Spinning South: Puerto Cayo to Guayaquil
How silence can sooth the nerves. Being at a place without sound pollution, only the crashing of the waves. Think about all the noise pollution our civilization is forcing up on us. When was the last time you did not hear any artificial sound?
After a healthy green dinner and a quiet night we are ready to start our last stretch to Guayaquil. Leaving tiny Puerto Cayo we follow the coastline through one of the driest parts of the country. This is National Park Machalilla and one of the first protected areas in Ecuador. In this bay it may only rain once a year. Climbing plants cover bushed hills as if nature is ready for tonight’s Halloween.
After a second breakfast with Maduro con Queso (platano with cheese) at one of the highest tops we suddenly enter rain forest, with rain! Again amazed by the changes we see within a few kilometers, from arid to awash in an hour.
Passing through some beautiful picturesque fishing villages such as Machalilla and Puerto Lopez, with boats on the beaches as the current president banned boat fishing for 2 months to give nature time to reproduce and recover. Fish now can only be caught by casting nets and is more expensive. In San Jose we don’t find a place to sleep but just outside town we can negotiate a good price to be able to sleep indoors. And happy we are as it is raining hard during the night.
Next day feels like biking in the Netherlands during a chilly autumn afternoon, following a grey North Sea, but it is the Pacific! Visiting the small, basic museum in Valdivia, with artifacts from Guangala, Valdivia and Manteña cultures existing here on the Ecuadorian coast between 3500 BC and 1600 AD.
The green landscape turns dry, boring biking along a wide highway. Bit of a dispute about where to sleep as Frank does not want to camp so close to the highway and it seems that there are not much more possibilities than a love motel. But it is so small we decide to continue, happy we did as at km 81 we find Rancho Gloria which does not only have the possibility to camp but also offers small cabins. The owner offers us a discount and we can’t resist the luxury of hot water and not unpacking for 10$ extra to the cost of camping. It feels like holiday having a swimming pool and still time to enjoy it before sunset.
Then suddenly we realize it is day 500 on the road! With almost 20,000 km AND it will be our last day of biking before we fly to the Galapagos. And after the Galapagos our winter stop in the Netherlands will start. It hits me! We enjoy our last day riding as much as we can.