We took an off day at Zonte, where we had planned to try surfing, but were dissuaded by the locals who said that the huge waves in combination with the rocky beach were probably not the right conditions for beginners. So we just relaxed instead. There were hammocks, beers, books, and food in a variety of combinations, but nothing else. Since the only thing to do at this beach is surf and we were advised not to surf, we did……. nothing! A day well earned and well spent, but it was back in the saddle again the next morning.
Woke up in time to say goodbye to Shaun…and to make plans for meeting up with him in Nicaragua, which is two countries away, but where we can hopefully arrive in under two weeks. And then it was a nice, but very hot, day of riding. Started in the hills along the coast, the same ride that was so spectacular when we were getting to Zonte, but now we only got to enjoy about 10 km of it. Then it was inland, and eventually into flatter land, with the heat untempered by ocean winds. We were making good time, so we stopped at a tiny roadside kiosk selling fresh coconuts and other littler vegetables. I got a huge fresh coconut (which the girl selling it nicely hacked open for me with her machete) with a straw in it. Coconut water is big business in the USA now (and it’s an amazing hangover cure) but nothing beat drinking right out of a fresh coconut for 25 cents. Then it was back on the road again.
We stopped later at another roadside kiosk where we ordered lunch. We were stunned to discover that the meal was, far and away, the finest food that we’ve had in El Salvador. We quickly got a simple recipe from the owner, but before we could get away with the recipe, her adorable young son latched himself onto us, asking if he could use our camera and try on my sunglasses, helmet and gloves. We spent several minutes with him, playing (he is crazy cute), before getting back on the road again.
The day then ended pretty uneventfully. We got into Zacatecoluca, which is a fairly large town where we quickly found one of the two hotels and settled in. The sun sets here so early that by 6:30 it’s pitch black out, and no restaurants are open by then. So we got in and did some laundry in the sink, but then had to wander around for a good hour to find some food, and then our attempt to use an internet café were unavailing, since everything is boarded and shuttered by 7 pm. So another day of no blog posting (super sorry, but we tried!). In the end we retreated to our hotel, studied Spanish and conked out.
Saying goodbye to shaun, but planning to meet again; getting past the rolling hills (thanks HP!) and making it to ‘the flat part’ of the ride in really good time. Stopping for fresh coconut juice; stopping for a lunch- the best meal we’ve had in ES so far; cute kid who wants to dress like us; more hills than we expected; nice digs in Zacatecoluca- but why the hell does everything close so early??