Alrighty roo…so now we are sort of speak touring the Pacific coast starting here in El Salvador. After a 6 hour bus ride from Guatemala, we found ourselves at the beach, specifically El Tunco. And after 3 days (i think as its hard to keep track what day it is, i know its rough) we haven´t left…probably will after another day or two. We are embracing the beach life very much so as well as the hot weather. It is considerably hotter here but that is what makes the Pacific so warm and yummy…so I am not complaining.
There has been lots of laying in the hammock at our hotel, lots of reading, beachcombing, walks on the beach, swimming in the ocean. A favourite time of day is the early morning (i know crazy and im able to get me-ma out of bed too, that´s jingo for those of you who don´t know) before the sun is strong, there is hardly anyone around and the ocean is so calm. The other morning the waves weren´t right for surfing (by the way that is how i am able to get jingo out of bed) so we walked down the beach to this massive cave which is only accessible while the tide is way out. These enormous rocks are hollowed out by the waves and have produced a few mini caves. It was so spacious to just explore and sit there.
Speaking of surfing…the waves are great here. We got hammered, well i did actually, my first few attempts…you know a surfboard crashing into your head and then the leash going around neck like you´re getting strangled as you´re gettin tossed around can take a toll on one, well me….and we were only doing the small wee waves but they were strong. Jingo was doing great and with her help and confidence after a timeout i got back into the water to get on the board and eventually to ride the longest wave i have had… and Jingo too! There is no feeling like it, riding a wave. We love surfing!
Everyone is soo bloody friendly here though and so welcoming…everyone says Hola or Bueno Dias…it´s soo lovely! Our tour of the coast and our alotted time won´t allow us too see any villages or to witness pure El Salvadoran life. I did get a glimpse though this morning when i went for a walk attempting to getout of the tourist hub. I strolled along the river and saw a woman bathing with her two boys in the river. And when i say bathing, it is completely foreign to what we all know as bathing – they were clothed and just on the edge of the river washing their hair. I noticed that there were pipes going into the river as places were dumping into it and its very noticable that it´s not clean. So i ask, please be very greateful and appreciative everytime you turn on your tap whether it´s to shower, to bath, to wash dishes, that you have a reliably clean water supply at the turn of a tap. I have witnessed this in countless countries – people with only a dirty water supply. We are soooooo very fortunate! And spoiled.
There is defo a huge gap between classes and incomes. There are some El Salvadorans here on holiday spending the some money that we are (by the way their offical currency is US dollars, yes, strange). Yet i know as i have witnessed in other underdevloped countries and little blimpets here that a lot of people only live in very primitive shacks and barely can eat, barely get by. 30% of El Salvadorans live below the povery line. So most people of the world are barely surviving yet too many people of the world have more things than they count. What are needs? What are your needs? Or are they simply distractions? Hmm…sorry just a little bit of food for thought…
Every night before dusk Jingo and I grab a nice cold, local Pilsener and head down to the beach, which is 2 mins walk away and catch the sunset and take photos. It´s truly another one of my favourite times of day. Every sunset has been different and that´s the beautiful thing that no sunset is ever the same.
Everyday around dusk and dawn we see a few locals fishing. Their technique is probably foreign to most of you (or maybe not). They have a big net in one hand and throw it only a few feet in front of them just to bring it in after only a few seconds in the water. They do this over and over again in little pools of water near rocks. It´s fascatinating to watch. And we also saw a guy carrying a massive fish, we think it was tuna, by spearfishing.
One of the main industries here in this wee town of El Tunco is definiately tourism. The small stretch of road that goes down to the ocean is very touristy (yet the photo above is only on the other side of the river but a world away), filled with restaurants, hotels, bars all with a very tropical feel. There is only really one main street so even though there is quite a few backpackers, it is still relatively quiet and very easy to get your own space on the beach and lots of it. Apparently it is coming into the high season and this is a surf mecca (as much as it can be for El Salvador as people still seem not to venture here much) so who knows what its like then… Saying that this small stretch of space is definitely only the beach side of El Salvador and it is not by any means a true depiction of the country as there is a lot of poverty still.