Sancti Spiritus – Trinidad

Cubans obviously don’t have enough mountain roads to really get today’s climb into perspective. Everyone told me, sucking their teeth and shaking their heads, it’s tough, very steep, you may not make it……probably have to walk….why not catch a camión? Well, I must confess, I was filled with some trepidation….but not too much…..after all, I’ve climbed over the Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites….should I go on?

When I got to the top of a steepish climb towards the end, I suddenly realised I’d actually climbed it without realising….is that bragging, or are Cubans just unrealistic about constitutes a real hill? 

However, at the top there was a mirador (café with a viewing point) giving panoramic views over to the sea, with Trinidad just out of view.
At on of my pitstops, at a small roadside bar, I asked for bottled water, then a soft drink, but all they could offer was beer! Throwing principles out of the window, I had a beer, and met my namesake, Francis

except his second name was Jesus. Mother and grandma were ‘tickled pink’……just think, an Englishman with the same name as our little one…..

At another stop, in the shade of a bus shelter, I met Nivado,

 who entertained me with his meandering jovial chatter. He was the only one to temper his comments about the severity of the climb. He actually said I’d already climbed one that he thought worse. I immediately liked him. But he, like lots of others, thought I was gallego(Galician), because I speak with a mainland Spanish accent.

There’s a history to this observation. Like the Irish, the Galicians have been the greatest emigrators from Spain over the centuries, so anyone with a mainland accent is assumed to be gallego. Once they realise I’m not gallego, they popularly guess I’m from one the Scandinavian countries…..until I put them right. I’m not sure how many actually know where England is…..it’s over there somewhere, and it’s cold, wet and misty….all the time.

My route today was 73km, occasionally with a good tailwind, but mostly a crosswind…..

Trinidad is a UNESCO world heritage town, so I’ve chosen to stay a couple of nights….and allow myself to mingle with lots of other tourists……sigh!

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 16, 2018, in Cycling Cuba and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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