Lal and Nancy’s estuary adventure to La Herradura, a small town about 4 miles up the estuary from our El Salvador marina, began with the marina staff’s effort to discourage the trip. “There are banditos,” he cautioned. We’d heard good things from other cruisers, so off we went. Our dingy, Schooner, made about 3-3.5 knots with the current in our favor as we made our way between islands; jockeying with fishing canoes and pangas. Mangroves lined the island shores and we kept watch for egrets, herons and other birds along the way.
We knew we had arrived at La Herredura when we saw a small collection of anchored pangas and a big palapa restaurant. Jose Martinez, a local, greeted us and offered to watch Schooner for us. He spoke English well, having lived in Sand Diego for a while. He hoped to return to the U.S.; however, the $7,000-8,000 to pay the Coyote to take him across the border seemed a long way off at the $5.00 a day typical for El Salvadorean workers. He brought us by his home and introduced us to his wife and son who were selling cut up fruit. Very simple living.
The town’s streets were bustling with people going to the many stands and shops.
We made our way to a street where colorful floats for a parade were being painted.
One kind gentleman, holding is young baby, Tatiana, spoke with us in a combination of English and Spanish. Looking out for us, he echoed the marina staff’s caution about “bad boys” further down the street. We took his advice and turned around.
Heading back towards town we purchased fruits and vegetables and finished of our visit with a delicious fresh fish lunch at the palapa restaurant.
We couldn’t resist a final purchase of nuts and dulces (sweets) from the ladies carrying their wares in big bowls on their heads.
All in all an excellent adventure and glimpse into El Salvadoran life.