Walking in Colourful Cuba – 13th – 28th March
Waiting for us at 8am in morning sunshine were two open backed lorries. Climbing up short metal ladders we sat on a wooden bench with back-packs at our feet, and roared down the road through the small busy town of Baracoa, bumping over cobbles, squeezing around street corners, then out into the open countryside heading for the foothills.
Arriving slightly windblown, we began our 7/8 kilometre walk eventually ascending to around 210 metres, through tropical scenery – palms, bamboos, passing cocoa bean trees growing in the banana trees’ shade, sampling grapefruit, ascending and descending narrow rocky tracks, sometimes muddy and slippery, passing forest dwellings – the inhabitants busy at everyday tasks, resident pigs and chickens rootling around.
Of interest on the trail were large yellow banded millipedes.
Stopping for a short rest at a wooden thatched dwelling we met two caged big tree rats, and were treated to slices of fresh coconut and mango.
On gaining height we had views of the sea, and at the top of our walk we looked down on soaring Turkey Vultures.
Our lunch restaurant, where soup was served in short half bamboo troughs, was on the banks of the beautiful wide river Toa.
Lunch over; we piled into three boats, rowed by fit young men along to the river mouth sand bar, with Blue and White herons on the river bank. Disembarking we walked across the sandbar, and on through a flat, green marshy area with fish ponds to the waiting lorries for our return journey.
Our Ramblers Worldwide Holidays’ Leader was the cool and brilliant Andrew, Lazarus was our very helpful and knowledgeable Tourist guide, plus Botanist Rafael who, with translation, informed us on local flora and fauna, and together we had a fantastically enjoyable day!