Bus trips, Beach fun and Work
04 February 2008 | Bahia del Sol, El Salvador
Amy/ cool this a.m.- 69d. when woke up
We continue to slowly get work done. For instance, last week, Monday, Jim went up the mast to install our VHF antennae down the inside of the mast. Never new one skinny piece of wire and one 9"x4"oval shaped, 50 foot tall aluminum pole could be so aggravating! He ended up going up and down 3X just that day. Even with our friend Scotty helping on deck with the life line, an electrical snake, and Jim making his final descent right at dusk, they still couldn't get that electrical cable entirely down the mast. It was getting stuck somewhere, about 7' from the bottom. Next day, Jim drills a hole 2" in diameter, about a foot and ½ lower than where the wire was stuck, realizing that there is some foam blown into that area, to keep other cables that were already installed in the mast from clanking around. So he dug at the foam trying to make an opening for the cable. Wednesday Jim helped Scotty with his engine, Thursday we went to the airport to pick up 2 packages that were waiting for us there, a couple orders that had parts and supplies that we needed. That trip ended up being a bust- another long story, long & short of it, the invoice paperwork that we were suppose to get in order to pick up these packages, never came to us at the hotel, and so we ate lunch at the airport and took the return 11/2 hour long bus ride back to the boat empty handed. We'll return probably tomorrow to retrieve those. Friday we went to Zacata, took Micah and Jenaya, their first bus ride and I'll tell you about that in a minute. Anyway, got groceries, and picked up a package waiting there for us from Jim's sister. Another Birthday for Bridget & Jenaya, and a mini Christmas for us all-thanks Barb & Barry. Jim went up the mast again on Saturday, trying to get the VHF antennae once again to cooperate- no go there. Sunday went to the beach, and finally today, trying a different approach, got the antennae down the mast. So throughout the whole week, other than getting a few other minor, smaller things accomplished, that was it. And that's how it is, from what we gather, not just here, but just cruising in general, you might, or might not, get one thing actually accomplished each day, if you're lucky. Between water runs, trips to the tienda (small, mini grocery stores, where you can buy fresh vegetables, fruit maybe, frozen meat, and a small selection of dry goods), and other life matters, it's a slow process. Oh yeah, and our internal antennae on our computer fried late the week before, so Jim spent most of the afternoon Wednesday trying to figure out what happened. So that was another day blown away, basically. We still can't use it and may not be able to get it fixed 'til we get to the states. So all we can use now is an external one.
So Micah and Jenaya's first bus ride. They have been waiting for this for weeks and weeks. But because every bus trip is at least an hour one way, and with them already been to La Herradura, we didn't see a real need for them to experience any of the other villages. But thought we'd take them this one time. They were so excited. We caught the bus around 8:35 a.m., a bus goes up the road through Costa del Sol, every half hour every day, starting at 4:30 a.m., ending late in the evening. And it's not like the states at all. There are no "bus stops". You stand out wherever you are and wait for it to come and wave for it to stop. The busses are anywhere from old repainted school busses to higher end tour busses. All with bright colors and decalls galor all over the inside and or outside of the bus. As you get on, the bus takes off once you are on the bottom step, never closing the door. A money handler goes down the aisle after enough people have gotten on every so often and you give him your fare. A trip to Zacata is, now get this, $3 there for the 4 of us, $2, on the return trip, same route, different bus, different money handler. Usually it's been $1.25 one way per person. Anyway, they really enjoyed the ride, the sites, and watching locals get on, especially other ninas & ninos. Then after about 45 minutes, the excitement wore off. And for the next 30 minutes, they were bored and tired, and we still needed to get there and walk everywhere we needed to go! But they were real troopers, no real complaining about all the walking, only a much too often, "I'm thirsty." We really slowly rationed out the water to drink, there are no public bathrooms to speak of except for one on the edge of town, right where the busses drop you off, inside a grocery store, and it's again one of those wonderful Central American banos- no seat, not clean to any degree really, but it's what's available.
One of the hilights on the bus ride, if you want to call it that, was an elderly El Salvadorian woman got on the bus with a grandchild, and carrying a chicken. No, not a frozen or fresh chicken in a bag, a live rooster! His feet were tied together to keep him from wiggling away. We were sitting in the last row across from the back door, with an open area behind for more people to stand. Guess where she chose to stand, right behind us, and the chicken was facing backwards! I leaned over to Jim and asked, "do you suppose they give those chickens a suppository before they sell them so they're all cleaned out?" I knew the answer, probably not, but it was a bit unnerving with that chickens behind, behind us and cocked and ready. We arrived back to the boat about 3:30, Jenaya took about a 45 minute nap on the bus ride home. Both of them said they liked going, and want to go again-not if Mom & Dad can help it! Once was just enough. Anyway, Bridget and Sarah were here, the boat was still in one piece, and they managed just fine.
One more thing I just have to tell you. At the beach yesterday, the tide was going out, so there was quite a long shallow area before getting out to the deeper water where the rolling breakers were 8' or higher, but as the waves came in they lessened a great deal, but still had some speed and even at times a bit tall and white capped. We took our 2 boogie boards, one of the actual "nice finds" on the boat left from the previous owners. Micah and Jim were out quite a ways, but still in the shallower area catching smaller 2' or so waves on one of the boards. Not too long after arriving and them two out playing while Jenaya and I were walking out to them, Bridget was already way out with Sarah and her dad, Micah caught this wave that carried his cute little 40 pound body about 40-50 feet toward shore. He was grinning from ear to ear and screaming with pure excitement! It was so cool! It was one of those moments, a camera needed to be just on and running, there was no way to predict it, or have time to run on to shore and get it up and running. But I'm sure it will be ingrained in his memory for years to come!
One last thing, at the beach yesterday, we were just getting out of the water, and as I'm nearing shore, I look down into the water. I'm always on the lookout for pretty unique shells, who isn't on the beach right. I see this shell, tumbling around in the water, being pulled back out into the ocean. I bent down to pick it up. It's a simple, clam shaped shell, and when I saw it it was upside down. I turn it over, and it's a beautiful Amber colored striped shell. I stopped in my tracks. For as most of you know, yesterday, was Amber's anniversary. Of course that is one shell that will be put in a place of honor.