Andrew and I embarked on a short, 20 minute dinghy ride up a different arm of the estuary to the small town of San Luis La Herradura to get some provisions. On route we saw men shoveling sand into their pangas. It turns out they come out at low tide to collect their sand and wait for the high tide to float their pangas so they can take it home. Apparently its a bit like reclaiming land, they add the sand to their property giving them more land.
As you arrive at the dock i San Luis La Herradura you see a few stilted restaurants which line the river bank and a ramp with pangas some for transporting people others bringing fish, clams, eels and even sharks in to sell. A dinghy boy, or young man as was our case took the dinghy rope and tied us up, while we clambered over the clam shells to reach the ramp.
The town is a real working town and I imagine many of the residents are fishermen. I walked over to take a photo of some of the empty pangas off another off shoot of the estuary and looked at a man’s wares that he was selling, thinking it was the bottom half of palm fonds when Andrew told me they were shark fins. Sure enough when I looked properly the tarp was filled with shark fins of various sizes drying out in the sun. Not sure where the rest of the shark was, I would think the shark wouldn’t be wasted as the people are not wealthy here.
Local fishing boats in a side part of the estuary
Some of the many estuary shark fins, I don’t think I want to swim in the river
The main road is filled with fishermen repairing their nets, pupusa stands, other small businesses and people getting on with their everyday life interrupted by the occasional old American school buses honking their horns. We did find the local fruit and vegetable market where we stocked up and then completed our shopping at the small supermarket before catching a tuk tuk back to the ramp for $1 and loading up the dinghy. The dinghy boys are helpful in not only retrieving your dinghy, loading your shopping, but also pushing you out and for the fee of $1.
It was an interesting trip and one we have repeated a few times.