Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bike Trip ...Cayo Jutias

Cayo Jutias - Tour de France
The first real day of cycling I found out why you wear bike gloves. My hands were so sweaty from biking in the heat and humidity that I couldn't change gears. That was a problem, thankfully, easily remedied. Our first trip was a day trip to Cayo Jutias about 55km away from Vale de Vinales. We were rewarded with a secluded white sand beach and a swim in the ocean.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The bike trip begins

Vale de Vinales, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
After a few daysin Habana we started a bike tour of the Pinar Del Rio province. Pinar del Rio province is just north west of Havana and is one of the best tobacco growing regions of the country. It is known for it’s beautiful scenery and pincushion mountains. (The mountains were formed from a high bed of limestone that was eroded underneath by the sea and then collapsed.)
La Palma - Our BikesThere were 12 of us on the bike tour with a Cuban guide and bus driver. The rest of the group was mainly from Australia with a few others from England and Canada. The first day of the tour I almost crashed on the gravel traveling down too quickly on the steep mountain roads, not such a good start but that was the only near miss minus one. The fist night out we headed to a Salsa club in Vinales. It was great, another live band, lots of dancing and lots of mojitos!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Our hotel in the evening
After a few days at the resort we traveled by bus to Havana. It was a little bit of a trial as we didn't realize we needed to reserve our spot on the bus the day before. Luckily there was a second bus, and some other travellers who spoke a little spanish to help us get on. There we stayed in a beautiful hotel that overlooked the Macelon, the seaside road.

getting wet

At night we went to live music concerts including the Buena Vista Social Club. Cuba has such excellent musicians and we were impressed unfortunatly the food left a lot to be desired... a lot of pork and beans and rice.. all a little dry. We had a great time exploring the city and I took a lot of photos of the old cars for my dad.

I think it's a 52 Chevy

antenna, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

lets knit series [2007]

look what Andrea got me for christmas! it just arrived yesterday - it is a fantastic knitting book from Japan - the instructions are all in Japanese - but i'm up for the challenge! really it is not as daunting as one would guess as the instructions are charted so v visual.

Friday, January 18, 2008

on the set of star trek

on the star trek set, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
so I've been waiting a little while to start this post because.. well I don't really know how to start it.
my plan is to chronologically go through my trip to Cuba -- but the first thing we did was go to an all inclusive.. and it was the boring part of the trip.
This is the best photo of the hotel we stayed at... the Blau. It's a giant monster of a building sticking out above the tree line... the inside filled with "cascading vines".. a total look of an abandoned cardassian outpost ("a what?" you ask .. i respond: "never mind").

looking down at the bar
The Blau was filled with vacationing 1st year undergraduate students and vacationing families all embarrassingly from Canada. Karen and I were a little misplaced. But despite the horror of an all inclusive it was a funny building with a lot of bars. Actually drinking was about the only activity offered 24 hours. The food was beautifully presented but terrible.
Blau became a synonym for an overly pretentious presentation of sub-par goods; equally relevant for the food, the hotel and for some of the reading materials we had there.
The saving grace was the ocean and beach both of which were amazing testaments to nature. (pictures below)
We spent new years here.. salsa-ing the night away and recovering the next day. After that we packed our stuff and headed to Havana (yea!)

the beach at sunset
the beach huts at night