Here in Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador, you can kinda choose your world. Beach or bay, or more accurately estuary. It’s a long peninsula, or as Marce would say a long stick-out with a little macadam two lane more or less down the center and that’s been my area of expertise. Chicken buses, that is. You might have a long wait so the trick is to get out of the brutal 98 degree sun and preferably find a place to sit down. Shade and a seat. To that end I’ve modified my modus-operendus and now I Cat Nip over to a restaurant on stilts called Mar Y Sol which is a bit closer to Escape Velocity, tie up to the floating dock, not the pylon due to the ten foot tides, and slog up a dirt alley to the “chicken road”, a spot of shade, with a scrap of wood to sit on. Perfect.
A funny thing happened today while I was waiting for the air horns to announce the presence of a bus. A guy named Santos — there are many of them down here — pulled in front of the tienda where I was waiting and struck up a conversation. This is rare because my Spanish is nonexistent but his English was passable and I soon learned that he had fixed our Yamaha outboard after M. got the fuel tank really clean by squirting a hose at it, and he knew about Escape Velocity and it turns out that he is also the guy that hauls the American propane tanks up to east San Salvador. He likes to have at least four tanks to make it worth his while but if we get stuck he’ll help out. Next he knew of a small farmers produce tienda that is much closer than the Super Mercado and has fresh vegetables and fruit. So our next adventure will be to find the produce market in Playas Del Blanco, but today it’s the Super Mercado and the reward of a Pops ice cream right next door. You can’t imagine how good ice cream tastes In this heat.
After I finished I walked across the chicken road and looked for a bus. No such luck so it’s the small covered metal bench beside a dirt floor restaurant with an open sewer running right under it. But wait, there’s a white and brown spotted cow tethered to the bench. I wondered if he’d mind sharing?
The last time I waited on this bench, there was a cow directly across the road and he clearly didn’t like the cut of my jib and let me know it by starring at me nonstop and bellowing at me…frequently. I’m not fond of cows. So it’s right away with the mind games. Every time I look up it’s starring right at me, but this time it couldn’t be more than three feet away. It’s chewing something but there’s nothing around it but dirt, and I make up my mind that if it’s tail goes up, I’m out of here.
It was at about this time that a herder on a bicycle towing a donkey brings his crowd of twenty or more huge cows up on the road to dance with the chicken busses and general traffic. Yep, you guessed it, right down the middle of the road. All manor of chaos ensued. My cow apparently felt left out and started to bellow not three feet from my ear. Sadly no one came for it and finally the chicken bus showed up scattering cows everywhere. This one was already bursting at the seams but I know how this works now so I just squeezed in because there’s always room for one more.