Program 358: Cuba by Motorcycle; Celtic Middle Earth; Irish Craic

Release Date: 03-15-2014


Get a fresh look at Cuba and Ireland: Hear from a motorcycle-tour guide about how Americans can now legally visit Cuba, then learn about the sophisticated celestial-based geometry the ancient Celts used to organize their world. Listen in as a pair of Irishmen share a beer and a little banter with Rick for Saint Patrick's Day.


  • Christopher P Baker, tour guide to Cuba and author of the Moon Cuba handbook
  • Graham Robb, author of "The Discovery of Middle Earth" (Norton)
  • Stephen McPhilemy, tour guide based in Derry, No. Ireland 
  • Liam O'Riordan, singer based in Blarney, County Cork, Ireland

Related Links

  • Christopher P. Baker's website.
  • Christopher P. Baker wrote "Mi Moto Fidel" after his first motorcycle excursion, to research the length of Cuba for the "Moon Cuba" handbook, published by Moon Travel Guides.
  • Graham Robb's works are listed on his publisher's site at W. W. Norton.Graham Robb's latest book is called "The Discovery of Middle Earth" (Norton).   It has been released in the U.K. under the title "The Ancient Paths" by Picador / Pan Macmillan.
  • Tim Martin reviews Graham Robb's findings in "The Discovery of Middle Earth," which is titled "The Ancient Paths" in the UK, for The Telegraph.
  • The New York Times discusses Graham Robb's theories about Celtic migrations.
  • Information about the second-century Antonine Wall in Scotland. 
  • Travel blogger Tom Galvin writes an introduction to the Irish sport of hurling.
  • Tacoma Weekly posts a number of Irish blessings online, and the homegrown trivia site lists a number of colorful Irish blessings and curses.
  • The website lists the benefits of some of Ireland's favorite types of potatoes.

Haiku Awards

Pgm 358 Ireland Haiku  (first aired on program 238, March 2011)    


The last sight of land

I stand where my kin left home

Seals dance in the surf

  — Malinda Smyth, Lakewood, Ohio



cold winds stop us in our tracks

the Cliffs of Moher


blowing and cutting

QC smashing the rejects

Waterford Crystal

   — Carol Snow, Del Mar, California  


Celtic flourishes

Decorate the Book of Kells

Borrowed pagan art

  — Kathy Schaffer, Bellevue, Washington  

Program Extras

Pgm 358 extra - Graham Robb, author of "The Discovery of Middle Earth," talks about seeking out the remains of old Celtic towns, which often are atop hills and offer excellent views. He also explains how the ancient Celts would have viewed Stonehenge with the same wonder we do today, and touches on the importance of their celestially-based system for organizing the world. (runs 2:53)