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Sputter, sputter



December 4, 2003

Today the first part of our journey took us to a junction in he road where we were loaded onto a 6-wheel drive Russian truck and back -fired our way (Cuban gasoline) up Cuba's second highest mountain range — The Sierra de Escambray, reaching 1100 m (3,700 feet) atop Pico San Juan and home to small mountain villages. The Escambray is a delight for birders and walkers alike. Slopes are swathed in Caribbean pines, ancient tree ferns, bamboo, and eucalyptus.

At the end of our journey we took a walk from La Codina, an old Spanish Hacienda, once part of a large Spanish coffee plantation. We learned about the various plants in the area and their medicinal uses, originally used to treat the plantation's slaves. We continued on an Orchid Loop, with over 25 endemic species and then through a cave en route to La Cueva del Altar, where we had stunning views out over the mountains to the Caribbean Sea. On the way back to the Hacienda we came across a roasting suckling pig . It would be our lunch. Pork was never so good. Following a last look at the garden, it was time to load onto the truck for the journey down through the normal mountain rain. It had been another great adventure. But it was now time to continue on to Trinidad and check into our hotel. This would be another new experience— resort for the foreign beach crowd. - The Brisas del Mar on Peninsula Ancon.

Along the Orchid Loop

Index — Cuba - As It Was in 2003

Other Great Adventures

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