Playa Pesquero to Holguin – 71.5km

We had been planning on staying at the resort until lunch, but we woke up restless and missing our bikes, so we packed our panniers and were on the road for Holguin by 9:30.

The ride passed quickly with a tailwind and beautiful scenery. Steep cliff topped mountains dotted the landscape and the terrain rolled enough to keep the riding fun, but not overly hard. We rode through the east side of Holguin to see the Plaza de la Revolution and the monument to Che Guevara. We then rode south out of town to the Villa Miradore Maybe for a nice lunch overlooking the city.

Back in Holguin, it was harder than we expected to find a free casa. Luckily, we stopped at the one recommended in the guidebook and they called around to all the casas that they knew until they finally found one that had a room. The owner then grabbed his bike and rode over to the casa with us.

Our room is in a nice house, but the family are very cold and unhelpful. They also don’t offer dinner or breakfast like all the other places have. It is a room though, so we are happy.

We spent the afternoon wandering around Holguin trying to find cardboard boxes to pack our bikes. The great box hunt proved to be more of a challenge than we expected. The problem with Cuba is that it is so clean and there is nearly no garbage anywhere.

We found one small box witha few rocks in it. We couldn’t figure out where to dump the rocks, so we tried to put them in a garbage can in the town square. Wrong! One of the women that keeps the square clean was immediately upon us giving us hell for our transgression. We scurried away with our tails between our legs while she fished the rocks out of the garbage can. We haven’t been back to that corner of that square since.

We went in several stores asking for cardboard, but were turned away. We found another small piece of cardboard on the street, then later, out of sheer desperation, we paid a bar tender one peso for one of his beer boxes.

One of our boxed bikes.Our quest complete, we returned to the case to disassemble the bikes and pack them down for the flight home tomorrow. Handlebars, derailleurs, chains, seat posts and wheels were removed, then everything was bound into as small a package as possible. We then took the boxes, wrapped the chainrings and put a piece of cardboard on each side of our bikes like a pretend box. An entire roll of packing tape, some zip ties and we were done.

Now the sun has set and we are sitting under a roof of vines and flowers drinking beer and making up stories about the people at the other tables.

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