|We take a deep breath, glad that we are half way done with our border crossing, HELLO EL SALVADOR!|
Natural, clean, soothing jacuzzis flowing from the mountains... just what an overlander needs after a lovely day of hiking and crossing a border! :) In a perfect world it would have been a bit cooler out, but we weren't complaining! Car camping at some hot springs just over the Guatemala/El Salvador border suited us just fine for the night, and the El Salvador border crossing was quick & painless, and maybe even a little bit pleasant, as the guys working there were very friendly and helpful, and there were no annoying "helpers" badgering us.
The next morning we were off to drive down the Ruta De Las Flores (route of the flowers). Known to be one of the most beautiful drives in the country, certain times of the year it sports enormous amounts of flowers along the highway plus blossoming coffee plantations. We didn't hit it at the right time of year, but it was still a scenic route that we enjoyed. It was a Sunday, and the town of Juayua has a large food festival every weekend that we wanted to pop in and taste. We got there so early that we had to kill a little time, tried out some local pastries and coffee and entertained ourselves in an ameteur reptile "zoo" for a while. One of us thoroughly freaked out and the other enjoying the exhibits but more so enjoying the precense of fear in the room!
|Food stalls in Juayua|
|One of the crowded food stalls, smelling of freshly sizzling BBQ|
|The red tents made it hard to capture a good pic, but you get the idea...|
|Our not so artful, but very tasty food festival meal|
|Izalco volcano, adjacent to Santa Ana|
|Crater lake of Santa Ana volcano|
Meandering down from the mountains, we reached the black sand beaches of El Tunco for a night. It had been weeks since we were on any coast, and boy was it hotter than we remembered! The heat had us yearning for an A/C motel but we persevered with the help of lots of cheap beer and the good company of some other overlanders from Califonia. Before entering El Salvador we had heard about the legendary Papusa, and in this town we finally got to taste them. A papusa is basically a savory pancake stuffed with any of the following: beans, cheese, jalapenos, chicken, sausage, or veggies, then topped with some cabbage salad and tomatoe sauce. For the most part, they are only found in El Salvador, and it seems to be a food they are quite proud of. We love them also, and really really loved the cheapo prices they sell for all over the place!
|The cobblestone beach of El Tunco|
When we woke up in the morning we immediately started sweating again, so we went for a dip in the warm black sand and cobblestone beach. In the end, the waves were rough and the heat was not enjoyable, so we headed out for San Salvador. Big cities are a place we dont usually go, but there was a friend of a friend there willing to meet up with us for the night, and nothing beats hanging out with a local when traveling in a foreign land. We killed some time at a fancy mall then met up with Richie that evening and had a wonderful time out to a nice Salvadorian restaurante with him and his friends. The traditional El Salvadorian food was delicious, the night was full of laughter and a mix of Spanglish conversations with our sweet new friends. Richie and his family graciously let us crash at their place for the night, where we throughly enjoyed their company and being in a house for a bit! Thanks again guys!!
|We had no idea we were hanging out with The Godfather that night! ;)|
Originally planning to hit up another beach further south, we changed our minds last minute because we just were not feeling the heat of it. We knew there were plenty more beaches in our future, and with our time frame we have to pick and choose wisely. Feeling like we had definitely missed out on bits of El Salvador, and also feeling compelled to move forward, we went with our gut and headed for a border town to prepare for a grueling double border crossing the next day!
|Somewhere along the PanAm!! :)|