Lots of things in life are more enjoyable when you have company... .surfing is not one of those things. The simple fact that good waves are a limited commodity has pushed surfers to search out remote locations on the planet with a greater concentration of that commodity and less surfers to exploit them. Mathematically this relationship is best represented by the following equation:
Less waves + More surfers = No Fun
More waves + Less surfers = Fun
The search for more waves and less people had me packing my bags to El Salvador recently as a long string of swell-producing storms started pushing surf into the region. A long civil war, a high rate of crime (not the least of which is gang related... interestingly enough... . most of if not all of the gangs in El Salvador were actually started here in the US and exported to El Salvador) has most surfers looking to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for safe waves which is all the better for me as you remember from the equation above... less surfers is half of the requirements for more fun.
I broke the photos into 5 different groups below to help you wade through the chaos; Surf, Art, Food, Things you see while driving and Randomness.
El Salvador International Airport
Promising looking surf from 10 thousand feet. One of the best things you can see before touching down on a surf trip.
There are so many spots to surf in El Salvador and only a very small number of them are surfed. Guarantee there are some discoveries to be had if you could get your hands on a trusty boat and about 2 years worth of down time.
Every spot I surfed was some sort of river mouth and as it was in the middle of the rainy season this complicated the situation a bit. Water quality is always an issue at river mouths... not to mention sharks. Another added bonus is having to watch out for giant trees floating through the line up. At this particular spot I stepped on a piece of barbed wire conveniently hidden just below the sand. Im still waiting to see what type of bacteria takes hold in wound.
One of the things about surfing for 7 to 8 hours a day is that sometimes no mater how good the surf is you just cant surf any more.
This photo was taken while sitting on the toilet at one of the places I stayed. You could survey the line up while taking car of business.
See that log just to the left of the horse... it was floating through the line up the day before.
El Salvadorian hand-style in San Salvador.
Saw this mural in the Anthropology Museum depicting human sacrifice. Pretty common back in the day I guess... made me wonder how many good waves were going un-ridden while people were busy cutting out hearts and jumping into fires. On another note... how sick are those shoes... ... are those the new Jordans???
I'm pretty sure this toilet cover qualifies as art... Right??
Best surf related mural I have ever seen.
These little dudes could climb those coconut trees so fast... scary how good they were with that machete too. Coconut milk is hands down the best post-surf refresher ever.
Those little tree tumors are cacao pods. This is what chocolate looks like before it becomes chocolate.
It was always a good idea to keep an eye out for this dude in the morning. He was the local baker and sold little buns out of his bicycle that looked like hot dog buns but tasted way better. You could get 32 of them for a dollar but it only took 2 or 3 to fill you up.
----- Things You May or May not See While Driving-----
Cows. Pretty much guaranteed to see cows hanging out in the middle of the road every day... .especially around blind corners at night.
Busses in El Salvador are like mobile art projects. The story I got was that each bus is privately owned and so to entice passengers to travel with them the owners would decorate the crap out them... not sure if its true but man were they rad.
Check out the spider man job on this one. Spider man is a big deal down there... Mexico too for some reason.
People would wedge themselves onto already full busses any way they could. These dudes are opting for the "hold onto the back door and hope the bus doesn't take off or stop suddenly" method.
This is another awesome method of transport called "sit on the tail gate of your uncles truck with half of your family and hope that it doesnt fall down while you go 80k/hour down the highway". What this method lacks in safety it more than makes up for in efficiency as gas prices are the same there as they are here.
I bet he could fit one or 2 more balls on there.
I made a vow a few years back that I would only travel for surf in countries where people carried stuff on their heads. There will always be less people in the water that way.
Why is TGI Fridays everywhere??? Remember the post I did on my trip to Morocco. TGI Fridays was there too. Plus why isnt it TGI Viernes?
Child labor = cheap surf board repairs
Every male older than 20 years old in El Salvador caries a gun... ..but its always sketchy trying to take a picture of a guy with a sawed-off shotgun. This was a sign just outside a little carnival I went to one night.
Regular TV... in San Salvador... I promise.
Flight back to LA. Love it when this happens, right?
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