Che GueBeara





Check out the map of Cuba


Dublin, January 2007

Early in January when the big news of a week in Cuba came out, it immediately raised a crucial question: Who would be going?
There were discussions and debates daily and everybody felt it was their turn to go. Angus claimed that the Travelling Dogs, if any, were next to go. The situation came close to a riot, when a meeting was held.
"The discussion is over!" Roger announced on the podium. "It's a decree from our humans, that McBear and I will be representing the Travelling Bears as usual!
McBear added: "They also decided that Tom and Isabella will be going!"
The discussion ended with the TAs leaving - muttering...

Click each photo to enlarge


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

We crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a huge Jumbo jet from Air France. Here we are in front of the hotel, Melia Varadero. Roger was wearing a hat that had been bought for the sake of the photo, but Roger was complaining that he looked like somebody's aunt just arriving home from Costa Del Sol.
"I'm NOT! I'm ROGER - and I'm in CUBA!"


Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

We agreed to have a new photo taken. Roger was nearly content, however, now he was giving out because of the gondolier suit.
"I've been wearing this suit the last 5 travels in a row, and it's about time I'd be wearing something new!"


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

We got a lovely hotel room with a big ensuite bathroom. McBear had said it was a 4 star Plus, but Roger later found out that it was a 5 star in the Cuban catalogue.
"Does it really matter whether it's 4 or 5 stars?" McBear asked.
"Does it MATTER???" Roger gave out! "If you want to travel; do it with style! That's my motto!"


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

Varadero is famous for its beaches and the first day we enjoyed the sun. This was Isabella's first trip with the Travelling Bears and she loved sitting on a deck chair listening to Latin rhytms from the ghetto blaster she had borrowed from Angus.
"My favorite song is Hasta Siempre", she said.
Roger was preparing himself for water skiing.
"But ... it's Bamse's old ski from Austria", McBear said. "They're built for SNOW!"
"So what?" Roger replied a bit annoyed. "There's lots of snow here - it's just MELTED temporarily!"


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

That night McBear showed us a poster of the famous revolutionary, Che Guevara.
"I'm here on a secret mission", he revealed. "I'm trying to follow the footsteps of the great Che GueBeara!"
"Who's he?" Isabella asked.
"Che GueBeara apparantly was the real engineer behind the Cuban revolution in the fifties. But he knew nobody would take a bear serious, so he met with Ernesto Guevara from Argentina and told him what to do. The rest is history. They never found Che GueBeara, and no photos of him exists..."


Habana, Cuba, January 2007

The next morning we started on the quest by travelling to the Cuban capital, Habana (pronounced Havanna). Here we are on the border between the provinces Matanzas and Habana.
"Remember that Bamse asked us to bring him home a big Habana cigar", Tom reminded us.


Habana, Cuba, January 2007

While Tom and Isabella went sightseeing, McBear and Roger searched for cigars. It turned out that no shops had bear sized cigars, so we ended up with a huge human sized cigar. It was a Cohiba, apparently of the finest quality - and so was the price: 17 euros! Roger felt under severe strain while carrying the huge trunk around the streets.


Habana, Cuba, January 2007

Strolling the narrow streets of Habana, Tom stumbled over an Irish Pub called Café O'Reilly. Here, the bartenders taught him how to make Mojito with fresh mint and Cuban rum.


Habana, Cuba, January 2007

We met up at a square in front of a fine old building in colonial style. On front was a banner congratulating the Cuban leader Fidel Castro for his 80'th birthday. At this stage Roger was half leaning against Tom, grasping for breath having carried the huge cigar half the way around Habana in the heat...


Habana, Cuba, January 2007

McBear's quest led us to the big square of the Cuban Revolution. On one of the buildings was a portrait of Che Guevara. McBear believed this was on the track to follow the footsteps of Che GueBeara...
Poor Roger had begun to sway...


Habana, Cuba, January 2007

Cuba is famous for its old US cars from the fifties and even back to the fourties. On the square several fine cars in excellent condition were parked. Excited, McBear explained about each Chevrolet and Ford, but then he heard a big thud! Roger was lying on the ground, passed out from exhaustion from carrying the cigar in the heat. Being a polar bear, Roger had his limits after all...
McBear rushed over to get water to save his old friend.


Cuba, January 2007

We left Habana and carried on with the quest to find the trail of Che GueBeara. On the way we stopped at a road bar. Roger was recovering and he needed refreshments. The bartender was making Pina Colada - Coconut drinks with rum. McBear and Roger decided to have a drink, but knowing Roger's past they decided to leave out the rum...


Cuba, January 2007

Phew! Sipping Pina Colada is tough, and the bears kept burping for a couple of hours!


Santa Clara, Cuba, January 2007

The quest brought us to Trinidad on the south coast and just before dusk we reached Santa Clara where we visited the mausoleum of Che Guevara. Here, McBear ralised that the trail ended in a cul de sac.
No more traces, but McBear was convinced that if Che GueBeara was to be traced, at least his spirit would be close to the mausoleum...


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

Inspired by McBear's idealism and quest for freedom, Isabella next day painted a portrait of Che Guevara. She called on McBear to let him see the result.
"What d'ya think?" she asked.
"That's a mighty fine portrait", McBear said in recoqnition. "For some reason it reminds me of some sort of post-Andy Warhole style..."


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

The wind started to blow stronger and we heard of a hurricane approaching. While rushing back to our hotel room we were caught by the wind and had to cling to a tree.


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

Safe back at the hotel room McBear looked up the hotel's instructions on what to do before, during and after a hurricane. Roger looked over his shoulder with worry.
It turned out, that the hurricane passed east of Varadero, and we all felt relieved.


Varadero, Cuba, January 2007

Next day we started preparing for the journey back to Ireland. But how on earth were we going to bring back a monster of a cigar to Bamse? Tom's large backpack was emptied. McBear went over to the hotel gardner and borrowed a chainsaw. While McBear sliced up the cigar, tobacco was sprayed in all directions. Roger picked up the pieces and put them in Tom's backpack. Then Roger asked - quite sensibly:
"How is Bamse going to smoke a sliced cigar?"
Oops! Good question! Isabella proposed we could tape it together with cellofan tape, but realized it probably wasn't a good idea. McBear thought perhaps they could use super glue.
"Are you nuts?" Roger gave out. "Smoking it, Bamse would become the most stoned Lord Bear Mayor in Irish history!"


Dublin, January 2007

Finally, McBear came up with the idea of taping the cigar back together using brown cigarette paper - and it worked! Boy, was Bamse happy when we returned with a real Habana cigar!
"It's even a COHIBA!" Bamse said delighted.
"You should have seen Roger carrying the cigar all around Habana", McBear told Bamse.
"Thank you so much! You shouldn't have gone through all that trouble!" Bamse said.
"Arh! Not at all! That was nothing!" Roger said and started to blush...




Check out the map of Cuba



We surfed the beaches
of VARADERO in Cuba
and went to
the mausoleum
of Che Guevara

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