I decided to leave Guayaquil because I had to return for a flight back to Vancouver anyway. I yearned for beach and with all Ecuador’s west coast exposed to the Pacific Ocean, I headed to Bahia de Carauez. I idled along quiet streets and the waterfront but still didn’t find an ideal swimming hole.
The following day, I ferried over to San Vicente, not knowing when I headed north, that I’d soon be forced to return to this town.
Up the coast to Canoa I found a great beach town, or so I thought when I arrived. Winds blew off the ocean; there were plenty of restaurants and places to stay; and the atmosphere was relaxed. I wandered over the beach and round to the point lapping up the tranquility until a pack of dogs scooted down the hill. One of them sunk its teeth into my calf and all I could think was rabies.
I tore my sarong after rinsing the wound in the ocean to wrap around the bite and discovered when I raced back to town, there wasn’t even a clinic. My nearest bet was San Vincente.
I scanned the buildings when the bus approached the town but couldn’t see a hospital. The first woman I asked directions from, insisted on taking me on her motorbike even though I’d said nothing about what was wrong. Within minutes of arriving in San Vicente, I was inside a quiet, clean hospital where there appeared to be no other patience so I was attended to immediately.
A nurse scrubbed the wound over and over and later, after returning to Canada, a nursing friend told me that was exactly the right treatment. I was given an injection and tablets which I dutifully took because the ‘r’ worked kept on in my brain like an earworm.
Before I left, I asked the doctor how much I had to pay. I didn’t care how much it was, I was so relieved to get help, and was told it was FREE!!!