Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Walking to Guantanamo

On the way back from the east coast trip, I started reading Walking to Guantanamo. I had heard the author interviewed on the NPR Books podcast last fall. In the last year, I have read Havana Nocturne about the Mob in Cuba in the 1950's and An Unfinished Life about John F. Kennedy. Obviously, Cuba and Castro played a central role in JFK's Presidency. Both of these books sparked my curiosity about Cuba. As result, when I heard the interview I bought the book.

Partly in response to a mid-life crisis, the author treks the length of Cuba. Although he starts off on foot, he ends up traveling by a number of modes of transportation, including a long distance by bike. As he travels along, the author stays with local families. The book provides an interesting view into the Cuban economy, culture and people. Economically, the country appears to be a mess.

The author's passions include bird watching, Cuban music and Caribbean religions. Consequently, you got a dose of those subjects sprinkled throughout the book.

I am intrigued by the idea of an epic journey. After running the 50 miler two years ago, I have been toying with the idea of a larger goal for the future. I am fascinated by the idea of doing a thru-hike on the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to Canada.

I really enjoyed the book. Nevertheless, with so many good books in the world, I would not recommend the book unless you have a specific interest in Cuba.

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