of the ride so far. Not only did we have regular views down to the lowlands, but we passed through a succession of small villages where the locals greeted us cheerfully as we passed by. Numerous horse drawn carts carried all sorts of goods back and forth.

    The road itself was sometimes unsealed and sometimes bitumen. The poor condition of the road reminded me of some of the mountain roads we had ridden in Bhutan.

    At one point I could hear happy singing coming from a small house and I stopped to listen. It did not take long to realise that it was a church gathering. The people sang and clapped with obvious joy and the harmonies were beautiful. Several young children wandered in and out, waving and smiling at me. It really was a wonderful glimpse of local life.

    I stopped outside the church for 20 minutes or so until the rest of the riders joined me and we continued together. As we descended, the heat that we had experienced each afternoon steadily built up. Apparently there has been very little rain and this shows in the dry and dusty conditions we have seen everywhere.

    Eventually we reached the sizeable city of Manicuragua, where I met a T intersection. I thought it would be good to film some of the street life. In the process I did not notice that our riders had stopped by the side of the road. I kept going through the town, before finally realising that I was alone. It was a slightly scary feeling and I had to turn around and retrace my route until I found the rest of the group.

    A short distance later we finished the ride and loaded the bikes into the bus. We then had a short drive to Santa Clara, the famous location where Che Guevara successfully waged a guerrilla war against the Battista regime. The image of Che is now everywhere and a huge mausoleum has been built in the revolution square to house his remains. This has become a place of pilgrimage for those who think that Che was some sort of superhuman.

    We visited the memorial where we had to walk in silence past his remains, before finally checking into our lovely hotel. It has been another long day.

    I should also add that word of the outside world is slowly reaching us. I can assure you that we are all well and healthy and have plenty of food and toilet paper. The biggest worry is that our flights and travel plans over the next couple of weeks may be impacted. Interesting times indeed.

    Pictures to follow .
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  • Day97

    Santa Clara, Cuba

    January 22, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    A blast from the past.

    Hablo espanõl? No. We knew we were in trouble the moment we landed in Santa Clara. We were drastically underprepared for Cuba. In particular, collectively we had almost no spanish, our only booking was the first night's accommodation and Cuba has no internet.

    Alright, no internet is an exaggeration. But not far off. The only way to get online is in a "wifi hotspot" (read: plaza) with a prebought internet card. We're yet to find a casa, bar or restaurant with wifi and you can't get a mobile plan that includes it. I kid you not, the only way to get online is in a park. Outdoors!

    I'm sure all you GenY's can feel my pain. We've been travelling for three months now and all our research and bookings are done online, on the fly.

    So we're going old school. We've stepped back in time, why not embrace it? In our armoury we carry a spanish pocket phrasebook and 16,000 mexican pesos. No, if you were wondering, that's not the right currency and cubans don't take card. Period. Underprepared, entiendo?

    Drama aside, Cuba is fascinating! Colourful pastel facades of breezy single storey dwellings line streets buzzing with activity. Horse drawn carts, 1960s dodges, motorbikes with side cars and old men playing dominos are par for the course on the road. Bicycles of all shapes, ages and passengers weave down narrow streets in ordered chaos. Kids, dogs, goats and horses mingle with traffic making even just spectating quite stressful.

    We're staying in casa particulares. They're everywhere and typically are just a spare bedroom in a family home. As Cat said, it's really just Air BnB but the Cubans beat them to it. The families to date have been genial and oh so hospitable, despite our ignorance to their culture and language (oops we're sorry). Most of them don't speak english but you'll be surprised how many ways there are to communicate. Cat speaks the first most spanish, so Scott and I usually thrust her forward to recieve the barrage of incomprehensible dialogue, which is quite often followed by 'no entiendo'.

    Santa Clara is less touristy than the other areas we planned to visit, and it was nice to spend our first evening immersed in Cuban culture without the entourage of the 'you buy somethiiiiinnnggg's!!!!'. Oddly enough that slightly contradicts where the night went from there.

    Taking in the activities of the plaza from an adjacent bar, we were approached by some locals whom we chatted to between drinks. One of them, Reina de gainer - number one in Cuba, offered to show us to a nearby restaurant. We followed causiously, helping him with his litre of port along the way. He ended up dining with us and, as we grew to expect, didn't have a dime to contibute to the bill. It didn't phase us, he was great insight and even better entertainment and the total bill was less than 25USD. We even had some rums with his brother at a cafe afterwards, at 4USD per litre (yes, you buy by the bottle!?). Finally an affordable country!

    Still in recovery from the previous nights dinner, our stomachs were pleasantly assualted by breakfast. So much breakfast! Our casa mama had made (just for us) fresh fruit, crepes, omelettes, bread rolls, two types of cake, biscotti, guava smooties and espressos, all neatly set in a sunny outdoor courtyard adjacent our room. At 4USD each (we later found out we could have paid 3) I didn't want to leave.

    We spent the morning investigating transport options to our next destination, Trinidad. With buses booked out, and no trains due to a hurricane in 1993 (still not repaired), we defaulted to a taxi and spent the next few hours in the comfort of a car cruising through the Cuban countryside. Happy as Larry.
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  • Day98

    santa clara

    December 11, 2016 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Samen met mijn compagnon beslissen we om naar Santa Clara te gaan. Een stad dat ik wou bezoeken omdat je het mausuleum van Che Guevara kon bekijken. Zijn gebeente werd overgebracht vanuit Bolivia, waar Che in 1967 werd gedood door Boliviaanse militairen.

    In de laatste decemberdagen van 1958 vochten de revolutionaire troepen van Che hier een beslissende slag uit.
    Dictator Fulgencio Batista, die een gepantserde trein [Tren Blindado] naar Santa Clara had gestuurd om zijn troepen te ondersteunen werd nabij het station van santa clara tot stilstand gebracht met een buldozer waarbij de lading wapens in handen van El Che en zijn mannen terecht kwam.
    De overwinning van de revolutie was een feit en Batista ontvluchtte hierdoor Havana.

    Als ik mijn fantasie gebruikte voelde ik de overwinning die ik samen vierde met che in mijn armen. haha
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  • Day86

    Loma del Capiro

    March 24, 2015 in Cuba ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    vi dro så mange plasser jeg ikke vet hvor ligger, så er umulig å sette den nøyaktige plassen med pilen. derfor lager jeg hele turen til bare en footprint.

    første stopp på turen var en hage, det var et slags kunstner prosjekt. mange samlet seg der for å lage sin kunst. det var alt fra keramikk til stålrør sveiset sammen og malt i forskjellig farger. der var det også en pelikan og en liten Che Guevara statue. jeg sier liten bare på grunn av at den blir sammenlignet med den på minnesmerket. men den var diger, denne er mere... menneskestørrelse.
    etter dette stoppet dro vi litt rundt i byen og sjåføren (som var utrolig hyggelig, men bare snakket spansk) viste oss forskjellige små plasser og butikker hvor man fikk kjøpt forskjellige ting og tang. blant annet en kiosk hvor de solgte sukkerrør-vann, men det hadde vi allerede prøvd så sto over. vi stoppet også utenfor en sigarfabrikk, det var ikke lov å gå inn, men vi så inn igjennom vinduene.
    neste på listen var et tåg-museum, det var et utemuseum som hadde en gratis del og en del man måtte betale for. vi så bare på den gratis delen. det var vist en historie til det hele, men den fikk jeg ikke helt med meg.
    ved starten av turen fortalte sjåføren at det var tre Che Guevara statuer i Santa Clara, den tredje var for tur nå. og jeg syns den var den mest interessante av alle tre. denne var også menneskestørrelse, Che med en liten gutt i armene. men det som gjorde denne statuen så spesiell var at den hadde mange små statuer på seg, de fortalte forskjellige historier og viste hva Che stod for og hva han kjempet for.
    et siste stopp før turen var over var på Loma del Capiro, en liten ås hvor det var et slag under den cubanske revolusjonen. mye interesang historie i denne lille byen som sjåføren vår kalte det. jeg syns ikke at liten, var det rette ordet, men sånn er nå det.
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  • Day6

    Santa Clara, Cuba

    August 30, 2016 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Lebendige Studentenstadt mit Che-Guevara-Kult

    Der Mythos lebt: Nirgendwo sonst strahlt die revolutionäre Energie noch so stark wie in der geschichtsträchtigen Che-Guevara-Stadt.

    Zentralkubas zweitgrößte Stadt (220.000 Einw.) ist Verkehrsknotenpunkt, Industriestandort und bedeutendes Wissenschaftszemtrum, denn hier lehrt eine der namhaftesten Universitäten des Landes. Die vielen Studenten verleihen der Stadt ein junges Flair und sorgen Tag und Nacht für Leben auf dem zentralen Parque Vidal. Eine rege Kulturszene mit abwechslungsreichem Nachtleben lockt viele Besucher.Read more

  • Day7

    Loma del Capiro

    August 31, 2016 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Der Loma del Capiro östlich des Rio Cubanicay bietet einen Panoramablick über Santa Clara. Hier fand Ches Kampf gegen die Wachposten des Tren Blindado statt. Vom Zug (Monumento Nacional del Tren Blindado) geht man 5 Blocks nach Nordosten bis zur Calle Tomas Ruiz, biegt dann rechts ab und nach 2 Straßen wieder links in die Calle Felix Huergo, der man bis zum Ende folgt. Dort geht es rechts weiter bis zu den Treppen auf den Hügel.Read more

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Reparto Moro

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