A road sign yesterday caused me to do a double take. It listed the distances to “Planeta Rica” and “Caucasia”, two interestingly named places. High-sounding Planeta Rica (translation – Rich Planet) was obviously named to one-up the country of Costa Rica (translation – Rich Coast) by projecting planetary ambitions.
Last night, I was really excited that we would be staying in Caucasia (translation – Honkyville). I would finally learn the origins of my people and why we are rhythmically challenged, uneducated about people other than ourselves, and into beer-pong. After meeting several people from town and hanging out a bit, I discovered the following: I’m the whitest brown skinned person I know and Caucasians can dance their butts off. I left as confused as ever, wondering what race box to check on the next census.
We opened our door to leave in the morning and immediately our sun glasses and camera lenses fogged as the heat and humidity washed over us. The previous night’s air conditioning had let us sleep in a glorious, if illusory, cocoon of comfort.
The valley began to narrow as the foothills encroached on either side of us, eventually trapping us between a muddy, fast moving river and near vertical hills on a narrow road. Water flowed abundantly down the walls and through the ravines to our right as we continued south. All this water provided ample opportunities to cool off during the day.
We found a great swimming hole, at the base of a cascade, tucked down a side road, thanks to a young boy who tagged along with us from the last town.
Throughout the day, a spaghetti-like mess of hoses and piping ran from the cascading water and pools to peoples’ homes and businesses. For those on the opposite side of the road, the hoses were ingeniously run through drainage pipes under the road. Additionally, numerous people set up roadside businesses to wash trucks and cars, advertising with water shooting up into the air.
We were able to spray ourselves down at regular intervals, a welcome relief from the heat. While we dread the climb into the mountains ahead, we are looking forward to the cooler, higher altitudes.
A delicious discovery – arepas. Essentially a sweet, cornbread pancake Filling, cheap lunches fueled our riding
A delicious discovery – arepas. Essentially a sweet, cornbread pancake
Filling, cheap lunches fueled our riding