Exploring El Salvador
The first day Courage, Loyal and their mother headed out to a store about 100 meters away to see what they had. They just got to the store when a truck came driving along the main road sounding their loud speaker. They had the bed of the truck full of fruits and vegetables. The guys told them they wanted some, but asked if they could bring it closer tod the hotel/marina. They loaded the guys onto the truck’s tailgate and drove the back tmo the hotel. Then they bought $27 worth of fruits and veggies that filled our cockpit table. These appeared to be home garden quality, worms and everything, but they were great. I washed them all in some bleach water and some worms came out. We mostly store them in the cockpit to try to keep from having too many guests onboard. That was one of our easiest provisioning missions ever!
|Kids watching fishermen on dock.|
|Fisherman's paddle and hollowed out log canoe.|
|Fisherman's hollow log canoe.|
The dock here is questionable, but the people are so friendly that it makes up for anything lacking. You join “the cruiser’s club” for $2./day/boat for use of the hotel which has 2 pools, showers, internet, 30% off restaurant, and fresh water usage. The dock is $.60/day and we tied up the first night since we had not yet done our customs and immigration and since they were so generous to help guide us through the sandbar waves.
|The fishermen shared their bait fish with Integrity.|
We spent much of our time in the pool for the next day or two and everyone’s heat rashes faded. Sooooo refreshing to cool off in a pool!!!!! The mosquitos weren’t nearly as many as in Chiapas either and we finalized our mosquito netting enclosure (other than some sewing of the Velcro to the screen which will be ongoing for another week or so). We really haven’t sustained any bites here either, but we’ve seen a few outside of our netting. Overall, it seems we are doing better with both mosquitos and heat.
|View from our restaurant.|
The problem with the second night is that the 4 adults were at a restaurant on shore when we began to feel the pre-emptive winds. So were all of the members of Grace, a boat we met in the marina. Unfortunately they had left their hatches open and walked to dinner, so were quite a distance from home. We rushed to get and pay our bill, took one of them with us, then scrambled through the ever-increasing winds and waves back to our boats. We got dropped off and started our run to bring everything in and close the hatches. Courage took Grace’s owner to his boat. He just got it closed up when it began to rain. We, on the other hand, had more work to do and didn’t quite get sealed up in time. We got things indoors, but not all the hatches were closed and sealed.
The rain starts strong and can drench you in a matter of minutes. We got some water on our bed that night, but overall, it worked out pretty well. Fun to watch the lightening and thunder passing by. Interesting to see it on the radar. Great to get a chance to help someone else out too. Courage brought him back to the restaurant to join his family for dinner. He was soaked when he got back to the boat!!
There are 2 parrots which live in a 55 gallon drum mounted in a mango tree. We try to feed them, but they bite. Always fun to interact with.
There are also some indigenous deer, they have a male and female as well as a one month old baby. We gather up fallen leaves and feed the deer pretty much daily.
I don’t know how they’d survive without us feeding them ;)
Valiant has also been working hard while on land. He’s been taking his first steps. He can stand with ease and is now linking some steps together. He loves his pool time and thinks it’s great to throw things in and watch the other kids dive for it.
We took the whole family on a day trip to explore the local area. We left our resort area and went to a nearby town, Heradura. This required us to catch a bus to get out of our peninsula, then transfer to another bus that goes toward the town. We could also take a 4 km dinghy ride up the mangrove estuary, but that doesn’t give us nearly the local experience. The first bus was $0.50 each, the second $0.25. They filled up pretty quickly to standing room only.
|Cows in the road.|
There was nothing marked at the intersection where we transferred busses. There was a triangle of greenery with chickens, cows and dogs wandering. Fortunately Loyal and Grandmother had been there the day before and let us know when to get off. The transfer plan was to get on any bus pointing east toward the town. We really didn’t know the routes or markings on them. It worked.
|Vitality at her candy concession stand.|
Vitality immediately found a table just her height with bags of candies on it. It was hard to keep her moving with all these options.
We bought some bananas for a snack, then turned in to the regular indoor flea market style market. This market was more focused on food. It was great and the people loved seeing the blonde kids come through. The floors were uneven, minimal lighting, flies everywhere, but everything you would be looking for was there. Seems like a very happy, close group of people in there working together to make a living.
|The flea market.|
|Fish for sale.|
The fish were laid out whole on the counter, some filleted in half and sun dried, with flies just walking all over them. I suppose if you’re going to cook them, it’s OK, but you’d have to sell and eat that stuff in a day or else you’d get maggots it seems to me. Not sure what their turnover is, but unless it’s pretty fresh, it’s going to be a problem. Didn’t look that appealing to me, but it works.
|The kids looking out the door at the ice cream parlor.|
Then we came out the other side of this market and walked a bit to an ice cream shop. That was nice! We got some cones ($0.90) and bars of ice cream ($0.40) and had a refreshing snack. Then we walked to a bakery, got some cookies, then continued to the edge of town which was on the estuary.
|Restaurant on the mangrove estuary.|
There was a cul-de-sac of restaurants and we stopped for lunch. Really nice view, open walls on all sides and estuary on 3 sides. We ordered one of each type of meat – fish, beef, shrimp, and gallino? (chicken-like, some sort of fowl, but not chicken).
The two boys played with some local boys in the estuary waters “fishing” while we waited. We went and watched them cook our meals, which was impressive to say the least.
|Cooking our meal over fire.|
They had 2 BBQ type pits that they would put wood in, then cooked everything, the rice, the meat, on these fires. They also hand washed all of the dishes also. Makes you appreciate stoves and dishwashers!!
|Cassidy's fish bites back!!|
They had refrigerators for the drinks and ice chests for the meat. They even went down the street and came back with a flat screen TV for the couple at the table next to us, transforming the restaurant into a sports bar. I’m not sure what exactly occurred, did they borrow it or buy it as a new addition, but they turned on a soccer game. After cooking our meals, the ladies came out of the kitchen (there weren’t many guests here), and took Valiant for a tour of the restaurant. They really seem to like holding blond babies. The food was good, the atmosphere impressive, the staff attentive!
We were thirsty on our walk back and stopped at the same bakery for some water. They sell you a big bag full (maybe 20?) of 500ml bags of water for $1. I’ve seen people drinking stuff from bags, I guess the packaging is much cheaper this way. So we ripped off the corners and all had a bag of water. We had what we needed and it was heavy to carry, so we gave a bunch to some construction workers along the way and some ladies selling fried bananas on the side of the road.
|Innocence drinking her bag-o-water with a straw.|
|Sugar cane going to market.|
On the bus rides home, again it was full and again people went out of their way to make a seat for parents with kids. Somehow on the transfer bus Loyal and the baby got on through the back door and I got on through the front door. Not ideal!! Baby was crying and the walkway was full.
|Local housing, note volcano in background.|
Loyal began handing the baby up and he got passed up to me. He laid down and I was hoping to stand with him and rock him, but multiple people insisted that I take their seat and they didn’t seem to be happy until I did. Innocence ended up on a local grandmother’s lap, the grandmother seemed pretty pleased to have her as a lap child. Innocence promptly fell asleep after our long day. On departure, Uncle Loyal had to pick her up from the lady’s lap and carry her out.
|Worn out boys on bus.|
This was such a great and fun way to meet the people, see the customs and local atmosphere!!! I loved it. We wore the kids out completely, but I think it was great for everyone involved.
We are soaking up the pool all day today and preparing for a likely departure through the surf tomorrow. We are going to load up on water (not sure how, the dock water is more than questionable with sediment and taste of salt, etc.), fruits, veggies, bread, etc.
We will head to a Nicaraguan island if all goes well where you can anchor at the base of a volcano! Loving it here and looking forward to the next adventure!! Win-win!!