This is an excerpt from my retired blog from my travels across the Western seaboard of South America.
Salt is everywhere. It's especially potent in the warm waves, but ever present upon our lips as beads of sweat evaporate and reform without regard to sun or shade. Relief from the heat arrives precisely at 6 pm when dusk cloaks the vivid blue of the sky with pale colors and then becomes black for exactly 12 hours. Hostels and homes alike empty as people take to the streets for the sheer pleasure of escaping the cinder block cells from which the afternoon heat is passed.
Shopkeepers sit on their steps and restaurants set up tables which begin to spill across the sidewalk into the middle of the road to accommodate the locals. No one can bear to eat during the day, so the night air brings a fresh appetite. The foods I do eat during the sweltering heat are usually limited to fruit juices to try and stay hydrated, and locally made ice cream pops made from heavy cream and fresh fruit purée. The pineapple pops are particularly killer.
Puerto Ayora, Galapagos is a clean, charming town whose inhabitants smile at their visitors. Everybody I talk to here is kind, helpful, and curious about who I am – particularly given that I had been around for 2 weeks. Locals ride scooters and bikes for their short commute around town, and leave bikes unlocked and unattended at municipal bike racks or propped by their pedals along the sidewalk curbs. Thievery, apparently, is nearly irrelevant. I am delighted to have a week to savor this island community, salt and all.
This afternoon brought forth the most refreshing of events. All morning, clouds obscured the sun, providing respite from direct rays, but increasing humidity. Will and I worked through the heat by reading The Hunger Games series in its entirety with a fan pointed directly at us. I occasionally paused from our marathon book session to take a tepid shower, in attempt to cool my skin. Without warning, the dark clouds finally gave way to a heavy downpour, which instantaneously over flowed from the rusty gutter. We climbed from bed and walked out our open door to stand directly in the stream of cool water that poured from the roof without regard to the clothes I was wearing. I sensed that the storm would be short lived and didn't want to waste time searching for my swimsuit.
Two minutes later, the storm abated. Flash floods had wiped out a small section of road, but no one minded since its cooling effects lasted all day. Fresh, cold water is precious, and since everyone’s rain barrels had restocked, all was well on the island.