Now we have both sides of both amas painted (those are the outer hulls). We had to stop at that because tidal situations are unfavorable for beaching the boat on the bar; we should be able to pick up again around the 24th.
Unfortunately, the blasted porta-bote has already gashed huge scratches into the new glistening paint job. This weekend was a holiday and so two billion rich careless San Salvadorians descended upon the hotel and surrounds and transformed the normally tranquil estuary into a maelstrom of jet-ski and power boat wakes. It sucked utterly; you would think we were back in La Paz during a Norther we were bouncing around so badly. In the mayhem, one of our fenders got flipped and the bote rubbed up against the hull, causing grievous damage. All you “used porta-bote” googlers will be no-doubt on the edges of your seat to read this but alas, we still have no plans to sell the thing.
Did I mention that I managed to be totally sick during this whole weekend deal? A nasty and very painful fever/jolty chills and killer headache that lasted only a few hours at a time but struck a few times during the course of three days. We have decided it is not any of the obvious biggies (Typhus, Malaria, Dengue), just some weird little Central American flu. Joshua got it a day after me but a different variation. We both seem to be fine now four days later. I have to say I never previously had any deep feelings for acetaminophen, but NOW, my god it’s about my favorite thing. The ibuprofin is totally jealous.
Anyway, before we got sick and stuff, we had one day of what, in hindsight, was extraordinary fun for us mostly because it included neither sanding nor vomiting. We went with Santos and a group of the other cruisers in a panga up the estuary for an Outing.
Santos at the helm. He has a panga big enough to fit us all, plus he is a local dude so knows the area and mangrove estuary very well.
Jan’s dog, Smoky, casual barker at mangroves.
A five-star restaurant projecting out from amongst the mangroves; ahhh, lunchtime!
The food preparation area appears to contain everything but a kitchen sink. The place is run by a lovely woman and her three gorgeous daughters. The baby, Reina, has managed to hypnotize Jan with her smile and soon she will use these powers to draw forth treats.
This pathway leads to the, um, facilities, which consist of a modestly shielded log platform. There is a curious tripod of stumps sticking up in one corner with a quasi-hole/largish gap in the log platform; presumably the idea is to plant oneself atop the tripod or else perch over the edge of the platform aiming for the murky depths below. This is extra fun because there is a waterway through the mangroves alongside the platform that leads to a small village. Anyone headed your direction would be provided with an excellent view of your ass, timed just right.
The oldest daughter.
The medium daughter. She took off every five minutes or so in the dugout to check their critter traps. There were about six or so scattered around the platform buoyed with empty engine oil containers.
Reina, Queen of Cuteness.
Checking the traps; they were catching shrimp and crab.
After lunch we headed up to the Rio Lempa to another river joint for additional beers. The place we stopped was a small hotel/restaurant run by a really nice guy who actually spoke English quite well. He served small bowls of crab soup with each beer. Unfortunately we had stuffed ourselves a little too recently on fried fish and shrimp to enjoy it fully.
On the way back we passed these guys who were casting a fishing net in a strong current.