Let’s Rally

When we first started this trip, I envisioned sipping cold beers on the beaches of Mexico, then sailing to Costa Rica for eco-everything, anchoring off a remote island or two, going through the Panama Canal and finally to the holy grail of clear waters – the Caribbean.   But there are four, yes, four other countries between Mexico and Costa Rica.  The “forgotten middle” as some call it.


Neko heading to El Salvador

And I’ll admit it, El Salvador was not at the top or even on my list of must-see countries.  There are a lot of reasons boaters don’t stop places; too much crime, too expensive, too big a headache to check in, too few places to stop and on and on.  El Salvador’s main strike against it with boaters is that its entry is too “scary”.  (See crossing sand bar post) But after hearing others (that’s you Torben and Judy) say it was no big deal and that the El Salvador Rally was worth checking out, we decided to take the chance, put on our big boy pants, cross the bar and see what “the savior” had to offer.   And indeed, unlikely as it sounds, Neko was “saved” with fixes to our hydraulic steering and generator by helpful craftsmen in El Salvador.  And we were saved from missing out on a fascinating country.  Outdoor fun, indoor fun, city life, country life and sea life, what a mix.


Boquerón, one of El Salvador’s 22 volcanoes

Joya de Cerén

Joya de Cerén, is an archaeological site of a Maya farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash. The “Pompeii of the Americas”


The El Salvadorian ladies love their frilly aprons and can balance anything on their heads.

fish market

Fish market in Libertad

Iglesia el Rosario

Iglesia el Rosario, looks like a cement airplane hanger on the outside, but inside…

rosario church

Iglesia el Rosario interior. The sunlight coming through the windows changes throughout the day creating a stunning natural light show.  It has been a zillion years since Peter’s last confession, but he broke into this church so we could see the inside. It was well worth it and I’ll have him say 5 Hail Marys.

We spent a month meeting fantastic new friends,

Sweet Jan.  Lucy's best new pal!

Sweet Jan. Lucy’s best new pal!

learning that El Salvador is a proud country that is moving beyond their civil war (that was 20 years ago folks) DSCN2651

Crazy night at Che bar.  The bartender and his friend are both children of Guerrilla fighters during the civil war.  Their mom and dad.

Crazy night at Che bar. The bartender and his friend are both children of Guerrilla fighters, both their dads and moms.

DSCN2657and enjoyed exploring both El Salvador and neighboring Guatemala (see Guatemala post).  Because of their close proximity to each other and the fact you get a four country visa, land travel between Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua is relatively easy.

Indigenous ladies of Guatemala

Indigenous ladies of Guatemala

To all you fellow boaters out there thinking of doing the El Salvador Rally – give it a shot.  It is VERY informal and chill.  No need for morning nets, just wander up to the bar or pool and see what’s what.  I liked the fact there were only about 20 boats at any given time, allowing you to actually know everyone.

With Mike and Holly in the colonial town of Suchitoto

With Mike and Holly in the colonial town of Suchitoto

El Salvadorian artist, Llort's gallery.

El Salvadorian artist, Fernando Llort’s gallery.


I jumped in a fountain to save a dog!

I jumped in a fountain to save a dog!


Learning about indigo tie dying from women's artist coop

Learning about indigo tie dying from women’s artist coop

Indigo tie dying with Rose

Indigo tie dying with Rose

Cooling off the pool with ice blocks.  You'd think we were kids in a candy store.

Cooling off the pool with ice blocks. You’d think we were kids in a candy store.




Dinghy raft up

Dinghy raft up


Rally crew in Suchitoto

Peter getting neck message.  Wait!  What???

Peter getting neck massage. Wait! What???

Funky tree house room we stayed in during trip to Juaya

Funky tree house room we stayed in during trip to Juayua. It was a great place and especially enjoyed the cool weather up in the mountains.

Jayua food festival

Juayua food festival

Zip lining through the jungle

Zip lining through the jungle.  See zip line post

The laid back attitude of Bill and Jean (rally organizers) created a no pressure atmosphere for participating as much or as little as you desire.  We did both planned activities and explored on our own.  For god sake, if anything go for the $1 beer 😉

Bye to all our Rally pals

Bye to all our Rally pals

Costa Rica, here we come.

Costa Rica, here we come.

11 thoughts on “Let’s Rally

  1. Sounds like you are having just a WONDERFUL time. These are experiences that will last a lifetime. I’m envious. Enjoy even more for those of us not lucky enough to be there!

  2. It’s great that you have been able to interact with the real people of these countries and not just see the tourist joints. Great pictures.

  3. Thanks for the honorable mention, we did not have El Salvador on the radar screen upon leaving CA but fournd it a very interesting stop. The people are very friendly and there are plenty of cool trips to be taken. Now…….don’t forget that CUBA to this date was the best experience we have had, don’t miss it after you get through the canal.
    Judy and Torben

  4. Now i am mad we passed those countries up!!!! Your now the tour director, keep us darn power boaters in line… Heading back on the 21, to golfito and heading south to the canal on the 24… Hope to see you on our ais…

  5. Hi Mary, I’m jealous as hell. You look fabulous and the trip sounds incredible.
    I’m not sure how to send you this info via email so I’m doing so now;
    Stanley was diagnosed with Lymphoma about 6 weeks ago and until earlier this week, he was the handsome, loving, obedient and sweet tempered dog you all remember.
    He declined very rapidly and today April 17th Stanley died.
    He was 2 months shy of his 12th birthday and had lived a long happy life – a wonderfully good boy.

    I will miss him terribly and I thought you would want to know,

  6. OK, THIS adventure I could have done without medicine! Are you sure this isn’t an episode of “The Rich and Famous?”

  7. Thanks for sharing your latest adventures. I keep pulling down my old atlas to figure out where the hell you are! Ken P

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