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Published: September 30th 2017
Looks Are Deceiving ...
... Lake Suchitlan might look clean, but is highly polluted.
Geo: 13.7942, -88.8965
Our arrival in Suchitoto yesterday turned out to be a rather fortuitous occurrence - I wasn't quite sure where to get rid of the Barbie Butchers' bodies, until today, when I got a closer look at Lake Suchitlan. It's always interesting in developing nations, particularly from an environmental standpoint - in the case of El Salvador, there is some truly stunning natural scenery, and a cruise on Lake Suchitlan is a must if visiting Suchitoto, both for the bird watching and for the beautiful views.
There is a problem, however - as lovely as Lake Suchitlan is, it's also heavily polluted, being the final destination for the Lempa river. At its source, the river is considered pristine, but once it passes through San Salvador, it picks up all manner of ... organic material from the city's inhabitants, shall we say? Our guide put it best - "Suchitlan may be beautiful, but I would never put my face in that water!"
Lake Suchitlan is taken over by what locals jokingly refer to as "lechuga" (lettuce), which I think is a type of water hyacinth, floating plants that are flourishing with all the waste in the water. It's so thick
on the lake that makes a cruise a bit like navigating a maze, with our captain having to stop several times to survey the lake for a path through the plants, and us frequently taking circuitous routes to get anywhere.
At times, we tried ramming our way through the plants, but you could feel a significant increase in drag on the boat, and also the outboard engine bogging down as the propeller chewed its way through the plants. More than once, we worried that the propeller would get so tangled up in the weeds, that the engine would die, and we would get stuck on the lake. Luckily that didn't happen, so we didn't need to hop out and swim back to shore through that filthy water!
There was a definite benefit with all this greenery floating on the lake - it provided a perfect hiding spot for the Barbie Butchers' bodies! It would be absolutely perfect, because you'd never be able to spot a floating body here even if it was right in front of you, since the water plants can stretch out as far as the eye can see. And all that
organic material in the water surely results in all manner of bacteria that can quickly dissolve of any dead bodies that are floating around!
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