Thursday, July 5, 2012

Peligrosidad–Climbing In Cuba

Climbing in Cuba is deemed “peligrosidad” or a danger to the state and it is banned. No one knows why. Climbers can be arrested and imprisoned. Yet the allure of the great climbing there brings tourists from all over who work together to figure out how to avoid the guards. Including this guard with a true Catch-22 approach:

“In March, one guard, a congenial man in a green button-down shirt, said: ‘We don’t like to say climbing is prohibited. Climbing isn’t prohibited, because prohibited is an ugly word.’

But may one climb?

‘No,’ he said.”

One of the locals hopes the tourists never stop coming.

It is a bit of reassurance for him that tourists continue to climb most days, too. They kill mornings waiting for the guards to quit, usually around 2 p.m. They get to the cliffs before the guards are on duty, around 9 a.m. They climb on cliffs the guards do not frequent and wear dull colors to blend in with the rock. On Sundays the guards don’t work at all.”

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