I just returned from leading a sensational 9-day motorcycle tour of Cuba for Texas-based adventure motorcycle touring company MotoDiscovery.
Wow! What a trip!
Our program–officially a “people-to-people educational exchange”–was offered under OFAC License No. CT-2013-299634-1 issued by the U.S. Treasury Department for legal group travel in Cuba resulting in “meaningful interaction” with Cuban citizens.
And boy! Did we ever have meaningful interaction!
Highlights included fascinating visits to a tobacco plantation and to a cigar factory, where we interacted with farmers, farm workers, and torcederos (cigar-rollers). At the Escuela de Arte in San Antonio de los Baños we witnessed a lesson for gifted young musicians being tutored in violin. We met with Cuba’s harlistas (owners of pre-revolutionary Harleys) to learn how they’ve managed to keep their antique relics on the road in an era of embargo and shortage. Plus we even got to dine with Ricardo Alarcón, former leader of the Cuban National Assembly and Cuba’s erstwhile Foreign Minister and permanent ambassador to the United Nations.
We even added an impromptu enduro adventure that tested several of our trip members’ off-road riding skills.
The group comprised U.S. citizens from all parts of the USA and from all walks of life. Several Harley-Davidson riders discovered that the nimble, lightweight and yet ruggedly powerful BMW F650s and F800s are perfect for exploring the winding, potholed roads of western Cuba.