Tlog (Travel log)


I am writing by candlelight. It’s about 8:30PM. The baby just conked out. The power has been out since this morning.

My husband and I took a walk to the end of Playa El Zonte. I climbed a rock wall up to a staircase built into the cliff. He didn’t want me to do it. He said, “Because you have an 11½-month-old and we’re in a foreign country…” I was already all fours on the bolts—bolts, meaning, tiny rocks jutting out like pimples, on a surface like rough cement, weathered by crashing surf that’s as picturesque as Maui or Oia or Sitges. The climb was challenging, but only about 20 feet high. I loved it. It’s one of the highlights of the trip for me. At the stairs, I said, “Now wouldn’t it be ironic if I fell down these stairs?” As I said that, I leaned on a banister made of driftwood that wobbled and scared me more than any step of the ascent.


El Zonte: The far end of the beach is only passable at low tide. Sheer cliffs meet the ocean. There are some shallow caves.

DO I DESERVE ANY OF THIS LIFE? THE BEST OR THE WORST I’VE TASTED? Aren’t we all blessed and cursed? Life’s so fleeting. Does it even matter? Does my writing matter—any of it? The gigabytes I’ve written—what is it for?

I confessed to Gordon that once my feet lose ground in the ocean, I think about sharks, and that’s the only thing I’m afraid of out there. He said, “Well…”

“…they’re out there; the surfers say they see ’em, but to my knowledge there’s never been an attack.”

I say, as I’ve said before about mountain lions, or other beasts and rare misfortunes,

“If my fate is to get mauled by a mountain lion, so be it.”


An 8.9-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a devastating tsunami there, and warnings and some evacuations in the Americas—El Salvador’s Pacific coast included. All Pacific coastal areas are on alert. The tide licks the edge of this property; there is nothing between us and the ocean but a fence made of plastic twine, like chicken wire. A gorgeous setting, but not without inherent risks, as we became aware of today. Just contemplating the sea and its dormant power to overtake us is frightening. And remembering images and stories from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami…

We had, coincidentally, planned to go to San Salvador today. My husband wanted to see the more developed urban center of El Salvador. The tsunami advisory is still in effect until 4AM, but peak danger was at 4PM, so, here we are, returned to Playa El Zonte. It is a clear night, and the stars are marvelous, but not quite as spectacular as a few nights ago when the full Milky Way shone and I saw a shooting star (estrella fugaz).

We had wine, cheese, and crackers for dinner and discussed religion and Creation vs. Evolution with Ana and Gordon.

Adela went on her first moving ride today, a mechanical pony for $0.50. At first, she was scared to death—she was pale, shaky, and wide-eyed until she saw a boy looking on and tried to get his attention. She wants to talk so much. She is imitating sounds like a Beluga whale.

Adela's first mechanical ride, at the mall in San Salvador



About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
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2 Responses to Tlog (Travel log)

  1. Lynda says:

    I love Adela in her mechanical pony – that’s a picture for framing – but there’s something so reassuring about you in your outdoor gear on the beach with baby in backpack. I saw such a sweet smile on your face it made me go, “Ahh, that’s Michelle.”

  2. Becca says:

    I love your vacation pics – looks like quite the adventure/relaxing time at the same time – in essence, the perfect getaway. You’re planning my next family vacation.

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