One of the problems with living in a rural are like Boquerón, well, any rural area for that matter, is that if something goes wrong on the main road you travel on there are very few alternative routes open to you.
They’ve been working for several months, now, to resurface the main Boquerón road from El Cruce to the town center. And believe me, it needed to be done. They started tearing out the old surface back at the end of August leaving a rutted dirt road in its stead. Then, at the end of September they started laying down the macadam. I was still living at the other house then and they came on down to a couple of blocks below the caseta (bus shelter) where I’d pick up the bus. As you can see from this Google Earth pic, from the town center there are several alternative route that the buses and taxis can take that parallel the main road. Up to a point, that is.
From that last yellow push pin down to El Cruce is a little more than 2 kilometers. A mile. The entrance to the barriada lies in the middle. Last Wednesday I needed to go over to Bugaba, the next town west of here, to buy some spices I needed for a recipe I wanted to try. I got a cab at the entrance to the barriada which took me down to the crossroads and immediately picked up one of the many buses that pass by all day long. I was at the Romero supermarket about 15 minutes later.
It only took me a couple of minutes to get what I needed with no impulse shopping since I’d done my weekly grocery shopping a couple of days earlier. I was back at the crossroads in less than an hour from when I started. One of the Boquerón buses was there, but I couldn’t get on. The road had been closed for grading. They weren’t letting anything but official traffic through, so the only way to get back home was to WALK! And it was HOT! Took me over a half hour because of my emphysema and stopping every couple of hundred yards to rest in a bit of shade.
Today I needed to make a trip to the grocery store again and stock up for the week. Saturday was the big Independence Day here, and as in the States when a holiday falls on the weekend Monday is usually a day off from work except for places like supermarkets and restaurants. I figured they wouldn’t be working on the road until Tuesday. I was wrong. They were grading and a steam roller was following the grader. It wasn’t looking good though traffic didn’t seem to be affected. Cars, trucks and taxis were passing in both directions past the caseta where I was lolling in the shade.
A young indigenous lad came up and sat down in the caseta with me and he struck up a conversation which was quite unusual. It was the first time in over five years that this has happened to me. He was curious about Florida when I told him that’s where I was from and he actually knew that Miami has a huge Spanish-speaking population. He said he has a friend who lives in Toronto and hardly anyone speaks Spanish there, of course. The first Cruce-bound taxi came around the bend and I was able to flag it down. I needed to get over to Bugaba as fast as possible on the chance that they might close the road to traffic again.
Well, I made it over there, did my shopping and got back in a little more than an hour this time. The road was still open and a north-bound Boquerón showed up less than five minutes after I arrived. I now have groceries enough to take me into next week, but I know that in a couple of days they’re going to start laying the black top and then we’ll all be trapped here since there are no alternative vehicular routes down to El Cruce, or most of the way up toe the center, either. The folks in above us here in the barriada will be able to get a bus which will take an alternative route from the town center down to a place called La Guinea on the Interamericana and from there into David.
But I don’t care. I’ll just hunker down here.