21 August 2012

Puerto Lopez

On the road to Puerto Lopez I met another touring cyclist heading north. I waved at him and he pulled over and we talked. His name was Javier and he was from Rosario, Argentina. I hadn’t placed his accent at first but then began to remember it. The Argentine accent seemed so foreign to me now. Javier was coming from Ushuaia and he asked if that was where I was going. I explained I had been there last year and would not be going that far again. Javier was going as far as Mexico. Visa restrictions on Argentines made it difficult for him to enter the US or Canada. Otherwise he would have liked to ridden from the furthest point south to north of the Americas. We exchanged information on the roads and I told him there was good camping on the beach at Puerto Cayo. This was good news to Javier, as Argentines love to camp.

Soon after I stopped for lunch. It was a good almuerzo of meat and rice with a fish soup and glass of pineapple juice. The old man and women who ran the little lunch shack were clearly religious. They sat transfixed watching a television program of a man singing religious songs. The songs they knew they would sing along to. On the bamboo walls of the shack were numerous religious posters and confessions of faith. One was called “Los Dos Caminos,” or “The Two Roads,” and while I ate I used the poster to evaluate my life and where I was headed and what I should expect. I concluded that other than the occasional nightclub and discoteca I seemed to be doing pretty good and I was headed on a path that would lead me to a golden city and a rainbow.
 Los Dos Caminos
In the afternoon the sun came out and it was hot and the road climbed out of the town and away from the ocean. Then there was a descent under a canopy of trees that led back down to coast and to Puerto Lopez. It is a dusty, beat up town with fishing boats tied up at the southern end. I took a room at the Hotel Malachilla and went out looking for food.


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