Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How do you spell Surfer Paradise? E L S A L V A D O R

We decided to drive south of Monterico, Guatemala and proceed into El Salvador. The border is an amazing example of government incompetence and bureaucratic red tape. We had stamps on top of stamps and had to make copies of stamps on top of stamps. The whole process took almost 3 hours to complete. They wanted to know the size of the engine, year vehicle was made, on and on. Incredible to think this backward country should even want to care about such stuff given the other problems it faces. Something we learned about Banana Republics, they divert your attention until the problems leave your mind, but they never really fix the problems. They wear you thin to the point you are willing to pay someone, anyone to assist you. It wasn't even for the language issue. How can you tell when the car was made? Not the year of the car but when it was actually made. I found out! It is on a sticker on the frame of the car behind the engine. But who cares? I am 44 years old and never ever needed to know a car's date of birth and some how I survived. It was not just us getting frustrated, though. The poor truck drivers wait 3 days to cross the border in 4 mile long lines of parked semis. The day before we arrived the computers crashed and El Salvador wanted to close the border and apparently riots broke out between the truck drivers and the border guards. In many cases, the truckers are carrying perishable goods and need to get them to the markets, so I can see their frustrations. Either way, the Norte Americanos made it through the gridlock and now we are in El Salvador.
Once you leave the border area and skirt the coast it reminded us of driving on the Pali on Maui. The arid land with Mesquite trees and plunging cliffs to the rocky coast below was just like thousand peaks. It is easy to see why some surfers call this their Mecca. Hundreds of Miles of unspoiled beaches and perfect waves. In fact, this morning the kiddos and I, ran out to the beach to play in the water. Zoe found a perfect, large, sand dollar and some pink shells, almost immediately, and was so delighted. Sierra found a hermit crab and some dead jelly fish. This is what the kids crave and why we wanted to be here. And out of the blue, I here Zoe scream, "A cow!" I turned around and sure enough a cow was running along the beach. I wish I had a camera for that moment. I am kicking myself in the behind right now because I wanted to bring it but thought the camera would get in the way. Well, this is El Cuco, maybe I can get a second chance tomorrow?

You can barely make out the shack on the beach. Would you need anything more than this?

Dead jellyfish make great toys :)

Zoe proudly displaying her treasures

Zoe found these within a minute of playing on the beach this morning. She wanted to get a close up for posterity

Surfer chicks rule!

Our hotel is Azul Surf in El Cuco, southern El Salvador.

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