This was a great holiday with an excellent group, never a dull moment and well supported by Juan Carlos, Alexis and Louegie, whose humour and knowledge helped make it such a memorable time. The music, people, food and atmosphere make Cuba a unique not to be missed experience and there is no way better to experience it at first hand than by bike.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
To pick just one would be a disservice.
The historic colonial town of Trinidad with its great music venues, picturesque street scenes and best cocktail on the island at La Canchanchara bar.
The Sierra Maestra mountains and the beautiful location of the hotel which was very welcome after the hardest day of cycling, plus on the next day the impromptu serenading by the hotel's musician on the coach as we gave him a lift home.
The contrast in Havana between the original and renovated areas, both fascinating in their own ways, and drinking cocktails in the National Hotel's grounds whilst overlooking the El Malecon Habanero.
- What did you think of your group leader?
- Juan Carlos was very knowledgeable, patient and helpful. Alexis was an excellent driver and very helpful and kept the group on track whilst the jovial personality of Louegie was contagious as he was continually dancing, joking and plying the group with aqua, fruit, peanuts, water and assorted snacks at the stops. (So much for loosing weight on a cycling trip). The 3 tour officials made an excellent team.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take a universal travel sink/bath plug - plugs are rarely available; UV protection lip balm - to prevent the dreaded "big lips" (not as sexy as it sounds); medication for upset stomachs; insect repellent - particularly essential at the second night's hotel;
The food was good to excellent, much better than previously mentioned in reviews and warned by Exodus, either the food has improved significantly in recent years or Juan chose the best restaurants. Vegetarians will have difficulty, even the rice may be favoured with meat stock - Vegans will starve (except for the fruit & limited salads.) One vegetarian in our group was somewhat perturbed when a pig's trotter was produced out of the cauldron of "vegetarian" bean soup she was enjoying at the time.
Learn to slip stream (and hope you aren't the fastest in the group).
I took a cycle trip computer, which was useful and could prevent keen cyclists doing more kilometers than necessary.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Except for last days we had strong head winds. Would suggest the route be reversed - this would also get the long drive done early in the holiday.
The FAQs currently state that panniers can be fitted, but they can't.
Wished we'd stayed on a few days more to explore Havana at our leisure - next time!
PS- What time is breakfast? (For our group only)