El Salvador – The Travel Journal Day 5-6

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Day 5: Friday December 18:

We are all up early exited for our day trip. We are starting our day with a hearty breakfast consisting of Chicken Tamales and Fried Plantains with Frijoles and Queso. Mike will be chasing Marlin’s with Billy – Manuel’s brother in law who also has a house on the barra and is here for a couple of days of relaxation. The ladies will visit a few Mountain towns. Mike is especially happy that he won’t get beaten up by the waves in a small Panga and will have a quite luxurious ride on Billy’s modern fishing boat. But no matter if Panga or nicer luxury yacht, transitioning from the tranquil estuary into the “wilder ocean” with 10 feet high waves is always an adventure – timing is critical to overcome the big waves to make it into the ocean.

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Our driver for the day – Raffael – picks us up at the beach and we are off to the first town called Nahuizalco, approximately 1,5 hours from the Barra. The drive to the mountain towns exposed a similar scenery as our trip from the airport to the barra. Lots of rural roads, green landscape and the familiar sight of a whole lot of people standing in a truck to be driven and dropped off at their work.

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The agenda for the day pretty much is to drive to a town, get out, walk around, get a good feeling for the town, do some shopping and take off for the next town. So according to the agenda we are walking around in Nahizalco, Christy and Cara are shopping while I am trying to capture the local surroundings with my cell phone camera when Raffael tells me I have to get into the store and cannot show my camera/phone on the street. For this time, I comply but don’t really understand. Later we learn that there is a lot of poverty in this country and petty theft does happen, so flashing your expensive device is not recommended. I decided to go against Rafael’s recommendation and did take photos with my camera. Personally I didn’t feel threatened or in danger of being pick pocketed at any time, but if you do travel to a country with lots of poverty just be aware not to flash your expensive devices too obviously.

first town at ruta

After Nahuizalco we visited Jayua, a very similar set up and architecture as the first town, usually consisting of a town square with lots of trees and shade where the elderly population sits around and discusses local affairs. From the town square streets go out in a very linear shape, meaning the traditional European square city layout can also be found here. So same routine, we are looking at the local houses/architecture, town layout and then a quick look around the merchandise that is laid out on small tables on the street and mainly of handmade Knick knacks, inexpensive clothes and colorful table linens.

second town at ruta

On our way to the third town Ataco, we stop at a beautiful restaurant – Jardine de Celeste – and after a very tasty lunch, spent the rest of the afternoon walking around in Ataco, the most beautiful of the 3 towns and score some local handcrafted wood items.Jardin de Celeste

When arriving back at the Barra we were greeted by Mike and Billy, just pulling up the boat to the dock of the house with a plentiful bounty of Dorado and King Macrel. By now Mike blends in pretty well with the locals, his tan went from Seattle-ish pale to El Salvadorian gold. Mike was very happy with his day of fishing and memories of Billy smoking big cigars while techno music was thumping on the very nice Bose system, it reminded him of Miami vice. Billy made us Sashimi out of Mikes catch of the day (Dorado/Mahi Mahi) and it was scrumptious. ataco

The night was concluded with our 10,000 routine.

Mike Dorado

Day 6: Saturday December 19

After our activity filled day yesterday we are ready for a pool day. The first beers were cracked open at 9:00 am. (while I was still catching some zzz’s). At 2:00 p.m. lunch was served poolside as usual, Fried chicken with cheesy rice. It wasn’t Colonel Sanders but it was a welcome change (especially for carnivorous Mike).

Noon: Its incredible hot – 100 degrees hot – and all of us are hanging out in the pool and we are having fun with Mario (6) and Amada (12) (Jose and Marta’s very well behaved and cute kids) playing soccer and basketball in the pool. Mario at age 6 is adamant about being the goal keeper, totally having the Beckham moves down, showing us his dribbling and heading skills.

playing in the pool

In the afternoon all 4 of us piled onto the ATV and checked out Café Mezcal down the beach—a local tiena with some superb food – so it looked – but we were still stuffed from lunch. With a hankering for Pina Coladas we went up to the Punta to check if the previously visited tiena would serve Pina Coladas. Out of luck we made due with Cuba Libres. At the house we asked “bartender” Jose Mario to mix us some Pina’s while DJ Dunja leveraged the Beatbox for some evening entertainment.

checking out the local tiena

Jose and Marta made us fish tacos for dinner, made from Mikes own caught Dorado and it was delicious. 9:00 p.m. and we are yawning and ready for bed. This seems to be the standard time we are going to bed, are we old or just exhausted from the sun or both? Tomorrow is another big day, not for us but for Russell Wilson, hope he also went to bed early….

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….to be continued….

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