On a Beach in El Salvador

Walking along the volcanic ash-dyed gray sandy beaches of playa Cuco, one may find the most peculiar nature. Fear free of stepping on any sharp lava rock, caution is still necessary to avoid stirring a sting ray while enjoying the 82 degree water. A walk down the beach will be full of many sand dollars and sea shells of bright purple and red; the hues of color so deep yet bright, pure perfection that only such a beautiful ocean could produce. A few large trees of petrified drift wood decorate the beach sporadically and lanchas line the beach waiting to be taken out for an evening fish, or perhaps a sunset cruise. The waves are small and consistent providing the perfect white noise for a mind to roam free while taking in the sights. These tiny waves do, however, wash in some interesting dead specimen. Of the most intriguing were a manta ray and, if not mistaken, a baby hammerhead’s head. The manta ray’s wing span was near 3 feet and it’s usually smiling face with beady little eyes was no longer so happy. Most of its insides were now outside and it seemed a fisherman had run off with its pointed tail.

A bit farther down the beach, where a small river runs into the mighty Pacific, is where the poor young hammerhead’s head was found. Amongst first inspection it appeared to be a baby ray. Upon further review though, this proved untrue. Two big eye balls (at this point more sockets than eyes) were on either side of the “hammer” and underneath, instead of the rye smile of a manta ray, was a frown of razor sharp baby shark teeth. Its body had been severed and the mystery of his murder will have to remain so. One need not think about larger predators while surfing the mellow waves…

The beach hostel is full of giggling geckos and singing birds. One also should mind not rolling their ankle on the many mangoes scattered about. The ambiance is completed by a migrating mariachi band. Last but not least one can find Albert, the one-winged resident pelican and mascot of easy-going beach life. Relax and enjoy.


The author’s office for this post


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