April 8, 2009
El Salvador (Around the World Trip)
It could seem a little silly that there is a separate section for El Salvador, considering that we only spent a couple of days there (on the beach), and didn´t see much except the road into the country and a small strip of coastline. But it is another country and deserves it´s place in our travels. Our minivan driver didn´t stop much on his quest to get to the waves, and so we don´t even have a real picture of the El Salvador flag.
Sometimes I wonder why I choose activities that have the potential for serious harm, a large amount of adrenaline, and a few moments of pure terror. I guess I can´t help myself. Anyway, bring on the surfing. The beach at El Zonte is considered a great surf break for those who live for such waves, and indeed when we arrived, the water was perfect and filled with surfers who made ruling the waves look easy. I soon found myself with a rented surfboard, paddling out to try my own moves on the monster surf. From up close it didn´t look quite so easy, and within a short time, the waves had barrel-rolled me within spitting distance of the rocks. I retreated to an easier spot down the beach with the beginners. The short surfboard that they had given me at first felt like trying to balance on a toothpick, and after one session I gladly switched to a bigger board, the same size I had used in Australia. Once on that, I felt more comfortable again, and over the next two days pitted myself against the crashing waves, while Rob body-surfed next to me. I never did make it back to the expert area of waves, but I´ve concluded that I really don´t need a few seconds of fun that might cause me a bash on the rocks and some stitches. Anyway, even the small waves gave me enough strains, sprains, contusions and abrasions to last for awhile, as a few of the curling waves rolled me around like a big washing machine. When they finally spit me back out, I invariably had a nose full of water and black lava sand ground into my ears. Hours after surfing, I leaned over to dig in my backpack, and enough sea water still ran out of my nose to make a puddle on the floor. Rob was appalled. I couldn´t wait to go back out again, barring my sore knees. By the last morning, I was almost too sore to ride, but by then I was actually standing up quite often. My last ride was my best, so I quite while I was ahead, and knew I would forget the pain and want to try it again someday!
Anyway, we had a great time in El Salvador, there was a nice beach vibe and everyone was really friendly. The hotel had a pool, a tame pair of Macaw birds, and a great little restaurant overlooking the surfing area. We were away from any town and really couldn´t go anywhere else, so it forced us to spend our time on the beach :)