04-Jan-2011 -- This report is the second out of a series of three confluences that we visited during a three-week bicycle tour through Cuba. The story starts from 23°N 82°W.
According to the report of the previous visitors, there is a military base within some 250 m from the confluence point. For this reason, I almost would have skipped this point. Running round with a GPS device and taking pictures right next to a military zone is certainly an act that provokes trouble. However, images of Google earth didn’t show any evidence of a military camp, so I made an attempt.
Our starting point was actually quite some distance from the confluence: Soroa, the village where we stayed is located at the southern side of the mountain range “Cordillera de Guaniguanico”, some 40 km away. In the morning at 8 a.m., I left Soroa with my bicycle and rode up the 300 m ascent to the top of the Cordillera, and then coasted down to the north coast. I followed a bit the coastal drive in eastern direction and at a distance of 8 km, there is a turnoff towards the village Pablo de la Torriente Brau, named after a famous Cuban writer (in some maps the name Orozco is given which refers to the name of the Bay). In Pablo de la Torriente Brau (5 km from CP) I had a stop to drink water. At a distance of 4 km, I passed a military camp. This was the only military facility I saw. Taking into account that military is omnipresent in the north coast, the distance of 4 km is probably as far as you can get between two military facilities.
The next intersection is at 1.7 km. There, I turned into a dusty road with a lot of traffic from carriages drawn by horses. The nearest you can get from this road is 280 m. But if you overshoot a little, you can turn right (towards the south) and follow a track until you reach a gate. Right at the gate, there is a footpath that allows you to access the confluence easily. I abandoned my bicycle at a distance of 200 m and followed the path.
The direct vicinity of the confluence point is actually not covered by dense scrubs, but consists of open grassland with scattered acacia trees. I didn’t meet anyone and enjoyed the peaceful nature (with many palm trees and flowers). The direct confluence however, is grown over by a thorny acacia shrub, giving me a hard time finding all zeros. The sea is only 60 m from the confluence point, but cannot be seen at the point itself.
On the way back I was offered a complete meal in the canteen of the village Pablo de la Torriente Brau for only 1 Peso national currency, which is equivalent to 4 cents. I traversed the mountain range again and reached Soroa in the afternoon at 4 pm.
CP visit details:
- Beeline distance from bicycle parking: 200 m
- Walking time (incl. return): 5 min
- Time at the CP: 11:45 am
- Measured height: -5 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
- Minimal distance to the CP: 4 m
- Vegetation: acacia trees, grass, palm trees, different kind of flowers.
- Distance to a road: 280 m
- Distance to a track: 240 m
- Distance to houses: 340 m
- Topography: slide slope, little hills in the area. In 15 km distance is the Cordilleara de Guaniguanico with heights around 600 m.
- Weather: sunny, 25° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: At the very eastern end of the province Pinar del Río, which is located in the westernmost part of Cuba. 60 m from the coast in a bay.
- Given Name: The Military Free Confluence
Story continues at 22°N 80°W.