Cuba 5: Havana to Cancún

Previously on the Amazing Exclusive race, one team of two raced to the town of Viñales. There they were unlucky enough to get not one but three flat tires whilst attempting to push their bikes through the jungle to reach the nearby village.  Overcoming this obstacle, through torrential rain and thunder the team visit the remaining local attractions and sample a variety of Cuban fare, before leaving the town to head back east to Havana.

A moment of calm before racing resumes

In order to get back to Havana quickly to enjoy their last day in Cuba, the team travelled by taxi back to the city early the next morning. There they walked around the unique streets, visited the Museum of the Revolucion, saw Fidel’s motor yacht, the Granma, went inside but did not drink a mojito at La Bodeguita Del Medio, had a meal at their favourite Chinese Cuban place and walked along the Malecón.

Havana square Coco taxis
Coco taxi pilots waiting for fares LAZZER… need more be said?
Roof of the muesum of the Revolucion One of the saloons in the museum
Cuban anti-imperialistic satire Inside the original La Bodeguita Del Medio
Simon completes the “find a statue with your name on it” challenge Ang completes the “find a school that has been named after you” challenge
Cuban street Cuban street complete with bridge
Cuban building
Another Cuban classic Note the modified fuel tank
The chinese restaurant all to themselves Moonrise over a Malecón building
Dusk, Malecón Sunset, Malecón

Waking at a reasonable hour for once, the team headed back to José Martí Airport where they spent the very last of their Cuban currency and waited for their Yak flight.  Soon they were winging their way to Cancun and after a very long landing approach, which annoyed Ang greatly, they landed.

Mystery black jet (not a Yak) Waiting for our flight
Yak getting ready for take-off Simon about to enter the Yak
Terror as only a Yak can provide Normal cabin smoke
All it is missing are some strobes and a disco ball Fully reclined chairs in the extreme forward position
A marvel of aviation technology, the Yak-42D

Whilst waiting for the bus they met a Silvia and Tom, who had come north from South America.  The teams traded stories about Cuba and gave tips about the other countries that they each had visited.  Soon they were on the bus back to Playa Del Carmen.  Having failed to complete the salsa lesson challenge (as set by Callan), the team incurred a 30 minute time penalty.  They waited out this penalty then were checked into the pit stop for this leg of the race.

In the post leg interview, the team said that they were both glad to have visited Cuba.  Ang in particular was glad because “the country is rapidly changing and becoming more commercial.  I’m glad we saw it when we did, Cubans have such a very relaxed pace of life”.  Simon thought “it was surprisingly easy to travel about in the country.  I enjoyed just being there, and I’m only a little disappointed that we had to travel on such a restricted budget.  I wish we could have confirmed if we could access funds via ATMs.  Perhaps we would have been able to complete the salsa lesson challenge, but that is just how the exclusive race is”.

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