The delegation had one day more here in El Salvador than most delegations so they got to have a fun day. That meant we were going to the beach! Woohoo! There was some debate this morning about what beach we should go to. We’d originally planned going to El Espino but the ladies thought it’d be better to go to a different beach because the waves at Espino were supposed to be bad because of a recent earthquake. So then we were going to El Cuco. Great! I’ve never been there. Well, then Luis, the driver, showed up and said El Espino was fine. So there was a big discussion about which beach to go to. Most of the discussion took place while we were sitting in the microbus ready to leave. I said I didn’t care where we went as long as we went to the beach (as opposed to sitting in the microbus all day long). Someone ultimately decided on El Espino.
Around 7:45am we finally took off. The ride there is about 2 hours. There were only 12 people occupying the 15 seats in the microbus as opposed to Monday when every seat was full so the ride today wasn’t too bad. When we reached the beach there was more discussion about where on the beach we should go. We pulled up to one spot but there seemed to be an awful lot of cement and not much beach. Kathy and I voted “nay” on the cement beach. We were going to go to our usual spot but then we decided to check out a place that Luis knew in the opposite direction. So off we went.
Less than 10 minutes later we arrived at our destination. It was a beautiful spot and much more secluded than the place we usually visit. We unloaded our things from the microbus and went to check out the area. The beach was a little further away from the cabana than our usual place but just as beautiful. Several people immediately went into the water but I decided to look for some shells. I grabbed my new bag that was going to be my shell-collecting bag and was off. I found several neat shells and saw a little blue crab. After gathering a few shells I went to put them with my things.
Cecilia was heading off down the beach in the other direction so I decided to follow her. She was in search of shells as well. We poked around some big rocks to see what we could find. There were lots of shells tucked in between the rocks. Kathy and Mike wandered our way and joined us on our shell hunt. Luis was in front of us and waved us over to him. He’d found several crabs in a little tide pool by some large rocks. We watched them for a while as they scuttled around in the water.
As we continued to walk on down the beach Kathy found a sand dollar. Then Mike found one. I’d never seen sand dollars on the beach here before although I knew Kathy had found them in the past. Suddenly I came upon a sand dollar as well. Yay! I was very excited because I’ve always wanted to find one here. We found several more as we walked on. At one point we came to an area with tons of shells. I found one that Luis told me was good luck. There were also some pretty shells that appeared twisted.
We saw someone with a long net in the water catching fish. Cecilia went to look at the fish caught in the net while Luis talked to the man for a while. At that point realized that we’d been walking a long time and were now far from the cabana where we’d left our things. We must have walked at least a mile up the shore. Kathy said we should probably head back because it’d soon be time for lunch. The shore seemed to go on forever and it took us a while to get back to the cabana.
First glimpse of the beach
Jim and Mary sittin' in the sun
Going to check out the water
There was no one else around
Alisha, the beach comber
Enjoying the water
I can see for miles and miles
There goes Ceci
The water was warm
Black and white sand
Coming back in
Checking the nets
Shells I found
No photos, please!
Let's keep going
Looking at a fish caught in the net
Time to head back
Mike is finding lots of shells
Kathy & Mike
Can you see where we started?
We'll get there eventually
Not long after we returned it was time for lunch. Everyone had ordered either fish or chicken. I’d chosen fish and saw there were several different choices when the woman came to set our meals on the table. I settled on a plate that looked like it had lots of meat. Jim ended up with the monster fish that didn’t fit on the plate. We sat and ate our lunch and drank our Cokes. Everything was delicious, especially after all that walking. I finished as much as I could and gave the little bit I had leftover to Luis.
After lunch I headed out to the water where Will, Mike, and Laura were jumping in the waves. They’d found a great spot where the waves were really big. The first wave hit me and I ended up getting a mouth full of seawater. Mmmm, always tasty. I did my best to avoid drinking more water after that. It was wonderful to be swimming in the ocean again. We jumped around and swam for almost an hour. I could have stayed there the rest of the day. But eventually it was time to get out of the water so we’d have time to rinse off before leaving.
The woman who owned the cabana took us across the street to a little area where we could shower and changes clothes. Though we didn’t have soap or shampoo it felt good to get the sand and salt water off. Once everyone had finished we gathered up our things and piled back into the microbus. We took one last look and said goodbye to the beach. I slept on and off as we traveled back to Berlín. When I woke up I asked where we were and Cecilia told me we were in Mexico. Hmmm, I don’t think so.
Two for one
Jim tackles the giant fish
All showered off
Time to relax
Luis looks stressed out
When we got home we had a little time to clean up before dinnertime. At 5:30pm we headed out to have dinner in Alegría with the Pastoral Team, a tradition for delegations at the end of their stay. It was the delegation’s last ride in the pickup. We arrived at our favorite restaurant in Alegría, called Mi Pueblito, ready to eat. And we were in luck: they had shrimp! Sometimes they don’t have shrimp but the past several times they’ve had it. Quite a few people ended up ordering the shrimp. Throughout the meal we laughed, chatted, and enjoyed our last meal together. It was a great evening.
On the way home I thought (well, my stomach thought) about ice cream. I mentioned it and everyone else thought it sounded like a good idea. Mike and I figured that Kathy could drop us off at the ice cream store while she drove Aminta home. When we made it back to Berlín Kathy stopped in front of the Nevería and we got out. We ordered and enjoyed ice cream one last time together. Soon Kathy was back and we headed home to the Pastoral House. It was a good end to a wonderful week. This has been a great group and I’m going to miss them!
What to eat, what to eat
Let me explain
Not sure what I find so funny,
but look at the size of that shrimp!
Last ice cream