From the wonderful Viñales we drive a good distance back, because next we want to see the “Bay of Pigs”. Nobody knows what this Caribbean coast has to do with pigs, but the name was made famous after a failed American invasion. They had underestimated communist Cuba, recently ruled by the Castro brothers and Ché Guevara, and did not expect that they too had a secret service that reported on the planned invasion.
The military aircraft on the ground of Cuba were replaced by dummies and in the jungle the Cuban soldiers were already waiting for the invaders in sheltered positions. It only took a few days and the island was secured and the violent overthrow prevented from outside. Except for a museum, nothing here in the idyll reminds of the earth-shaking events of April 1961.
It’s not just the potholes that make driving a risk. A new living being is joining the list of endangered species. We are on the south coast between Playa Larga and Playa Giron, the places of the famous Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. And that’s where the great crab migration takes place around this time.
Anyone who has the impression that the toads in Germany are not doing well should take a look around here in Cuba. At sunset, large red crabs rise out of the water, cross meadows, bushes and roads to spend the next months in holes in the forest. And in the millions.
Apart from the massacre on the street, the sad remains of which one encounters the next day, driving over thousands of scissor-armored shellfish is also dangerous for the car: the animals’ pointy grippers have a similar effect on tires as nails. The only thing that helps is a long detour through the inland. Or … speed.
Cuba is great for snorkeling. In the Cueva de los Peces (Cave of the Fish) it goes 72 m vertically into the ground. Filled with water, you can swim and snorkel here. Many colorful fish live here and the sight of the deep is very scary.
Around the corner you can also observe the sea creatures in the larger habitat, for example parrot, ball and doctor fish, squid, schools of unknown deep blue and striped fish, millions of small fish that look like neons from the aquarium, and huge corals and sponges.
Beware of anemones. Through a wave I came across one and found that touching nettles, on the other hand, is like gently caressing a feather down feather. After a few hundred meters from the coast, a threatening abyss opens up into the deep sea … In the fascination of the sea you come back and discover that you have been outside for two hours.
The water is wonderfully warm. Nevertheless, the Cubans ask me if it is too cold for me, because 27 degrees is not a comfortable temperature for them. The evening rewards itself with sunset, the surf, the obligatory rum and a cigar.