Another 6:15 AM morning for our trip to El Salvador from Guatemala City! It was a spectacularly clear morning and the view from Cass’s parents house was amazing. We had a quick black bean, egg, ham, and tortilla breakfast and hopped in the car for our 3+ hour drive. Cass’s dad, who is originally from El Salvador, was kind enough to drive us to their beach house. The drive was full of twists and turns and we passed lots of coffee, sugar cane, and pineapple fields along the way. We passed through El Salvador’s customs and then stopped at watermelon booth set up on the side of the highway for a snack and had to make sure the “water in the watermelon was safe to drink so we wouldn’t get Montazuma’s” – *places palm on forehead, shakes head, and sighs*. It was pretty funny!
Eventually, we hopped on a dirt path, through a gate, past huge trees, and parked in front of an adorable little beach house in the forest. The house had a big center room and then three rooms off to the sides with 5 beds in each room! It could fit over 20 people! There were super comfortable hammocks everywhere, a pool for sunning, and this great cabana next to the kitchen building overlooking the ocean. Talk about paradise!
We immediately changed into our bikinis and hit the beach. The water was like bath water and the sand felt so good between our toes. We literally had the whole beach to ourselves for two days! We laid out in the sand with the water lapping at our toes for a while before getting called in for lunch.
Cass’s mom and maids had prepped food for us to bring and we had a yummy lunch of grilled chicken and veggies at this giant wooden table that sat about 20 people in the cabana. It is made of one giant, continuous piece of wood and was probably one of the most amazing piece of furniture I have ever seen.
After lunch, we played some bocce ball (which I totally botched), and then some badminton. We got the fly stuck up in a big tree above us an all took turns throwing our rackets up at it to get it out. Janine tried to throw hers but, instead of throwing up, she threw the racket straight into a tree – we were laughing so hard we were crying! We eventually transitioned to sand volleyball and got super sandy so we relaxed in the water until sun-down when all of the mosquitos arrived in droves. Seriously, it was like a monsoon of mosquitos was upon us and we raced back to the house for cover and bug spray until they passed.
During that time, we put on some dance 101 YouTube videos and learned some new, sweet moves, including our attempts at twerking. I am pretty sure the groundskeeper and maid saw us, but El Salvador is a “judgment free” zone, right?
Finally, the mozzies left and we went back to the cabana for chicken tortilla lasagna – probably my favorite dish in all of Guatemala. It was SO good! We listened to the waves in the dark and watched lightning bugs dance on the beach until we were too tired to keep our eyes open and then went to bed.
El Salvador – Day 2
Although we were not traveling to another location, we still woke up at the crack of dawn to explore the beach at low tide on our second day on the beach in El Salvador. There were black volcanic rocks that led to a big boulder about 200 yards from the beach and, when the tide went out, we were able to walk across the lava path to the boulder. There were crabs, weird shelled creatures, and minnows strewn all along our path entrapped in pockets of water and ripe for exploring. We brought our water shoes and goggles to do some reef snorkeling as well and saw glimpses of colorful fish, kale looking sea slugs, and neat looking shells. unfortunately, a lot of the reef had disappeared over the years due to human intervention and shell-pocketing, but we at least got a feel for what once was.
There was no current while we were out in the morning, so we relaxed and floated for a while and then decided to pose like mermaids on a nearby rock while singing songs from the movie. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that?
After we got our fill of pictures and sang out lungs out, we grabbed the kayaks for a sea adventure. Unfortunately for Kim and I, our kayak went rouge and we couldn’t stay stable for the life of us! We must have had 15 attempts before I left Kim to use the kayak on her own and swam back to shore. I sat under a tree and listened to the waves roll in for what must have been half an hour before I was rejoined by the group to play badminton and have ceviche for lunch. Who knew cold shrimp, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro could be so delicious! We also made my new favorite drink – micheladas, and laid out by the pool until the swarms of mozzies returned and we had to go inside. It eventually started to pour rain and we had to make a break for it to the cabana for dinner. We had that delicious chicken tortilla lasagna again and watched the lightning break over the ocean until it was time for bed.
El Salvador Beach Tips:
- Bring lots of bug spray! They mozzies are everywhere
- Wear water shoes as the beaches are rocky
- Bring board games for when you are indoors waiting for the mozzies to dissipate / rain to pass
- Don’t forget your sun screen and a hat