Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 4 - Chivirico

Just got a text from Dad. He's had a great day on the bike. Cycled 70 kms (just over 43 miles). The roads are tarmac with pot-holes - so it's a bit like riding at home and also dirt tracks. He's cycled along the coast from Santiago de Cuba and looking at the map probably passed through Rancho Cruz, Goacainabon, Playa de Caleton Blanco, Playa Aserradero, Playa El Frances before arriving in Chivirico.

He's staying in luxury tonight at the four star Brisas hotel - 48 CUC (£32) for bed, dinner and breakfast and air-conditioning!  He was just off to shower as he needs to "dress" for dinner ... hope it's nothing formal as he's not got much in those panniers. At least it being the start of the holiday he should still have some clean/cleanish stuff to wear ! 

Today he's met a Swiss couple and a Dutch couple.

Unfortunately he was too late to visit Cayo Granma as by the time my text arrived he'd already left Santiago. However I've pointed him (courtesy of Lynette Chiang's blog ) in the direction of

Arismilda Reyes Cintra, Marti #41 entre Tomas Barrero y San Silvestre, Manzanillo, Granma, Cuba 87510. I was invited into this house by Arismilda's husband Juan Francisco Arias Martinez as I waited across the road for the bakery to open. This is a lovely family, all crammed into a tiny living space. Arismilda listens to the radio and writes down the addresses of people who contact the station asking for a penfriend in Cuba. She has written to several but never got a reply. The family are clearly very poor, yet Juan secured me a dozen bread rolls from the bakery and refused payment, saying "All I ask is that you write to my wife." I wrote to them, but I am unsure if it arrived. Please pop by and say hello. And promise to write to her.

I've told him to get a photo if he manages to track them down !

Tomorrow looking at the map he'll be cycling through Parque Nacional de Turquino .

I'll update when I hear from him again.


  1. Fantastic! They were a wonderful couple. I think some people have written to her. If he shows them a photo of my book and says "La China" sent me they might remember! However I think they were in Manzanillo not Santiago. My book only takes 2 days to read (according to my slow reading mother who doesn't read books - she prefers listening to techno) so you can get ahead of his wheel and point the way :o)

  2. Lynette he is on his way to Manzanillo now and I've given him their address! Hopefully he'll track them down. If he does I will write them a postcard!

    Not sure when he'll next be in touch as there doesn't seem much mobile coverage over that part of the coast.

    Work is getting in the way of me reading your book which has been sitting on my desk looking at me all day ! My aim is to start reading it tonight !