06 january Ahuachapan (EL SALVADOR)

The first taste shows us a country totally different from the one just left behind. The traditional clothes are gone, the color of the skin is quite clear, there is not its own currency (they use U.S. dollar), they only have in common Spanish language with the other Central American Countries.

[Stefy]: "We take a coffee in a typical small bar in Plaza Concordia, warmed by the first rays of the sun, and from Ahuachapan, the starting point of the"Ruta de las Flores", we begin our exploration of the small villages of the area.
We reach, through, mountain roads: Ataco, an old colonial village that retains, however, a strong indigenous identity.

We find ourselves in the open space of a church during a performance for the Epiphany with dances, songs and typical masks of the Salvadoran tradition.

 

In the bus to Juayua we admire the "Ruta de las Flores", the long winding road characterized by coffee plantations and greenhouses course of colorful and vivid flowers.
In the shadow of the majestic church of 1500 with the "Black Christ", we get lost among the stalls of the great gastronomic fair held every weekend and we taste many specialties, from yuca (a sweet potato) to pieces of pumpkin with honey! "

07 january Santa Ana (EL SALVADOR)

Santa Ana, the second largest city after the capital of El Salvador.
The old town is graced with a beautiful white cathedral Gothic style, an elegant theater and an old colonial building which now houses the Town Hall.

We are guests of a funny and nice guy, a medical student named Roberto, who takes us out of town to the Coatepeque Lake, a romantic lake arisen millions of years ago in the crater of a volcano. We spend a few hours relaxing and chatting admiring it from a "mirador" over a "Pilsener" beer.

In the evening we are reached by Cecilia, his girlfriend, to taste the best "pupusas" of Central America.

08 january Suchitoto (EL SALVADOR)

Roberto gives us a ride to the infamous San Salvador, we have only a fleeting glimpse of this city since our goal is the "Terminal de Oriente" from where will depart to Suchitoto by chicken bus.

San Salvador is very dirty, chaotic, abandoned. As we walk  through its streets Roberto tells us of the times of the "guerrilla", the earthquake of 2001, Hurricane Mitch... how many tragedies this small and battered nation has lived so far...

The chicken bus is a cool experience for us!
It’s folkloristic to see the driver "fighting" with traffic and bad roads, and his aide who breaks out, selling tickets, helping old ladies to get on; the hawkers of small bags of water or colored juice, nuts or candy, freshly cut fruit or fried plantains; the preachers of the Gospel or charlatans of diet foods or anti-cancer products!

10 january Suchitoto (EL SALVADOR)

[Stefy]: "We really needed these two days of relax in Suchitoto, especially to plan our next stage: Honduras!
We stay in a lovely little hotel "Villa Balanza", an old colonial house, with a private terrace with two hammocks, overlooking Suchitlan lake, the atmosphere is wonderful!"

11 january Copan Ruinas (HONDURAS)

We wake up very early in the morning to deal with this long day. It's five o'clock and it's still dark outside ... in the distance a few small light of a lantern stands...
The backpacks are heavy in the early morning... the town, already sleepy itself, rests peacefully ... there's just some clerk of San Salvador around or some old man, in cowboy hat and boots, with machete who goes into the woods in search of who knows what.

It’s 5:48 a.m. when we get the little "parada" of the bus, tired for our heavy backpacks we fall down to sit on the sidewalk to rest, but we are literally assaulted by an "army" of small but bastards ants who really hurt us... dancing like crazy, we try to get rid from the attack murderess ...

 

Finally at 6:20 our colorful bus arrives. This time the assistant of the driver does not scream the name of our destination and doesn’t try to push people in... perhaps he just woke up as well.

In an hour we reach the town of Las Aguilares which is a great way of sorting the south or north of El Salvador.
We manage to conquer the first two seats of the bus and so we can enjoy scenes of Salvadoran daily life...

Las Aguilares. A huge sign that frames an elevated walkway, invites people to vote for Mrs "Pena" in the upcoming election of the "Alcadesa" (mayor).
We cross the road and wait along, with hawkers, bus No. 119, destination: El Poy, the border while  a huge lady envelopes the latest "pupusas".

Here's our bus slowing down, I leave our backpacks in the luggage compartment of the bus, I let the last sellers of mango and fried bananas pass through and finally I sit down!

El Poy.

The borders have always fascinated me. The bus driver shows us the immigration office and us, hand in hand, we overcome the long line of trucks in queue, we show our passports at the control, we reject a couple of guys with two large bundles of banknotes from all around the Central America and when another policeman approaches us, I can only smile at him saying: "El Salvador? Lindissimo! "

 

 

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