La Marea to Niquiero - and Almost Seeing the Desembarque de Granma
So I rode about 10km to the next town called Pilon to try to catch a ride. At the intersection of the main street and the highway I waited with a number of other people for a passing ride. We waited... and waited... and waited. A crowd was starting to form which was not good for me. Whenever there is a crowd waiting for a ride the line usually breaks down and the rule becomes whoever can run and hop on the truck first gets the ride. With me, my bag and my bicycle I did not stand as good of a chance. The only advantage that I has was that I was an extranjero (foreigner). And drivers like to give rides to foreigners because they can charge them more. Every once in a while a truck or car would pass by, but they were all full and rarely would they stop and pick up people. They were either packed full or they were not traveling far. A number of people and I had been waiting for about 3 hours and we were starting to get to know each other. Suffering together breeds unity. Luckily it was a cloudy day so it was not too hot. I look at difficulties as learning experiences. In a weird way I like to observe how different people react to difficult circumstances. Some people stick it out, some give up, some turn on others, some bond and some get creative. After noon, I could tell that some people were getting discouraged because fewer and fewer trucks were passing by. I noticed that some trucks were coming from the town center full of people. I decided that I would try to ride to the town center to catch a ride. At the central plaza I was able to secure a taxi that would take me wherever I wanted to go. We passed by the intersection of the main street and highway we I has previously been waiting and I offered a ride to two ladies that had been waiting all morning by the road. I let them know that I had already negotiated with the driver and that I would pay for the ride. Off to Niquiero we went. We crossed over the mountain. It actually did not look to be all that steep nor difficult to ride. The taxi dropped us off at the bus terminal in Niquiero. I then unpacked my bicycle and rode through town.
Alfonso was handy at making things. When we started talking about bicycles, Mr. Bilbalboa shared with me that Alfonso makes some of the best bicycle tires in the city, right in his house. There has always been a shortage of good bicycle parts in Cuba, so resourceful people have learn to make all kind of things.
I was traveling through farmland with corn on one side...
There was a little museum that told the story and displayed this map of the route the revolutionaries took.
At the end of the path was a collapsing pier. At one time there was a platform, but it was completely destroyed.
They waded through muck for six hours to reach land. I joked with the caretaker of the park that they should have chosen a nice white sand beach down the coast. He kind of smiled.