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Old 02-25-12, 01:12 PM   #1
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Headed for Cuba to make photos! (mostly OT)

Not exactly bicycle related. I wish it were. I don't know how I'll get a ride in while I'm there. But I'm going to Cuba! Really.

This summer I'm teaching my Los Medanos College Location Photography class there.

I got a phone call asking "Would you be interested in teaching a study abroad class on photography in Cuba this summer?"
"HECK YEAH" I said. I'm still wondering what will happen to prevent it as it seem to good to be true.

Just in case you like photography and want to go to Cuba, I should point out: anyone can sign up (THIS MEANS YOU!) for it. It runs June 16-23. There's more info on the blog I started for it at http://photographyincuba.blogspot.com/

You know I'll be trying to photograph bicycles while I'm there, and will report back, with art.
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Old 02-25-12, 01:23 PM   #2
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Oh, of course there's a poster:

poster by ccorlew, on Flickr
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Old 02-25-12, 01:25 PM   #3
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envy
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Old 02-25-12, 01:41 PM   #4
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Not for USA Americans. I believe there is still a travel embargo effective for US citizens. The trade embargo still stands.
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Old 02-25-12, 01:46 PM   #5
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actually, there are now direct flights into Cuba, a limited number of them. But as in the past, it's much easier just to go through Canada.

News link about the flights: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-11-06/t...a?_s=PM:TRAVEL

Sounds like a wonderful experience for teaching and travel - enjoy yourself!
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Old 02-25-12, 03:02 PM   #6
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It's OK to go for educational purposes. It's totally legal. Really
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Old 02-25-12, 03:17 PM   #7
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I suspect you'll see LOTS of bikes down there. Have a great trip!!!
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Old 02-25-12, 03:58 PM   #8
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I've been to Cuba and the only bikes I saw I considered to be unrideable. Granted, I saw none of the country beyond the resort area of Cayo Largo, so other areas may have decent bikes available, but the bikes the resort made available were rusted, non maintained pieces of crap.
I saw some vacationers trying to ride them, but none that seemed to be having a good time doing so.
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Old 02-25-12, 05:57 PM   #9
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Curtis,
Assuming you are not a teetotaler, may I request that you make every effort to test and return home with the best recipe for Mojitos? I ask this strictly for educational purposes, mind you.
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Old 02-25-12, 07:12 PM   #10
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My daughter has been there twice. She says it is beautiful, and she went way off the beaten track. BTW, she was on mission trips both times.
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Old 02-25-12, 07:56 PM   #11
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What a wonderful experience. Have a great time and I'll be looking forward to the pictures.
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Old 02-25-12, 07:58 PM   #12
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Miss Kenton, Mojitos... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'll do what I can.

Dan, unrideable bikes you say? Bummer.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:40 PM   #13
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If I front you some coin will you pick me up a box of Cuban cigars? Strictly for educational purposes, mind you.

Sounds fab. Summer solstice on a tropical island. Hope the beer is cold.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:50 PM   #14
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Miss Kenton, Mojitos... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'll do what I can.

Dan, unrideable bikes you say? Bummer.
Well, you be the judge. They were all department store level, all had the rear derailleurs removed and had stiff, rusty chains draped loosely over the freewheel on about the centre cog. I looked over the lineup on the first day we were there to see if there might be some hope, but I don't think there was enough WD40 on the whole island to make those chains functional.
Maybe you should take a bike with you, or hope you have better luck where you're going.
Other than that, the resort was beautiful, the weather was grand, and the food kinda sucked. Cuban beer ain't too bad though.
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Old 02-26-12, 03:53 PM   #15
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Bring me back a 54 Chevy. If you can't find a convertible I'll accept a 2 door sedan.
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Old 02-26-12, 04:29 PM   #16
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Old 02-26-12, 04:36 PM   #17
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I've been to Cuba a couple of times but that was on our side of the fence (Guantanamo Naval Base). I hope the rest of the island is a better experience.
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Old 02-26-12, 05:08 PM   #18
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Outstanding! You lucky dog....
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Old 02-26-12, 06:23 PM   #19
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Take cool clothes. Think Florida on steroids.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:01 PM   #20
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Dan, unrideable bikes you say? Bummer.
When my sister-in-law went to Africa to work for a year, she brought my wife's old Nishiki for fun/transportation. When she was preparing to return to the U.S., she gave the bike away to a man who had been of assistance to her. When she contacted him later, he said the bike was far too extravagant a possession for him, so he traded it for some cattle. The cattle made a huge difference in his family's quality of life. My sister-in-law's only regret was that she only brought one bike to give away. Maybe you and your spouse can rustle up a couple of functional but cheap bikes that can be left behind.
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Old 02-27-12, 08:00 AM   #21
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Your going to love Cuba. There is some good bike riding on the island if you can find the time. If you do go back without your group, they will not stamp your passport but give you a temporary pass. It's one of those things that you check to make sure you have it four or five times a day. If you lose it...... well don't lose it. I don't think they exchange dollars any longer either. Check into that if you already haven't.
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Old 02-27-12, 09:09 AM   #22
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Another thing about Cuba is there does not seem to be a national standard for electrical outlets. You will find some 110v 60 cycle (North American) and some European types. Best to have a universal adapter or two with you.
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Old 06-25-12, 08:16 AM   #23
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cccorlew in Cuba Photo by Tony Gotelli 2012-327 on Flickr

I have returned from a week in Cuba. No internet access, but lots of Spanish, and a bit of rum with a couple of cigars. I got a hat. It seemed appropriate.

I think a week is the longest I've been off the bike in years. It was odd getting back on it yesterday.
I saw lots of beater bikes and pedicabs, but no "cyclists" in Havana. I did see two full-kit roadies from the bus window outside Havana, but that's all. No bike rentals or anything, which was too bad.

I had an amazing group of wonderful students. Things were odd with the commercial organization who "coordinated" the trip, but we made our own magic and had the experience of a lifetime. The Cuban people are wonderfully welcoming, and even the government Ministry of Culture staff was a delight to deal with.


bike cuba 2 by ccorlew, on Flickr
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Old 06-25-12, 08:25 AM   #24
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Glad you had a good trip with your students, Curtis. Welcome back to the mad house, we missed you.

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Old 06-25-12, 08:35 AM   #25
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Great photos! Love the hotel lobby sunset one.
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