We've done many trips on our bikes through Canada and many places in the world. This one feels different. Preparations for Cuba present a few more challenges.
First of all, from what I've read, there is virtually no internet. This means no opportunity to go to the trusty phone or tablet to see what's open, what's where, what Casa is in the area.... we have to do all our prep work before taking off this weekend. We're back to maps, books and using our directional instincts to keep us on the main track. As a rule, we're not the most planful when we're on the road. We look a day or so ahead so we can take advantage of whatever opportunity presents itself. We will be doing so here, but here's a few reasons why we're spending a lot more time prepping.
- This is the first time we've packed folding bikes, so it's very important we don't forget a piece or part. When we get there we're not anticipating finding a bike shop if something gets bent, broken or left behind. We have to get it right from the git go.
- We will carry everything in our panniers, including helmet, shoes and medical supplies. That does not leave a lot of room, so we have to make sure everything is accounted for and necessary to the journey.
- We don't speak the language. We've been taking online lessons, but I'm not comfortable I can have a nuanced conversation. We have to be self sufficient.
- We'll be away from the main tourist destinations and have been told food and liquid could be scarce between towns on some of the roads. We have to make sure we have energy foods and adequate liquids. We're told there are few stores in between towns. Our daily ride will be anywhere from 80 to 100km.
- The currency system is challenging with 2 currencies and our inexperience.
This being said, it's fun, exciting and we can't wait to touch down in Matanzas. Let the adventure begin!