Don't want to go by bus? Take a taxi collectivo! Since Raul Castro (the president) permitted the Cuban people to earn their own money by providing taxi service Everything with wheels or hooves is taxi. Bicycle - sit on the frame, bicycle with side wagon, bicycle luxury model two seaters with music and roof. Horse/donkey/mule with or without carriage (the most common one in the country side). Motor cycle. Oxen with wagon. Lorry (all vehicles are at least sixty years old) with an open platform where easily fifty people crowd. Diverse Soviet cars repaired with scotch to not fall apart. Converted prisoner transports. Tractors. Etc.
We arrive in Holguín at 10 pm, the bus is only two hours late. Nothing if you compare to Air Canada. I picked the Casa Particular on Trip Advisor. Oscar and his wife Paula are the best hosts you can ever imagine and this casa is as good at it gets when it comes to comfort, cleanliness and food!
Oscar is asking about our itinerary. We have done no bookings in advance, what we learned from our bike tour in April is that finding casa particulars is very easy. You come into a town and immediately someone shows up and ask if you need a room for the night. But this is the Oriente. Not so many tourists, not so many casas. So Oscar makes us a list, with casas that he recommend. And then he phone all of them. Saying his friends Lena and Roland are coming. Thank you Oscar!!
Our bikes arrived (on time of course we are dealing with Germans) from the excellent bike provider www.profil-cuba-reisen.de/en/bike-rental-in-cuba. Bike rental is not on the list of what you are allowed to do in Cuba. This company has bypassed this by just delivering bikes on Cuba, you are actually renting them from Germany. Anyhow, they are great. Specially made for the Cuban market (read bad roads). We pack and get out of town without any problems. A map app is a must, and it is also a must that this map app works without internet. Because internet is not available through mobile phones on Cuba. Beware of GPS devices, heard stories that they are confiscating them at the customs. The ride to Guardalavaca is very nice. Road acceptable if you remember the three golden rules:
1. Always look at the road in front of you
2. Always look at the road in front of you
3. Always look at the road in front of you
We buy fresh pineapple for lunch. Unbelievable sweet.
Finding our casa is easy, we just ask a friendly policeman hanging out at a crossing, checking cars and drivers. A gravel road full of holes takes us to the tiny house situated very near the ocean. The friendly lady proposes lobster or pork for dinner (same price). And I get the most perfect barbecued lobster, with sauce made of lime, garlic and oil.
Ready stedy Go!
Hanging out - the Cuban way of life.
Luxury bike taxi, with music
Casa Miriam in Guardalavaca - super nice
Nature is amazing
View from casa Miriam