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Published: September 30th 2017
El Tunco ...
... the town and beach are named for the rock formation just off the shore. Supposedly, it resembles a pig ... but I don't see it.
Geo: 19.5543, -96.9387
El Tunco - the final stop of our little Salvadoran adventure, and by far the most disappointing ... El Salvador has been pretty cool overall, but we're finding little in the way of redeeming qualities of this tiny surf town, which was an odd finish to the tour. El Tunco was likely chosen for its location, a relatively short drive to the airport, which makes it a convenient final night for those departing the country.
It does also offer a brief taste of El Salvador's Pacific coast, but it was more than disappointing in that regard, especially for non-surfers - while there are some great waves for surf bums, the water is far too rough for swimmers to even wade out much deeper than their knees. Add the fact that the water appears to be of dubious quality, with a filthy-looking river discharging right into town, and there was very little incentive for us to consider even dipping our toes into the surf!
It actually would have been nice if the tour was one day longer, as it could've afforded the opportunity to stay a night in Salinitas instead, a beach town just over an hour up the road,
... sort of the El Tunco equivalent of the kebab man, there are a number of guys walking around the beach selling fresh oysters.
and one that seemingly is far nicer and cleaner. In fact, El Tunco reminded us a little of Ko Phi Phi, a beach town in Thailand that has become one giant, crowded, overgrown backpacker ghetto. El Tunco isn't quite there yet, but it's seemingly well on its way to becoming the Salvadoran equivalent - for the sake of the locals, I truly hope that doesn't end up being the case!
Having said all this, we did manage to find a couple of decent qualities about El Tunco, the first being a pretty decent restaurant at our hotel, Roca Sunzal. The second was also sort of related to our hotel - the oyster men of El Tunco who stroll along the beach, calling out "Ostras! Ostras!", as they sold, of all things, oysters! Who knew that oysters could even be found in a tropical location such as El Tunco?
Now, these were far from the best oysters you could have, and the sizing categories was beyond laughable if you've had the pleasure of sampling fine oysters elsewhere in the world, as the "large" ones here would barely qualify as bait anywhere else. But the fact that we could sit around on a
Feels Like Ko Phi Phi, In a Bad Way ...
... shades of Ko Phi Phi's overdeveloped town. Though El Tunco isn't anywhere near as overrun with people, it really feels as if it's getting to that point where it can forever take a turn for the worse.
beachfront restaurant in El Salvador, sipping on Salvadoran beer, while slurping down these oysters, was beyond cool.
Perhaps even cooler were the oyster men, and watching them hustle their way through plate after plate of oysters, delivered to people sitting at random restaurants on the beach. We never did learn their names, but gave them all a name of distinction, a name of fame - Ostradamus!
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