El Salvador

10 May

I know this might come as a surprise because I’ve posted like 2 pictures on our Facebook page but we were in El Salvador.

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And that’s all I have to say about that.

No, kidding. But the 12 days we spent in the country were pretty uneventful, with the exception of the day(s) we replaced our rear brake pads and fixed our muffler. We were just really unimpressed with what we saw and did. I think we’ve been spoiled seeing stretches of crystal clear secluded beaches, bright green jungled landscape, and interesting colonial towns.

For us, El Salvador was just meh. And we did give it a shot. What the guide books classified as “must sees” fell waaaaay short of our expectations.

When we entered, we drove the Ruta de Flores south to the coast. The drive was pretty but nothing we hadn’t seen a thousand times before. The towns we were “supposed” to see (Ataco and Juayua) were essentially closed. On a Tuesday. At 11am. Yeah. So on we went to Playa Los Cobanos, which was described as a white sand swimming beach. It had neither white sand nor was a swimming beach. My ankles got pounded by the fist sized rocks rolling in with each wave. We did find a nice place to park on a small cliff overlooking the water with a private beach to our side. The scenery become null when the wind died, felt like a million degrees and we each started feeling sick. Hence, no photos.

From there we headed with Toby and Chloe to the surfing beaches, landing in El Tunco. Again, totally not what I expected. The main highway parallels the ocean but there is little beach access. Each surfing beach is in a U-shape and hotels and restaurants put up concrete walls preventing direct beach parking. And if you’re not standing on the beach, there’s zero breeze.

Our first night in El Tunco felt like death. Sick and hot is a horrid combination. We were able to cool off in the restaurant’s pool before being kicked out.

The following day, my birthday, we found a (cheap) room with air conditioning, private bath, wifi, awesome view and parking big enough for Skyhorse. Hani said it was my present but really it was a gift for all of us, as we would have gone mad in the heat.

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Getting a room really turned things around. The town of El Tunco suddenly seemed much more vibrant. It became exciting to walk out of our place, down the rocks, onto the jet black glittering sand avoiding waves as we made our way toward the main town. We found a good smoothie shop, awesome noodle bar and the best pizza we’ve had in the past 6 months.

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My intention for going to this area was to surf. But after being sick, getting pummeled by the ocean was the last thing on my mind. Board rentals and lessons were very cheap and I regret not being well enough to jump in for a class or two.

We said goodbye to Toby and Chloe for like the 5th time in 6 months and I made my way to the airport for a friend’s wedding stateside. Hani stayed on the beach soaking up the a/c instead of the sun. I don’t blame him, it was brutally hot outside.

When I returned 5 days later, I tempted Hani with the idea of leaving and heading straight to Nicaragua. He wanted to try one last town, Suchitoto. Two hours north from the beach, Suchitoto was praised in the guidebooks as an artsy colonial village, another must see, worthy of “a day or two” visit. There was nothing in this town. And I would never classify it as colonial. Sure there were cobblestone streets and a lake with no access down below. Slightly cooler weather but no cafés (as promised) or nice galleries (only chinsy knickknacks). Bummer.

So the major wow of El Salvador: the pizza in El Tunco at that one restaurant I can’t remember the name of. Whomp whomp.

Now onward to Nicaragua!

One Response to “El Salvador”

  1. javiergrassl May 12, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Feel bad you had not the best experience in my country… I guarantee you would have love El Salvador with a Salvadoran friend who can take you to better places.. Not Suchitoto, and specially not on a regular day, with a guide book. You didn’t visit a lot of great places… And the best thing is that you can do that in a day because of the tiny, little and lovely country.. Hope you visit again

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