I. Can’t. Swim.
In El Salvador we visited so many fantastic locations near water; the beach, the bay, a tranquil lake or two and I, a non-swimmer, would usually sunbathe outside the water inconspicuously. Or be chilling in shallow water like below.
One day we visited the most beautiful river, called the Lempa, which formed the international divide between El Salvador and Honduras. The lake wasn’t very wide at all, but had a super-strong current running through it, making it even a little dangerous for those of us who could swim (everyone but me). We did a two-hour hike here to commemorate the victims of the River Lempa Massacre in 1981 and it was amazing to be able to share this experience with our Salvadorian friends. We were given the history of the walk and were told stories from the war and about the victims who had originally walked this path.
After two hours of hiking and stunning views, we ended up here. No one was around as the annual commemoration walk was a few weeks in advance and it was so peaceful and tranquil. The water was beautiful and clear and just ripe for swimming! It was 30 degrees out, so everyone got in.
The fact that we could swim just a few minutes to another country was amazing and all my friends fled the country. JUST LIKE THAT. So there I was, stuck in boring old El Salvador, while my friends were living it up across the border in Honduras. What made it worse was that I could hear them cheering and see them taking photos. Man, why didn’t I ever learn to swim?!
And then, just like that! One of my friends offered me a ride across the water. Obviously, I’d never piggyback a ride in water, that would be far too risky (did I mention how strong the current was?), but he suggested grabbing one of the big logs hanging around and hitching a ride on that, whilst he swam and pulled it forward. I’d gone from sulky to perky in 2 minutes and floated all the way to Honduras.
In the main photo, the left side is El Salvador and the right, Honduras. We had lunch here at the Lempa River, picked the nearby fruit trees, swam (and floated!) and had an amazing time. Funnily enough, my best memories from El Salvador were near or in bodies of water, showing that not being able to swim won’t always hold you back when travelling :D. And hey, this story wouldn’t have been half as interesting if I could swim!