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Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year’

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Christopher P. Baker, the world’s foremost Cuba travel expert, is available for media interviews and public speaking engagements on Cuba and Fidel Castro. Baker He has visited Cuba more than 30 times, has traveled the island end to end four times, and has met Fidel Castro as well as leading members of the Cuban government. He has been privileged to address the National Press Club, National Geographic Society (“Live from National Geographic”), and World Affairs Council, and has appeared on ABC, Fox TV, NBC, NPR, and dozens of other radio and TV shows.

Contact Baker at:
760-327-9879 or



Mi Moto Fidel... Motorcycling through Castro's Cuba

"This is a wonderful adventure book... a meditation on philosophy, politics, and the possibilities of physical love. It has the depth of a novel and the feeling of a great love story."
Judges, Lowell Thomas Awards

"Travel Book of the Year," Lowell Thomas Award
"Grand Prize," North American Travel Journalists Association Award of Excellence

Award-winning travel writer Christopher P. Baker's drama-filled literary tale describing his 7,000-mile journey through Cuba by BMW R100GS motorcycle has been acclaimed by editors worldwide.

Baker, author of the best-selling
Moon Handbooks Cuba  (Cuba Handbook) and Moon Handbooks Havana, narrates an action-packed sojourn crowded with surreal collages,
off-beat adventures, and evocative, erotic, portrayals. Often hilarious, occasionally hair-raising, Mi Moto Fidel is
sure to enthrall.

Almost washed overboard during a storm-lashed crossing from Key West to Havana... seduced by flirty mulattas and Mata Haris... and interrogated by agents of state security, Baker recounts an epic,often poignantly revealing tale of adventure  ~ the first such journey attempted by a foreigner in more than 40 years of Fidel Castro's reign ~in this absorbing and richly entertaining book full of off-beat observations about this extraordinary island of socialism
and sensuality.

List price: $14.00

$25.00 + $5 postage
Available solely through the author

Send check or money order payable to Christopher Baker
530 E Simms Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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 Listen to the Author read

The following extract may not be reproduced in any form without written consent of the author or publisher...

"Esta jodido el coche!" The old man shrugged his shoulders.
The car was a cream colored Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe, smooth and dentless, gleaming as brightly as the summer day in 1952 when it rolled out of its factory in Detroit. A yanqui anachronism. A grande dame with a potent, curvaceous solidity and a big, firm, well-rounded rear-end like the nalgas of a robust mulatta.
     I had been cruising along in a state of zen-like meditation, absorbed by the scenery, enjoying the warm wind on my face, all alone with my thought, when I flew past this antediluvian automotive abuelo, dead as a dinosaur, stopped in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere. I hadn't seen a vehicle - not a single car - for miles. And then this curvaceous Chevy staring me down with its acres of bechromed grinning grillwork.
     It wasn't the fact that the thing had broken down that caused me to turn around. Hell, broken down cars were part of the Cuban reality. But this shining example had a come hither allure that arrested me dead in my tracks. Time itself seemed to have stopped on the carretera midway between Bayamo and Vequitas. The Chevy bespoke a more elegant age, inviting me to peer in through the green-tinted windows and steep in pride in America sentimentality.
     I hit the  brakes, made a U-turn, and pulled up to those sumptuous nalgas. Faces pressed up against the back window. Then people began piling out. Five. Six. Seven. All youths. I half-expected them to be wearing saddle shoes and brylcreemed hair. The old man rolled down his window. I peered in. Perfectly preserved leather upholstery. Powerglide transmission. And can you believe it? Air conditioning.
     The grandpa's brown melon face lit up in a toothless grin.
     "Que pasa?" I asked the old man sitting in the soothing sanctuary of the back seat, out of the blistering heat. What happened?
"It's fucked!" the viejo repeated in fluent, lightly accented English. "It's fucked up. The driver has gone. God knows where."
     He didn't have a clue what was wrong with the car. Nor, apparently, did the driver, who had vanished. The old man pointed across the empty fields to indicate the direction.
     "Why didn't he walk along the road?"
     "Who knows? This is Cuba. Who says things have to be done in a logical fashion? We've been here for hours."
     The scorching wind was almost peeling the paint off the Chevy. I didn't envy him or the others.
     "Si hombre, asi vivimos!" the old man exclaimed, an incongruous smile on his lips. Yes, hombre, this is how we live! He began giggling like a laughing hyena.
     In Cuba you had to laugh. If you didn't, the bizarre banalities would drive you crazy. I admired Cuban stoicism and felt a deep respect for the way the people faced their hardships with such grace and style. They never seem to lose their sense of humor."

Copyright 2001: Christopher P. Baker.
Reproduced by arrangement with the National Geographic Society.

"Often hilarious, sometimes hair-raising... Enough skirt-chasing to elicit images of a Yorkshire Micky Spillane... A marvelously eccentric trip... a very engaging read."
Publisher's Weekly

"A layered, lively look at a complex society... engaging... colorful... Baker is a vivid writer."
San Francisco Examiner

"Mi Moto Fidel should be in the briefcase of every man in midlife. The erotically charged adventure through the forbidden island by a man on a motorcycle in his 40s is a fantastic fantasy realized. With its edgy candor, it captures a whole receding time and place with prickly cinematic takes, and makes a map of a hidden world, and of the anima of its soul."
Richard Bangs
Editor-in-Chief, Expedia.com

"Chris Baker's chaotic pilgrimage, by turns sharp-eyed, lustful, poetic, feverish, and joyful, brings a tropical nation of 10 million to vivid, pulsating life. The motorcycle proves itself, once again, a brilliant, ice-breaking instrument of true travel. Every package tourist should read this book first, then think again."
Ted Simon
Author of Jupiter's Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph

"M i Moto Fidel is a rare work of humor and insight that mines the depth of Cuba's troubled history and politics while shining an intense light on this fascinating and stubbornly enigmatic country."
The Editors
National Geographic
Adventure Press

"If you are to read only one book this year let it be Mi Moto Fidel."
Victoria Brooks



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