A dinghy trip up Estero Jaltepeque
23 December 2016
El Salvador lies 1,100 miles almost directly south of New Orleans. The country converted to the American dollar in 2001. Some foreigners think that it is still dangerous in El Salvador but forget that the civil war has been over for 20 years. The estuary joins the Rio Lempa to the east, El Salvador’s longest river. To the northwest, a quick four-mile dinghy ride takes you to the quaint and unspoiled town of La Herradura. (Fast facts from the elsalvadorrally.com website)
Yesterday, with our gps in hand and a waypoint, we took a trip up the estuary to find the town of La Herradura. We lived to tell this tale.
We left with the outgoing tide so we were going against the tide but making pretty good time. It didn’t take long to leave the riverfront houses behind and only have mangroves on either side of us with the occasional panga boat zipping by. We were heading towards the one waypoint we had entered but it was behind a small island in the center of the estuary. We hit a very shallow spot and were a bit uncertain that we were on the correct path but eventually, out of nowhere seemingly, the town of La Herradura appeared. George, waved to us from the town, and helped us land the dinghy, watching over it while we explored the town. We found a great local vegetable stand and a small tienda with frozen meats and other sundry items. A lady entered the store with live chickens under each arm ☺
This little town will be our go to for groceries as the only large grocery stores are in either San Salvador or Zacatecoluca (say that three times fast), which are both 1.5 hours away by car at a cost of $75.
We didn’t tarry long due to the tide, but did stop for a cold beer and graciously accepted a “cockatilia” (raw clam cocktail) from the restaurant attendant because she seemed to think we needed one. This was a fun adventure and we are looking forward to our next visit to do more exploring now that we know where it is and have reconned the area.