Friday, February 01, 2008

Yesterday we took a stroll through the El Salvadoran jungle to see the howler monkey's. This family of monkeys was saved by an El Salvadoran family. During the fighting 20 years ago, this family was caught between the rebels and the government forces. These fighters would live in the jungle off the land and to survive they would eat the monkeys. This family agreed to feed both sides if they would let the monkeys live, so there is a thriving community of monkeys for us to see. The monkey clan is presided over by the macho monkey by the name of Pancho. The head of the human family yelled out Pancho, Pancho and a few minutes later the clan arrived. Pancho is the only adult male, all the females are part of his harem and he has fathered all the babies. We were able to feed them bananas by hand and observe them at close hand as long as we wanted, what a treat. They seemed to be better fed than the dogs that were on hand.

Today we drove into town. The road we were on was just a dirt road, not even gravel and the houses along the way were an example of some of the poorest we have encountered. This was rural El Salvador, men with machetes, fields of sugar cane being cut by hand and the fields burnt. Most of the people we saw on the dirt road were on bicycles, pedalling away in the heat. I imagine a bicycle is a prized possesion in these parts. Then we turned onto a highway and went into town. We were the only gringos that we saw in town and we received a lot of stares, we had kids coming up to us and saying hello, just to see if we were real, I think. The town had some startling contrasts. There were lovely new buildings that housed a Wendy's and a Pizza Hut, then there was the bustling open air market. You could hardly move in the market it was so stuffed with vendors. They would shout at you to come and buy their produce, a large part of which were tomatoes, onions and potatoes and very loud latin music was broadcast throughout the area. We bought several new fruits that we have not seen before, they should be an interesting taste sensation. We did learn the names but I forget, several we were able to taste before we bought them, the purply one seemed to be some kind of a plum.

We arrived back at the marina, put all the groceries away and headed to the pool, for some more R and R. We are leaving bound for Costa Rica tomorrow, so must complete our formalities today, checking out of the country and paying up our bill, which we have just signed for all week, that includes our laundry, our food and bar bill, our internet usage as well as our mooring fees. It should take us about 2 days to reach Costa Rica but I am not sure about internet access in our first port so you may not hear from us for 3 or 4 days. Trish, Graeme and Quinn are coming for a surfing vacation to Costa Rica so it is just super that we will be able to meet up with them for about a week. Hopefully we will be able to find them, but amazingly so far we have been able to connect with any visitors that have tried to hook up with us.