Crabby way to get from land to sea

Cuba's Bay of Pigs has been invaded again, this time not by United States-backed anti-Castro forces, but by millions of red, yellow and black land crabs, as seen here on a highway in Playa Giron last Friday, reported Reuters.

Each year, after the first spring rains, the crabs march for days from the surrounding forests to the bay on Cuba's southern coast to spawn in the sea.

At dawn and dusk they emerge, climbing up house walls and carpeting the coastal road that curves around the bay. The stench of crushed crab fills the air and their sharp shells puncture car tyres.

For locals, the crab invasion is good business.

Mr Ito Molina, 45, said tourists happily pay US$10 (S$14) for tyre repair, a princely sum compared with the average monthly state salary of around US$25.

For patches, he applies condoms, which get put to many uses in Cuba given how cheap and readily available they are. "All the cars pass along this road, and they all get punctures," he said. "So we stand there and repair the tyres."

With its deep sinkholes, coral reefs and turquoise waters, the Bay of Pigs is known as one of Cuba's best spots for diving.

Visitor numbers have spiked in recent years, in tandem with the overall tourism boom since the US-Cuban detente.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'Crabby way to get from land to sea'. Print Edition | Subscribe