We awoke early this morning to some impressive rain, it was dumping. To make matters worse we had a day trip out to the coast planned, but we're Portlanders and a little rain isn't going to scare us off. So we got dressed and went downstairs to meet our guide Stephanie. She was ready to whisk us away and so we set off, windshield wipers frantically trying to keep up.
By the time we reached La Libertad about half an hour later it was sprinkling heavily so we grabbed our stuff and went for a walk along the waterfront out towards the pier. The current pier is one made of concrete but the old pier was an incredibly long affair, three times longer than what currently exists, and it had railroad tracks running the entire length to make the transportation of goods faster. Today it is used solely for fishing and at the end of the pier they have two cranes that raise and lower fishing boats from the pier to the water and vice versa.
We wandered the length of the pier looking at the morning's catch which ranged from dorado to snapper to shrimp to calamari to sole. Many of the fishmongers proudly showed us their wares. When we reached the end we were treated to the lowering of a boat into the ocean which is a slightly harrowing process, especially when the wind picks up. But the fishermen made it safely and headed out to try their luck on the choppy waters.
After exploring the area around the pier we returned to the van and headed south down the coast for a little breakfast on the beach. We had a nice view and after placing my order I walked down to the water to take a few pictures, nice long exposures. Soon I heard breakfast arriving so I decided to cut my shooting short to eat breakfast since we didn't have time before leaving San Salvador.
Our bellies full we headed further down the coast to a could nice viewpoints before turning around and traveling back north past the pier to up a narrow road between beachfront homes where were stopped at an anonymous alleyway. Stephanie led out down the alley to the beach where we were greeted by a smiling gentleman who runs a turtle sanctuary. With the support of the community and donations from visitors he buys turtle eggs from local fishermen and places them in artificial nests in a large enclosure to protect them from predators. After forty-five days the babies hatch and he collects them to release into the ocean. While we were looking at the enclosure one little guy managed to squeeze his way out so we named him Wilbur and followed his journey down the beach and into the ocean.
We are lucky because it is the height of turtle season and after showing us around his facility we were allowed to release about thirty babies on the beach and follow them as they made their way to the ocean. Thirteen years ago when I was in Australia my brother and I were supposed to go out to a turtle sanctuary to help release the hatchlings but a spill at the docks meant that no one could leave so we missed that opportunity. Now, more than a decade later, I finally got the chance to watch these amazing little creatures find freedom in the ocean. While I know that only one in a thousand will actually make it to adulthood I hope all of our little friends beat the odds and live long happy lives.
Happy with our morning we decided to return to San Salvador. Even though it hadn't been very long since breakfast we stopped at a roadside restaurant because they are famous for their sopa de gallina, hen soup. Francene ordered a bowl while Tim ate a sweet Salvadoran quesadilla and I had a couple pupusas. The soup was declared delicious and in short order we were back on the van.
Once back at the apartment we had a nice afternoon of relaxing and settling Tim in a little more. Art was hung, furniture was moved and then moved back, laundry was finished, and it is even possible we cleaned up a little bit. Although I don't think any of us were that hungry we did go out to dinner at a Salvadoran seafood place. The servings were massive and what we thought would be a light dinner turned out to be a copious amount of ocean-dwelling creatures. A huge platter of fried calamari, crab, clams, shrimp, onions, jalapeños, and potatoes started the meal followed by a grilled fish covered in garlic and grilled chicken plus a couple more gourmet pupusas. I tried a bit of everything and ate much more than I had intended and I get the distinct impression that is a common affliction in our group. Oh well, it was delicious.
Disgustingly full we returned to the apartment to unwind a little before getting some sleep. I think that might come sooner rather than later.
Canon 1D X, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/640 sec @ 100 ISO