El Cuco is a surfer’s paradise. We stayed at an ecolodge known for saving sea turtle eggs and rescuing injured pelicans, basically an animal lover’s dream. The rolling waves and soft sandy shores provided the perfect learning environment for surfing. We took surf lessons one morning and lo and behold, I can get up on a surfboard! Whit and I both managed to get up and ride for a short bit a few times. We had a blast.
The group opted for a sunset boat “cruise” one night. Cruise it was not. It was a rickety little boat that had to crest multiple, very large waves to get into somewhat choppy waters. I literally had a panic attack on the way out when I thought we would capsize. I tried to admire the glimmering emerald cliffs and fantastic sunset through teary eyes. Whit tried her best not to laugh at my pathetic self, but couldn’t contain a few giggles.
Although we enjoyed the beach and spent many peaceful hours in hammocks, I wasn’t upset when it was time to leave El Salvador. The horrendous stories of gang violence and the tenuous atmosphere it creates was palpable. With a creepy experience in a Walmart on our way to El Cuco, where a man followed Whit and I practically chasing us through the aisles, our friend being followed on the beach, and the random gun shots we heard on our first night, we were more than happy to make our way across the border.