hi i am jamie going to cuba on the 14 nov never been before is anyone else booked


Hi jamie

Im going same date but only for the 8 day highlights trip-maybe we'll be at the same airport-Im going from Birmingham

how about you?


Hi Jamie
I am also going on the 14th nov departure for Cuba, not been to Cuba before either, but really excited about it now that I have booked it.
Last year I travelled to Vietnam with Exodus and it was a fantastic adventure, I am sure with their reputation Cuba will be just as brilliant.
I'm flying from Gatwick, are you catching the group flight too?


i am going for two weeks traveling down from nottingham on the sunday morning if anyone would like to share transport ? i am flying from gatwick . they asked if i would take a bike for exodus is anyone else been asked ? will also look forward to hearing about vietnam :-) is there any special biking equipment needed


If you havent done one of these trips before, I strongly suggest you do take padded cycle shorts, with over shorts. Although this trip is classed 'moderate' Vietnam was moderate/challenging and the amount of time spent in the saddle more than made up for the amount of money spent on a decent set of (or two) padded cycle shorts. I tried one day without them, but only lasted the morning before I had to put them back on again!! You dont need to be very fit, but it does help if you have had a little saddle time before hand.
I'm travelling up from Hampshire which is only a short way from Gatwick but will no doubt catch up with fellow travellers in the airport. Last year none of us recognised who was travelling on the group flight, needless to say the flight back was an interesting one, and a good laugh. If you have any other questions I'm happy to offer my take on things.

I am very excited about traveling to Cuba (salsa,mojiitos and cigars :-) ) and thought cycling would be the best way to see the country BUT panicking re the mileage for a moderate trip. A little reassured by Nicola's comments.
Nicola, do you have any other useful tips??


I'm on the 2 week trip too. Departing from Gatwick and living in Hampshire - I have already booked car parking so a lift, to and from Gatwick, is available for anyone resonably local to Portsmouth.

Best Wishes

Hi everyone - I am also going on the two week cycle trip in Cuba, and really looking forward to it and to meeting you all. This is my first visit to Cuba. I live in Geneva (Switzerland) and will be flying over a couple of days before the trip and staying with a friend in Wimbledon. Barbara


hi thanks nicola for the advice i have brought some cycle shorts and didnt know if i would neen shorts as well because of the heat ! ? hi sarah i booked the trip for the same reason and went out sunday and did 40 as a test and it was ok with a few stops i am sure we will all be fine !!!
still thinking about the bike what is everyone else doing ?


Hi All, I am getting more excited as the days pass.
Allan - Hi I'm going to gatwick from Lee on the solent, shame I didnt get on this post earlier as I too have booked parking (and unable to cancel)...
Sarah - Hi, dont be put of by the mileage, last year we did around 50 miles/day and we had plenty of water/photo opp/snack breaks. The trips are very well organised and there is if you should need it support (the bus follows on behind or infront) and is there should you feel you dont want/cant pedal anymore. However its a good personal challenge to just keep on going, and you can always be cheeky and slip stream another rider!! :)
I have purchased electroylytes for my camelbak this year, as I have been away for the last 6 mths and find that water really depletes your energy levels if you drink too much of it - so go for some powder sachets that you can mix up in your water. I also think gloves are a good idea, I am fair skinned and caught the sun on the back of my hands which was not pleasant at all. Sun cream will just sweat off - so gloves is the way ahead this year.
Jamie, I have shorts and 3/4 shorts for cycling. The bike that I hired last year, through Exodus were Trek MTB, not bad quality bike, only suffered brake failure once on the way down the Hi Van Pass - scary moment!! We had a mechanic that cycled behind us too, the tour guide sometimes in front but mainly 4/5 people back from the front. Dont worry about fitness at all, there was a 60yr old couple cycling last year (check out Vietnam trip MOV) and they coped just fine.
Any more Q's dont hesitate to ask - I'm no expert but loved every minute of last years trip, and know that this year is going to be no exception.

Hi Al, thanks for the offer. Unfortunately I am away at present, not back until end of October.... work not pleasure! I have been prepping just be keeping my fitness levels up, I think that will be okay. I'll have to check out that cycle club, as I used to live down the hill in Porchestor and always struggled getting up that hill!! Take care Nic


hi just been to have my jabs , always something i look forward to not ! they advise having then 6 weeks before so its about that time !! thanks nic , where are you working anywhere nice ? al you getting me worried now out everyweek 50 miles ! with your fitness you should be first to the bar then lol jamie


Hi Jamie - I must have missed the jabs thanks for the reminder, I will need to check the trip notes more thoroughly.

It not who is first to the bar - but the last to leave!

Best Wishes

Hi everyone. I too am going on this trip and it great to hear other people getting excited about our imminent cycle ride in Cuba.
I am travelling from Yorkshire on a Manchester flight due to arrive 45 mins after Gatwick flight. Hope I can find my way to the hotel or catch up with rest of you in airport!
I am most looking forward to the sun, the wildlife, the music, the Cuban people and vibes, some new friends, the open road, and some surprises.
I went on Exodus cycle trip to South India last November and enjoyed every minute. My main advice is that if you have a saddle on your bike at home that you are happy with take it!
Well wishes to all

You will probably find that the group will wait for you, if you are only 45 mins after the main group arriving.
Cant wait... only 5 weeks to go !

Hope so Nicola. Only 5 weeks? I had better get out on my bike!


hi howard nice to hear someone else is booked not sure how many goes on these trips , but looking forward to it now , i will look forward to find out how you got on in india also . didnt know there was an option to go from manchester that would have been better for me !
so true allan so true !
with only 5 weeks left we should get the visa app soon


Did you guys get an email from exodus asking for you to take one of their new bikes at Gatwick and then take through as your personal luggage?

Best Wishes

Nic is right - Exodus provide a Tourist Card for British passport holders who livein the UK. They will not however mail these to someone (like me, for example) who lives outside the UK. But they have agreed to send it to the friend in Wimbledon with whom I'll be staying for a couple of nights prior to leaving for Cuba.
Regarding vaccinations, I asked my doctor (who veryx coincidentally was himself cycling in Cuba earlier this year !). As I'm up-to-date with Tetanus jabs, he said nothing else was required (except sunscreen and cycling helmet).
Yes, Al - I also received an e-mail asking me to take a bike; but that's too early for me to be at Gatwick !
See you all soon !

Al, me too. However I have also enquired as to whether this negates the fact that I have requested to hire one locally, paying the £80 on top of my holiday bill.
Not long now...


hi all i too have been asked to take one ,and at first thought it was a good idea then everyone i talk to say not especially the part where they tell you to say at check in that you have packed everything yourself ! you just dont know decisions decisions . thanks nic yes you right you dont need visa its a travel card and mine came sat hope you all well :-)


Jamie like you I am in two minds. I have emailed back asking for a formal letter from Exodus clearly taking ownership of the bike and explaining process. I have also stated that if I were to do it I would definately want to unpack the bike and repack it at airport to be able to satisfy myself that, although Exodus own the bike, I can confidently say I packed it. So they need to bring extra packing kit.

Still not sure, on one hand it seems a reasonable request but on the I need the hassle and the risk? As I say I am not convinced I will do it.

Best Wishes

Hi All, got an email from Karol (exodus team) saying that if you are locally hiring bikes (Trek 4300) then they will still be provided and that its merely a request. I have opted not to take one.

OMG, you guys are looking so fit. (What happened to no experience necessary). I am loving the truck idea, but will be trying very hard to be keeping up. My friend Colleen who will be joining the group, got run over by a reversing van and now has a fractured left wrist, it should be heeled in time. She is still keen to do some cycling. Looking forward to meeting you all. Will be off to buy gloves tomorrow. Well done Nicola for posting all the advise.


All - I have had a response back for exodus re: them providing a covering letter for taking a bike to Cuba - "I'm sorry but we can't provide any letter for you. If you want to take a bike for us you have to accept our conditions. The simple reason is that you can't turn up at the check-in desk and tell them that you are taking something that doesn't belong to you and you're not taking any responsibility for it. The bike on the flight has to be yours." As a result I too have opted not to take one.

Best Wishes

Sarah, you have nothing to worry about. At end of the day you do what is comfortable for you, whether you cycle it all or opt for the bus. I know if it gets too hard for me, I will have no worries about getting on that bus!! I didnt pay this much for a holiday not to enjoy it. Fitness is all in the mind, if you think you can do it you will. You'll be just fine :) x


hi everyone , i too have opted not to take one as like you say allan, do i need the risk playing on your mind all the way over there !
and sarah dont worry about fiteness i am sure you will be fine and like nicola said its in the mind and we are a team now so i am sure we all will help hope your friend is ok and will be fit for the trip !


Sarah, I'm with you - this is a holiday for me first and foremost and whilst the cycling is part of it, I have no problem getting on the bus. Much will depend upon the aching muscles (cycling and of course salsa from the previous evening), temperature, humidity and quite possibly the odd hangover...

Best Wishes

Ladies, one thing that came to me today... was from last years experience, sometimes we stop for 'convienence breaks' and lads being lads have the upper hand in standing up... I wont explain the rest.. but a couple of handy baby wipe packets did prove to be a very good idea.

Thanks for for all the support and advice........just can't wait now. And look forward to seeing Al dancing hee hee.


me too only a few weeks now yeah ! oh no it sounds like i need to get dancing lessons ,as well as extra trainning to keep up with you guy's and girl's lol

Hi all... finally I'm back in the UK... now it all seems real that we'll be off on our adventures in just two weeks..... Looking forward to meeting you all and having a great time. TC All Nic :)

Has anyone else had a look at the weather - hope we bring along a waterproof jacket..... its not looking good at the moment (however warm).

Indeed, Nic - the weather doesn't look that good for next week ... hot but wet !
I've just watched the Swiss news on TV ... plane crash in the mountains in Cuba. Due to hurricane ?? We will certainly need waterproofs ...
I'm really getting excited now about the trip ... but also a little anxious that you youngsters will be so much fitter than me ! I'll do my best to keep up with you cycling, but certainly not in the bars ....
Who will be at Gatwick ? How can we organize to meet at there ?


I saw weather report too (and crash). Both were in SE of island and plane was domestic flight. I just checked 10 day forecast, on several UK and US sites and weather looks ok - I'm choosing to believe anything with a sunny logo and a smiley face...dont care about rain, I'm on holiday!

See you all soon

Best Wishes

Glad it doesnt look too bleak..... I'm really excited now, have only got a week back at work then its the travel up to Gatwick.... Barb you said about meeting at Gatwick... Last year I found it hard to recognise anyone travelling as we didnt have the luggage tags we were sent this year. How about if you are on facebook we arrange a place and time to meet for coffee or something before getting on the flight???
If you FB my name (Nicola Wallis) you should find me in Plymouth.... x

Nicola - I tried to find you on FB, but there are many, many Nicola Wallis names, and I didn't find Plymouth mentioned anywhere. But then, I'm not an expert at FB, although i am on it. Perhaps you can find me (Barbara Perkins) - in Switzerland ? I haven't seen the luggage tags yet, as they have been sent to David, the friend I will be staying with in Wimbledon. Who else is coming to Gatwick

Has anyone else had a look at the hotel we are staying in the first night? Bring your swimmers - there is a pool!!! Looks relaly nice and has good reveiws too:
Hotel Occidental Miramar, Quinta Avenida, Havana.
I'm just back off the bike, think I need some more practice its been a week since I sat on one!!

Hi All

Nearly time to go - I am really excited.

If anyone fancies a coffee and a late breakfast... my mobile number is 07779990630. I'll be at the airport for the 3 hr check in window, see if I can get a decent seat. Take care all, see you Sunday :)


Weather in Portsmouth:  tipping it down and 8 degrees.   Outlook for next 10  days - more of the same.

Weather in Havana:  sunny and 28 degrees.   Outlook for next 10 days - more of the same.

 Now - where would I rather be?

Nicola - will text you with my mobile and look to meet up at Gatwick...

Best Wishes Al

Indeed, Al ... would much rather be in La Havana already (even though we are having a lovely sunny day here in Geneva today (we had the rain all day yesterday ...).

I've taken a cue from Nicola, and have also posted a photo, to help us recognize eachother at Gatwick.  My mobile is (0041) 79.682.2749.


3 more sleeps then we are there, will look out for you guys at the airport (Gatwick South)...... :-)


Forgot to mention bing a bit of rope as I might need a tow xx

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