Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cuba - Day 11 - Coastline Road.

Breakfast was organised for 8.00 am ... at 7.00 am Miriam knocked on our door and said breaky is ready!!!, Ellen had already gone out for a walk so we almost waited for her before we tucked in.

Again we were given a stunning day to play with, Ellen took some early morning shots.

My fav!!

Given the hour earlier we were accidentally given we made good use getting on the road at 8.15 am for our long and slow portion of the trip on the southern coastline road which was literally WW3 for 180 km.

In places the road was washed out and some bridges were destroyed but still being used ... this was something new for us.

The watermain pipe had kinked and split so they just made new joining sleeves at bizarre angles and welded it back together stick squirting water out .... fixed 

There were no warning signs, no nothing to say you will be decapitated if you drive on that side .... imagine driving into that at night .... you would not stand a chance!! 

The coastline offered stunning scenery and exciting views, the road did however come to an abrupt stop were the tunnel had collapsed and the road beyond repair, they had cut a new road/track up and over the top.

This was more of a 4x4 track than a main road so with some effort from some local Cubans we pushed the car over the first steep bit.

They showed us the next bit which was steeper but not as stoney, using my 28 years of 4x4 experience from New Zealand I put the car into first (it was an auto) so it would not kick down I used momentum to get over the stoney loose parts and gunned it on the bedrock parts to keep my momentum up and reached the top in one hit while the Cubans were standing there waiting to push me ... no way man I am a Kiwi!!!! 

View from the top

Next mission ... the road narrowed to a single lane so the tar road completely destroyed.

As Murhy would have it we meet the only car in a long while on the one lane stretch ....and it was a white rental car as well. / 4wd

Upon successful completion of our off road excursion we continued to Pilon however our offroading had not finished, this bridge middle span had sunk, this time there was a sign in the middle of the road. 

Look closely you can see a Ural sidie coming across

So with the offroad section then c o m p l e t e ...... well not quite

On the guard rail all the concrete had spalled off where the reo steel was corroding and expanding blowing the concrete off, this is a very common scene on coastal Cuba 

We spotted a resort on the way to Pilon, it was very hot and we were hungry so we drove in, we walked in like we owned the place and Peter and Miriam went for a swim then we drove down to the beach spot.

We ordered 4 burgers and asked Cuanto Questos (how much) and he replied it is all included (but we were not staying at the hotel) so again we asked how much and the same reply was given so OK we will have 4 burgers, we had intentions of paying at the hotel but he was adamant we didn’t have to pay ... he won ... but we did try.

Continuing on after our gratis lunch thanks to Che we went to Manzanillo to the money exchange for Peter and Miriam. We parked the car in the town square and some guy came up and started washing part of the car then walked off???

He returned so I went out and said “No” we did not ask you to do that, he glared at me then walked off, I said to the other guys time to leave so we went back to the car to find it smeared in mud, the arsehole had come back and smeared mud over the windscreen and down the left hand side.... great guy.

We left and I saw him on the street, we stopped and I yelled out in my most abusive spenglish but he didn’t seem to give a shit, narrow minded little man he was.

Check this out, 5 on a Ural sidie, they still had space for a few more 

Our journey today at ended in Bayamo, we had a nice drink at a local bar and got eaten by mozzies, Lonely Planet recommended this nice garden bar overlooking the river ..... it was more like overlooking the sewer and stagnent mozzi pond so don't believe everything you read in Lonely Planet, we don't but we read Peters book.

Choosing somewhere else to eat so we weren't on the menu our somewhere else the food was excellent as was the service until we went to pay then they tried to rip us off .... again, we paid the bill in full, it was only $1.50 CUC but it is the principle so we left no tip which would have been worth $5 CUC to them, yet again greed sets them back.

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