Thursday, 9 May 2013

El Salvador

Well, the ride from Guatemala to El Salvador was really easy.. other than a bit of congestion at the border crossing (with all the commercal traffic), we arrived at the surfer beach town of El Tunco by mid afternoon. Lots of time to get settled into our awesome hotel room (huge porch with hammock and trees for shade and a dipping pool to cool off) and then wander down to the black volcanic beach to catch all the surfers doing their stuff. It was Sunday when we arrived and so the beach and little town was buzzing with activity as San Salvador, the capital, is only 40 minutes away. There are "beach clubs" at these surfer beaches.. reminded Eric of Acapulco in the 50's. After the crowds left, the little town and beach settled into a more lazy pace but still lots of surfers heading to the beach, coming back from the beach with their surf board tucked under their arm. From some of our conversations with people, doing 3 surfs a day is the norm.. out for the early morning waves, then mid-day, then late afternoon. So, we felt a bit out of place as the hotels are called" surf resorts" and have surf rentals, dipping pools for after your surf, and a general party atmosphere (we didn't mind that!). But we still had fun as the relaxed surfer world is pretty sweet.. relax, beach, pool, enjoy good meals, good drinks. So, we can get with that!

Border crossing Guatemala-El Salvaador

They really work their vehicles here!

Arbols de Fuego.. Fire Trees.. they were everywhere

first glimpse of the El Salvador Coast 

Eco Del Mar Hotel... great porch!
Black beach of El Tunco
freedom to run after a 6 hour shuttle ride

El Tunco Beach.. busy on a Sunday. 

The main drag.. pretty easy going place. 

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lots of rocks! Perfect for Sean

hot and humid.. so the cooling off pool was much appreciated!

hazy sunsets

there is a guy sleeping on top! Can you see him?

We did get to see some more of El Salvador and the hotel arranged for a guide to take us to some Mayan ruins and also up to the Volcano close by. It was an interesting ride. The first time.. the ruins were closed, then we came upon a really bad accident on the road up to the volcano (20 people in hospital and one dead!), so we had to abandon that for the day.. but our guide Guerrilla (that's what his friends calls him he said), was super sweet and we immediately liked him. The next day we got to see what we wanted and visited the ruins and the volcano with a big crater (it was so nice and cool up there!). So, with all the driving back and forth we got to see a lot of San Salvador and the area around. On first glance it's a very grimy, dirty, patched up kind of impression - garbage everywhere!, homes along the side of the road patched together with rusty corrigated metal sheets, or plastic, and bits of wood. The cars on the road are tired and warn and definitely have been overused. There was a lot of car repair ("tallers") and car parts shops along our journey and actually on the first day of our outing, Guerrilla's car wouldn't start and there were a few moments of thinking we might have to get it towed or something. It just felt like everything had a layer of grimm on it, nothing really fresh and new or clean looking. But.. there is something about the people that makes one look past all of that - the people are so genuine and warm. At first meeting, they seem a bit reserved and then there is this opening up that just makes one feel so warm and welcoming.  I think of El Salvador as a small country with big heart!

San Andres Mayan Ruins.. even in El Salvador!

National Bird..the Torogoz

landscaping crew

having fun at the Boqueron Volcano museo

El Boqueron Crater.. the volcano right in San Salvador


surfer spot... everyone with surf boards....
and everything revolving around surf life
We are now off to catch another shuttle ride, this time, we have to transverse Honduras (so two border crossings), then onto Leon in Nicaragua. It's expected to be a 12 hour journey... I'm not really looking forward to it but looking forward to seeing Nicaragua!  (I was doing this blog in a rush.. need to leave NOW.. so apologies for any awkward sentences, spelling etc... didn't have time to edit!) I hope everyone is enjoying the fresh spring air (it's hot, hot, humid here on the coast!)

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