Our first night in El Salvador did provide us with gorgeous views of the three surrounding volcanos, and also a chance to cool off with the altitude. We were planning on hiking one of the volcanoes the following morning however as Annie wasn’t feeling too well with a chesty cough we didn’t think hiking to an even higher altitude would help! With that in mind it was on to El Tunco, with our mission to find a surfboard.
It’s true that our expectations about coastal towns had been set pretty high after our time in El Paredon. Not only did we enjoy unparalleled hosting but also a small local vibe with good cheap restaurants. With this in mind we had high expectations for El Tunco – and also we’d heard so much about it being a great surf town. Unfortunately it didn’t quite turn out that way when we got there.
After searching for over an hour to find the right place to stay, we found ourselves in a complete tourist trap where everything was written in English and the beers were as much as a meal in El Paredon. We’re happy to pay a little more – after all it’s a new country and we weren’t sure how much the cost of living was but we had other grievances with the place. The town is really built up, all the way to the coast so there was no chance of camping right by the sea. Instead we paid $10 to camp by a restaurant with a rather unpleasant smell and chickens and children running around all day, with no breeze! Then the surf break itself was small and massively crowded. The sunset was gorgeous though, and there were quite a few surf shops!
We did find a board for Mikey to try, however it was a little shorter than he had in mind originally and it turned he’s not ready for a shorter board just yet! Still it was great we got to try it before investing any money in it. We quickly decided then this wasn’t going to be the town for us, and so headed further down the coast in search of our beach paradise. We landed on Playa Cuco, another surf town but as we pulled in we thought we’d hit the jackpot as it was much smaller and much less busy! We spent our first night in a ranch right in town which had blazing internet so we could get our life admin done (yes, believe it or not we still have quite a bit of life admin whilst we’re on the road).
Unfortunately there was not a huge break, so we headed to Mango Point the following day – a 30 minute drive through a pretty gruelling road. We got to a beautiful camp spot right by the sea and thought we’d finally nailed it, until we realised there was nowhere to rent a board! We were being haunted by the broken board. So we begrudgingly drove the 30 minute drive right back to another ranch on a different break. This turned out to be perfect, as not only were there lovely beginner waves but also boards for rent. Annie even came out for a surf and enjoyed it so much we both spent most of the following day in the sea!
Suddenly, before we realised it we decided we should head to the border. We are racing against time to get to Costa Rica for christmas and are still a while away. So we headed to get some Pupusas which we hadn’t had yet (the national dish of El Salvador and soooooo good!) and then gave Betty a little present – a car wash! They did a wonderful job and we felt it was important to get all the salty mud out from underneath the car so as not to damage any of the parts. We headed to the gas station right outside the border with Honduras and then rested up for an early start. Tomorrow we plan on crossing directly through Honduras into Nicaragua, and crossing two Central American borders with a Canadian registered van in one day is no easy feat…