Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Costa Del Sol to El Cuco. 95 mile

We leave Tesoro Beach with just a little regret. It is beautiful but the next stretch of beach beckons. We are heading to the southern end of El Salvador to a string of remote beaches and we have chosen Playa El Cuco. El Espino beach is the most popular here and had been written about in some guidebooks but we have decided to strike out on our own. Luck was with us. We got to Playa El Cuco with no difficulties and on arriving in town started to look for prospective places to park the RV. There were plenty but suddenly an older gemtleman approached us. "The gringo lives down the beach" he tells us. Huh! "The gringo" he said. "Just drive down this road and go to La Tortuga, that's where the gringo lives". Not knowing what else to do we follow his directions and arrive at La Tortuga Verde. There is a narrow entrance, not tall enough for the RV to pass under, so we park. I get out and go inside the gates. Hmmm! "El gringo", I say to the first person I encounter. He looks at me. Emboldened I say louder "El Gringo esta aqui?" (Is the Gringo here?) He smiles. Yes, wait. All of a sudden, this man appears, a New Yorker ( deja vu, hadn't we just met people from New York? Was there some thing I had missed about the relationship between New York and here?) but I had no further time to reflect as I was embraced in a handshake and hug combined. "What in the world brings you here?" he said. I was laughing as I retorted "And what brings you all the way here". I walk him to the motorhome as I tell him about our journey and intent. He is amazed. Shakes Tom's hand, pets Winston and indeed does reflect that we can cannot stay at La Tortuga because we don't fit under the entrance. "No matter", he said "I own most of the property on the beach, so go further down and there are two spots which you will definitely be able to stay. I will come down later to check on you but be sure to tell them Tom said it's ok". We drive about a half mile further to the end of the road, more of Tom's property. Again we won't fit. They volunteer to chop down a tree so we can pass. "It's ok, we will try the other place". We head back down the road and with a little help from a pole to lift the sign up, we were able to slide in the RV. We are in a grassy area, next to the swimming pool and very close to the ocean. There is a power hookup and we are set. Later that afternoon, Tom and his girlfriend come visit and we become more aquainted. Tom is from Manhattan, a real estate person there, who liquidated some assets and bought property in El Salvador. He now owns more oceanfront property in this area than anyone else. An old surfer, he and Tom have a lot in common. I had talked to the caretakers of the propety and arranged for us to have a fresh fish dinner. Whole barbequed fish with rice and salad. Perfect. New York Tom points out land which seems just across the sea, more like an island. "That's Nicaragua," he says. Wow! As the sun sets and we part company we agree to meet the next day. Tom and I have already agreed we will stay here at least 2 more days. I need to get laundry done and this place is great. I negotiate with the caretakers, Olga and her husband Juan to get our laundry taken care of. Dinner will be served at 5:30pm, fresh fish again and the day is our own. We run Winston on the beach. Tom (the owner) comes to eat lunch and we hang out and chat. How he came to be here. He's a surfer and had been to Mexico, then Guatemala and eventually 5 yrs ago to El Salvador. Had lost his heart to the coastline and surfing here and had come back and bought land and then more land and well, the rest was history. He asks Tom if he'd like to boogie board. Duh! 7am he will pick us up. The next day, Tom took us up the coast a mile or so to a famous surf break. The morning is gorgeous and Winston is having fun too. Tom takes to the waves and they stay out for the next couple of hours, whilst I have a one on one, personal tutor Spanish time with Tom's girlfriend. The rest of the day is spent lazing, swimming in the pool and reading. Olga again brings us dinner at 5:30pm, - I could get used to this! But, tomorrow is a road day to get us closer to the border. We are going to leave El Cuco with regrets. This is one place that Tom & I agree that we would like to look at property to purchase.

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