Sunday, April 15, 2018
El Salvador- Day 1 Saturday 14 April 2018
The thing we love about O.A.T. tours, small groups. I know everyone has their own idea of what travel is all about, but the concept of trying to have an enjoyable experience with 40 or more people, make that 30 or more people is something will just don’t do How about two guides for four people, and you can guess which two are the guides, Richard and Benjamin. Our two traveling companions on the pre-trip are Dana and Barbara. P.S. – Salvadoran breakfasts are great and so is the coffee.
Nothing like a morning walk along the Pacific Ocean to start the day. Here the coast is in an east west line, so the the Pacific is to the south and the the sun does not set over the ocean. We think of people coming north to the United States from El Salvador, Our “International Visitors” as we know them in Retama. However Salvadorans never say they go north to the US, they say the go west to the US. You never know what you are going to learn when you travel.
The little town we are in is a surfing mecca, having been discovered a number of years ago by US surfers. Now the towns economy has pivoted from being a small fishing village, to a major surfing destination. And as Richard pointed out, people may think surfers have no money and live to surf, but that is a myth and the the town’s people have benefited greatly from the influx of surfers.
Flowers everywhere, and Ms. Gotta Taka Photo, was trying to take a photo of everyone of them. I hope to keep the flower photos to a reasonable level in these posts, though I am sure I will hear if “She who took Them” feels I have been not been posting enough of her fabulous flower photos.
The town has a long pier, the half towards the shore is lined with sells of the bounty of the sea. the other half is lined with small fishing boats that are hoisted from the water to the pier and placed on dollies. It made for a very interesting introduction to El Salvador. We both decided we are really going to have a great time during the next three weeks, even more so than we thought we were.
Our favorite snack. Because of the salt. Hot and sweaty we are. Have to get out of those are conditioned buses if you really want to know the country and people. Drink plenty of water and replace all the salt we lose. We also add electrolyte tablets to our water. Experience speaking. El Salvador’s currency is the US dollar. Cost of the small can $1, medium sized can $1,65. No large cans for sale. In case you are wondering, we usually get the sour cream style. And we never eat them at home. Go figure.
Something old, something new. The red is jamaica, not sure how to spell it, not that it matters, something we make and drink at home that is dried hibiscus flowers, water and sweetener. The yellow is a beverage we have never had before. Cashew drink. Not made from the cashews we eat, but from the fruit of the cashew plant. Doesn’t taste at all like cashews, what it tastes like is- Delicious! Now we have something else to order from the street vendors and at restaurants. Discoveries like this make travel all the more fun.
Richard, our trip guide, holding a plate of blue fin tuna bought at the fish market which he grilled at the restaurant. Chinese ancestry, father came to Central America after Mao came to power. Grew up down here. Educated and worked as an engineer in the US, returned to Central America to return to a simpler life with an American wife and their three children and turned his love of travel into a second career.
Not to be left out, Benjamin, our local guide for El Salvador. Being a tour guide is also his second career. All I need say is these two are good, very, very good!!!
No, this is not the same photo I seem to post every time of “footie” adjusting her shoes. But it does lead into why we signed up for this particular trip. Ruins coming up.
I know, not what you were expecting, but not all ruins are some huge pyramid out in the jungle. Heck, we haven’t seen a hint of jungle during our time in El Salvador, however brief it might have been. This site was covered by a massive volcanic explosion many centuries before and is being painstakingly uncovered and reconstructed by a team lead by an American archeologist.
A different kind of tree. Seriously sharp thorns adore the trunk of the tree when it is young.
Linda didn’t like the way I seemly just slapped my hand up to the trunk, so she had to demonstrate how to properly use a hand to show the spikes. She also remembered the name of the tree as I was typing this, the kapok tree. Dumb Bob.
A pyramid at last. Reconstructed of course.
I couldn’t believe it, my Linda was the first person to the top. Of course it was her who picked this trip so I guess I should have expect this. An yeas I did climb up there a bit later. And before you start thinking my bride is part mountain goat, there were metal stairs on the left side that all of us used.
The view from Linda’s position. Only the Royalty was allowed stand on the top of the pyramid so as to be closer to heaven. Understanding what could be my fate were I to hurl an insult at her royal highness, I will say no more. Smart Bob.
And then the afternoon rains came.
Which was followed that evening with the most decadent dessert I think I have ever had. I am already far behind in my writing, so with that I will say so long until tomorrow, hopefully.