20 August 2012

Puerto Cayo

It was overcast and blowing when I left San Lorenzo. The wind picked up the crashing surf and filled the air with mist and I rode up the muddy malecon and back onto E15. The road followed along the coast through little collections of wooden houses and there was little traffic.
Then up ahead I saw at least twenty wild dogs laying about on both sides of the road. I didn’t like it at all. There was a steep embankment inland and beyond the area where the dogs were it dropped off to the sea. There wasn’t any way around them. They’d be sure to get me if I tried to ride through them.
I pulled over and began to look for some good sized rocks on the roadside. There were too many dogs for rocks, but if I got the pack leader good I hoped to turn the rest of them. I took out my knife from my rear pannier. Just in case, I thought, but if it comes to fighting twenty dogs with a knife I’m in real trouble.
As I was selecting rocks I heard the dogs barking and looking up saw them coming running down the road for me. Oh man. I didn’t even have time to select some good rocks so I quickly grabbed what I could before they had me surrounded, barking and salivating, teeth baring, totally surrounded. And there were more dogs coming too from off the roadside. There were a lot more than twenty of them, all around me now, but none of them coming for me yet.
The big white one with the pink lips looked to be one of the leaders and I started to push the bike down the road slowly, all the while keeping my eye on him. He came closer than the others, barking wild-eyed and vicious. I stared him down and spoke gently to him. I wasn’t letting him out of my sight. I would get him with a rock if he came any closer.
I spoke quietly and calmly to the dogs and carefully pushed the bike down the road. They didn’t come any closer and stayed out of my way, but all the while barking. Then the big white dog with the pink mouth turned away and trotted off, and with that the pack lost interest. The dogs stopped barking and dispersed. I continued to push the bike down the road, keeping my eye on them behind me. I didn’t want to get on the bike and have them get excited all over again seeing my feet going in the pedals. I pushed the bike another 200 meters until I had passed around the bend and was out of sight.
I rode with a handful of rocks for awhile but it is difficult changing gears and carrying rocks and I finally tossed them aside as the road left the coast and climbed up into the hills. There was a long and steep, lowest-gear climb to reach the height of the land and though it was wet and cool and windy, sweat poured off me. From there the road fell and climbed without losing much altitude through lush, green forest.

The country turned arid and treeless with tall thin cactus and the sun burned away the clouds and it was hot. I was riding atop a plateau that looked down to the ocean. Then the road dropped and wound down towards the water. I coasted through a small pueblo and then came out at sea level at Puerto Cayo. I turned off E15 and headed into town.

I found a small hosteria and took a room for $7 and then walked to a nearby restaurant for a shrimp ceviche. I was now eating ceviches every day for lunch and shrimp had been my current favorite for a couple weeks now. Then I walked down to the beach and went for a swim in the ocean. There were big waves crashing and a tremendous undertow that scared me enough to stay near the shore. Later I ate a camaron al ajillo which is a steamed shrimp in a garlic and herb sauce. It is the other dish I really enjoy. With my cycling appetite returning I am beginning to feel hungry all the time.


Post a Comment

Copyright © S O U T H