Friday, January 15, 2016

Back in Bahia del Sol

San Salvador view

The crew of Chantey V arrived back for the final chapter of our journey, inching northwards towards Mexico and beyond to the Sea of Cortez. We stayed the first few nights at the lovely home of Lynn and Lou, a very charming cruiser-freindly couple who take in wayward sailors. Maintenance issues have dogged us after the post summer lay-up, first an overheating problem requiring a raw water pump overhaul (thanks Bill from the El Salvador Rally) followed by having to rebuild our house battery box. All accompanied with the festive sounds of the locals celebrating the New Year. All appears well now and we await our friend Turlough to arrive from Antigua in Guatemala who plans to join us
    for the trip to Chiapas and Huatulco, Mexico.

 hard at work!

Santos' new teak deck

      To celebrate getting our boat back in order we held a dock party starting out with appies on Chantey V. Eleven sailors piled into our newly renovated cockpit compliments of Santos' handiwork. It became an impromptu goodbye party for Gord and Mags on SV Kanilela, and Mary and Paul on SV Genesis. Next morning the dock seemed deserted as we made the 2 hour trek in by chicken bus to Zacatacaleluca for a very hot and dusty provisioning run.
       Turlough has arrived from Antigua so we took a run into the big city, San Salvador, with our excellent local tour guide and driver Edwin, for the day. Our first task was to track down the elusive glasses Daragh had left behind in Vancouver and had sent down through El Salvador post. With mission accomplished we had a little luxury for us cruisers visiting the fancy shopping malls and taking a side trip up Punta Diablo for a spectacular view of the city below.
      The winds have not abated, so we were forced to become landlubbers for a couple of days and retreated inland to the lovely pueblo town of Suchitoto in the mountains. This is one of the original Spanish villages on the old Camino Real route. Adobe homes line the winding cobblestone streets leading down the mountain road to the lake. We stayed at a very nice boutique hotel, Le Alamandos de San Lorenzo with lush foliage, paving stone floors and a pool. A little luxury from the semi- rustic cruiser lifestyle. Upon return we found the winds had settled and we prepared to turn the pointy end north and head for Chiapas.

Edwin, our delightful guide and driver.

Le Alamondos de San Lorenzo

The village of Suchitoto sits high in the mountains of El Salvador. Here, in the 1990's a brutal civil war raged and cost many lives. The women of this village united in their quest for a stop to the  ongoing violence in the region. Over the entrance of almost every doorway we encountered this message which roughly translates as..." in this house we would like to live free of violence against women."

       We heard the sad news today of the loss of the Thin White Duke, David Bowie. It is truly the end of an era. He was not only the consumate musician, but also an immense creative force in the fashion industry, the arts, social culture, and gender identity. A great human being and a true gentleman!

                                                "Ground Control to Major Tom,
                                           Commencing countdown, engines on,
                                  Check ignition and may God's Love be with you."