Baracoa is usually reached via Santiago but we noticed on the map that there was another road via Moa. No tourist services take that route and that is mainly because the road is quite bad. The bright side is that we were off the beaten tourist track and got to see places few tourists see. The downside was that the going was slow and parts of the road were just potholes. Luckily we had a hire-car :-)
We were now away from the developed part of Cuba. For hours at a time we saw no other car, only horses, bicycles, trucks and pedestrians.
Still, even out here amongst the straw huts and jungle there were billboards proclaiming the glory of the revolution. Finally we reached Moa. Our tourist guide did not even mention the existence of this quite large town.
We were greeted by
one of the Heroes of the revolution. For a biography in Spanish you can google him. Since we had plenty of time up our sleeve we decided to check out the town. Near the Harbour we found another monument to Cuba's struggle against imperialism.
and since I am not getting the translations right I will leave it to you
Moa and the east in general has had a revolutionary spirit since Columbus's time. It was in this area that the famous Chieftain Hatuey led the indigenous uprising and was executed in 1512. He is now honoured by a great beer that bears his name. We had one immediately after taking these pictures in this bar.
From here we had a good view over the whole bay and enjoyed some fresh fish and local Hatuey beer. It is rather hard to come by because most hotels prefer to sell tourists the more expensive and bland Crystal or Bucanero.
Main street. Hey look, another Car!
Like every town in Cuba there is a central park. Nice sculpture in this one. There was actually not so much to see in Moa but it had a nice vibe about it and the people were very friendly. Given more time I would like to spend a few days here assuming there is somewhere to stay. We did not see any hotels but didn't look.
It was time to hit the road again if we wanted to reach Baracoa before dark. By now avoiding driving at night had become a priority. Just outside town was an industrial area. I think Nickel is mined here. There were signs forbidding photo's and after my Havana experience I was taking these notices a bit more seriously. Our next short stop was the tiny village of Navas.
and if you are going to be buried anywhere
at least here people will enjoy visiting you.
The road although unpaved was not so bad in parts. Do drive slowly though because huge potholes appear out of nowhere.
Here we were really in the "Campo"
If you knew what I was thinking.....
Our last photo-stop before Baracoa and I was sorely tempted to go for a swim but didn't know exactly how much further it was to Baracoa, and like I said, wanted to avoid driving in the dark. Besides, Baracoa was right on the sea, surely I could just go for a swim there. Yeah right.