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Published: January 25th 2019
Cuba Day 4. Thursday 24 Jan 19
Back out of village and left along valley heading west. Undulating for 10k followed by a lump of a hill
Which had us losing water to evaporation in this humid climate with little breeze. I made an error previously about there being a thousand it so old American cars. They may now even equal Turkey Vultures and be in the several thousands. We see them everywhere. Today as we ventured further west we became more rural and vintage. There were nearly as many ponies and carts as there were small tractors including three carts pulled by two oxen, two of them piled high with stones. I suppose the highlight was seeing a chap ridging his crop with two oxen and a little boy of about 4 with him. As cyclists on these roads we like the ponies as they do not belch our great clouds of diesel smoke and fumes as the old trucks and cars often do. Most scooters sneaking up behind us seem to be electric and we saw an electric bicycle today - another first.
The first and only modern tractor was a New Holland, the rest being Russian type
twin cyclinder models and a couple of small tractors with Ford Ferguson bonnets on them but possibly a bit of a hybrid, as everything else is here, since they were only produced in the early 1940’s. - Am I boring you yet?
We heard a woodpecker tapping away before we left the Eco resort and observed the many Egrets following the cows since they love to pick the parasites off the cows backs. A win win result. Many areas have no fencing to speak of so there are many animals seen tethered to a post by a rope around their horns or a collar. This even applies to pigs which we can smell 100 metres in advance. I think I will become a vegetarian. Mind if I lose any more teeth I may have to do anyway.
We stopped for a break at the town of San Cristobal, which was very busy with people and traffic, plus the home made pedal rickshaws, of which there were many different designs. One had a small steering rack from a car and a track rod end to operate the steering. From this point on the day deteriorated as we headed into a rain
storm of biblical proportions. It set off gently enough but before we realised what was happening it was bouncing off the road and even bouncing back out of the potholes. The only consolation was that it was warm rain at about 24 degrees, not that some, who will not be mentioned, rode out on the coach. (Joking). I can very much vouch for the Gore-Tex shake-dry top I bought on Mad Friday two months ago at half price. It never let a drop of water through to my top. No it just dumped it onto my legs and my money belt. I have several notes drying out on the bed as I write, which I am hoping will be legal tender again by the time to pay for tonight’s meal arrives. My shoes are also twice the weight they were and am looking for a copy of the Clithery Advertiser and Times to stuff in to dry them out. I can’t think of a better use for that failing rag.
The roads are getting a bit rough in this area and signposts few and far between so I think a sextant may be of some use once the cloud clears.
A very nice lunch was had at Pinar del Rio before a one hour coach transfer to our hotel in San Diego Los Banos, which gratefully was during another heavy storm. Now to get washing and dry everything in a humid climate.
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