After dropping my family off at the bus stop after our first ride together - all four of us - on the motorcycle - I just had to have one last adventure so I continued on to Nueva Italia.
I arrived in the town and took the first dirt road to the right. I found out later that it was called Calle Primera - First Street.
It went on for a couple of kilometers and then started dropping toward the water.
Such confidence had I in my little bike that I just kept on going past the large group of scary teenagers and all the deep sand that made my bike wiggle. Then the road ended and the dirt changed colors. Little paths split off in several directions and I wondered "Do I take the road less traveled?"
Or do I take to the field?
Since the paths didn't go far, I took to the field. But I had to stop for this mansion. Three floors? Out here? I have to check that out!
But the water was calling me so I continued wandering along the field.
Then I hit the water so I turned off the bike and began to explore on foot. The swamp reminded me of The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara. I have always wanted to be one of the heroes who creeps along quietly, avoiding the deep water and battling the swamp monsters whose stories I heard from the ancients as a child.
No multi-limbed monsters arose from the swamp, just some guy with a machete. When I see a guy with a machete, I immediately think I'm in trouble. I saw a man in Harlem years ago threaten a neighbor by smacking the flat of his machete blade on the wall of his brownstone. The police showed up a bit later and had a conversation with him. Apparently he had done it before and he wasn't a real threat so they didn't take him away.
Anyway, after thinking that the swamp man is going to lop my head off, I reminded myself that machetes are common tools around here and that the man was no threat. We greeted each other and he asked if I wanted to drink terere with him.
Sure! We wandered over to his motorcycle and started to talk.