On the other side of this 2 lane road with no shoulders, I have passed two factory-type buildings that are unidentifiable and have only a handful of workers visible.
And a field of many goats of all ages and varying shades of brown, black, and cocoa. They are all mostly very busy grazing grass and a few have tinkly bells.
I have walked the 4 kilometers to the turn off to the Poblado of Ceuta, the only other paved road I see.
A yellow school bus has stopped ahead of me and is backing up. I don’t know why we call them yellow when they are obviously orange.
The bus driver opens the door, asking me in Spanish of course if I am going to La Cruz, and welcoming me onto the bus. It is an empty bus.
I ask if he drives children to school and he tells me no, it is a company bus – a mega-farm granjero bus for the workers.
I express my dismay at the mega-farm, calling them ‘malo’, bad. He agrees with me but doesn’t understand when I try to tell him about the pesticides and workers I saw a ways back.
He asks me where in La Cruz do I want to go. I tell him a vegetable stand and internet. He frowns, trying to think. By this time, we have arrived in the city. I tell him ‘cerca’, as we have already come very far.
He goes ‘ah!’ and suddenly turns left and 1 block ahead of us is an internet and copy place. He tells me when I leave just to walk 2 blocks to the left, make a left turn and I think he said he’ll be there to take me back. I say yes, and thank him so much for his kindness.
I get on-line - $10 peso for an hour – using their computer with a little weird keyboard. I cannot post my blogs as my computer is back at the truck but there’s plenty of other things to do on-line.
After an hour, I walk another block deeper into town and find a store, buying an avocado, more chilies, tangerines, broccoli, and bananas – and hoping none of them come from the surrounding fields – for $28 pesos or a little more than $2.
When I head back toward Ceuta, I walk the way the bus driver has told me but after the first block, the paved road ends in that direction and the next block is a dirt road. I think I misunderstood, so I turn the one block up to the main street and keep walking.
I see at the next block that there is another bus for workers parked there. I walk down that dirt road but do not see my bus driver or his bus so I head back to Ceuta. I want to see if how far it is to walk anyway.
This time walking back – about 11 or 12 kilometers in all – I do not get a ride but I do see a mother chicken followed by about 6 little chicks, pecking along side of the road.
Many people stare at me walking but I just wave and keep walking. Police pass me a couple of times but no soldiers this time.
I also see horses tethered in the fields and the occasional vendedor with lawn ornaments, watermelons, or food.
But mostly mega-fields, tractors, and several various trucks carrying orange tanks of pesticides or fertilizers.
I come upon a field of vultures, circling overhead, perched in branches and on the fence, and hopping along the ground. They are quite stunning and I try to take pics with my cell phone, the only camera I have with me. I hope I can download them and post them.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to so many vultures before. At least not on foot – maybe in the truck. They are really amazing birds and I feel thrilled to see them.
I continue down the road to the beach, not running into Romeo again, but greeting several other farm workers and tractor drivers.
When I get back, I put the food away, change into my bathing suit and head to the beach to soak my feet in the cold salt water. I don’t want to get a blister. I guess I’ve walked about 8 miles or so.
It is much colder today but I can’t resist going in as far as my waist. But I spend more time lying on my towel than in the water, except to soak my feet.
If I go to La Cruz tomorrow, I will get out my bike and ride to town!