Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A journey to the higher waterfall of Cuba

First, comes the sound of water falling, the sound of water that not yet shows. Next the guide said: This is the way. A lookout's stairs impose itself and is not left another remedy that to raise them to find immensity. The cooing is louder, we are arriving. Just some steps… A few steps…

Two flows of water are seen from the lookout. The higher of both is not the highest of Cuba, because in some months it gets dry. So you will not be wrong if you say that Guayabo waterfalls measures 240 meters, although it has a neighbor of 300.

This time the miracle was done at Pinares of Mayarí, between the thicknesses of the pine cubense, the tocororos, the green carpenter, the cartacuba, and the nightingale. Is fascinating what the irregularities of the lot and the force of gravity can achieve, that's nature.

The arrival and the visitors' departure dial the daily rhythm. Almost the sun shows up, the road's red dust is stirred. Not to smoke, not to throw papers, not to kill animals, these are some of the measures that should have in account the visitors. Of the international tourism arrive the agencies Cubanacan, Gaviota, Ecotur, and Cubatur, what bring a flow of 20 to 30 people in the day.

The Guayabo waterfalls is placed in the National Park The Measurement (La Mensura), where 293 species of the flora have gotten registered, and around 90 of the fauna, comment William, the guide, while he leads us through a path that arrives to the top of the waterfall.

Tell according to him, one of the most singular plants of the zone is the peinpalantus nipense, is similar to a cactus, but sprouts a white flower. The peipalantus is endemic of the zone and inhabit just in this region of the country.

The Company Forestal of the region holds 13 projects at the zone. Environmental Education's project has like first objective to develop a protective conscience in the people that live on close to the area damping of the park.

The reconstruction of forests is other of the projects that is favorable to preserve the ecosystem. In the last six years, 12 hectares of forested mass it had been incorporated to the park.The precious wood in danger of extinction: the savin, is one of the most used to reforest.

Now, from the height the green predominates, and we just can see the top of that great iceberg that is the water torrent in falling. A colilargo sparrow hawk marauds in the neighborhood. This animal is part of the Project of Threatened Birds, next to the nightingale, known as the tenor of the mountain, and two sorts further.

The Guayabo is the spinal column of a surroundings that goes over 576.7 hectares. It wouldn’t be the great waterfall that we all admire if it were not like the water that grows from a fertile soil, healthy, alive. Other visitors arrive, again the amazement in front of immensity. There is an abyss below their feet. The fall does not stop; the cycle does not end up.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holguin, my beautiful city

People of Holguin feel proud of this eastern province if they recall that it has one of the largest bays and nickel reserves in the world and one of the most relevant indigenous cemeteries of the West Indies.

And that’s not all. A portion of land currently belonging to Holguin made the Conquistador Christopher Columbus say that Cuba was “the most beautiful land” in the universe. Holguin was also the site of the meeting between the Spanish and the natives when the Grand Admiral was introduced to tobacco.

Many people have forgotten that Holguin came to be the first province to reach one million inhabitants or that it has the longest undersea cavern in Cuba, that it has the highest natural waterfalls on the island and one of the most beautiful natural treasures of our times: the natural bridge over the Bitirí River.

It was Fidel and Raúl´s birthplace, this land witnessed the design of the first July 26 Movement armband.

It is the venue of the most important cultural youth event in Cuba known as Romerías de Mayo (May Processions) , as well as of the most relevant international movie festival outside the Havana: the Low Budget Movie Festival.

Holguín has a huge 458 step staircase up the Loma de la Cruz mountain, it also has the second Polynesian restaurant in Cuba, which was inaugurated by the then leader Maurice Bishop, in July, 1983.

Amazing Geography

The huge bay of Nipe, with the towns of Mayarí and Antilla, is 25.9 kms long and 16.8 kms wide; with a capacity of 1,700 million cubic meters of water. These details would seem nothing if we do not recall those stories telling how the Virgin Caridad del Cobre appeared floating there, or that it was the hideaway of infamous pirates like William Hasting; or bloody sharks like Don Pepe, according to legends.

If this geographic accident in Nipe is important, it is also worth mentioning the Guayabo waterfalls, around 200 meters high, located in Pinares de Mayarí. Likewise, it is amazing to see the largest undersea cave located in Tanque Azul, in Gibara, which is three kilometers long.

What about the bridge over Bitirí River, in Cueto, built by the magic hand of Nature! It is near Birán hamlet and has been declared a National Heritage.

It also treasures the Crystal Peak in the eastern part of the province, 1,231 meters over sea level, surrounded by the Cuban flora and fauna.

Another important place is the Wind Farm in Gibara, the largest in Cuba. It has six wind generators 55 meters high and weighing 75 tons.

At the beginning of 20th century, construction workers built the great staircase ending at the wooden cross in Cerro Bayado, which is 261 meters high.

Archaeological explorations done in the Farallones de Seboruco caves, in the Mayarí area, give proof to human activity there six thousand years ago. From that one can say that Seboruco man was the first inhabitant of the current province of Holguín and one of the first in Cuba.

All these historical elements are the basis of Holguin people’s singular identity.