Oct 12, 2011
|After visiting the Copan ruins of Honduras (the Mayan artistic city, where they carved intricate steila to represent their dynastic history) it was time to head on to El Salvador. Five buses and three countries later, we finally arrived in Santa Ana El Salvador. After roaming through their parque central (supposedly the nicest in the country) we ordered pizza hut and it was off to bed.
The next day we went further north in El Salvador to a little town, Tacuba, which is the gateway to the national park Bosque el Impossisble (literally translated as the impossible forest because of the difficulty of transporting coffee through the region). We stayed at a place callled, "Mama y Papa" which is the parent's house of Monolo, who operates Impossible tours. That day we did a warm-up hike through a coffee finca down to a river. Everyone in the village was staring at us because they don't get many gringos in that area. This little girl was even shouting "gringos" at us!
The next morning we woke up early for our Cascades (waterfall) tour through Bosque el Impossible. It took about an hour to get there, (even though it was only 7 km) because of the "impossible road." What we thought would be a nice pleasant hike to the waterfall was anything but. We soon reached a river that we followed all the way down to the waterfall. We were soon jumping off boulders into cascading water, straddling canyons to get across the river, and swimming though rapid currents to get to the climax...a 60 meter waterfall. Just when I (Sarah) had enough of it all, our guide told us that we had to climb on the very wet rocks down the fall. I thought I was going to have a heart attack, one little slip and that was it. But we finally reached the bottom safely, where Peter did his final 10 meter jump into the pool of icy cold water (I happily stood on solid ground watching). Being afraid of heights, this "hike" was the scariest day of my life, but I successfully jumped off 3 boulders and only cried once. Haha. Peter of course loved every moment of it.
After Bosque el Imposible, it was time to hit the beach again. We arrived on the Pacific side of El Salvador to Playa el Zonte, a beautiful black sand beach. The next day there was a surf competition, which was very fun to watch. They make surfing look so easy. That afternoon Peter and I had our first surf lesson ...we both stood up for about five seconds. But by the end of the three days at Playa el Zonte, Peter was getting the hang of it, and stood up for like 7 seconds. haha. Surfing is a very slow and frustrating sport to learn.
After Playa el Zonte, it was time to head further south to the Golfo de Fonseca. However, we got stuck in the muggy, dirty port town of La Union before we finally arrived at our destination Isla Meanguera. The lancha (a very small fishing boat) ride to the island was a little rough, it was raining so the captain thought it would be best to put a plastic tarp over us...we thought we were going to suffocate. When we finally arrived to the isolated island, there wasn't much of a choice of accommodation or camping, so we had to splurge a little bit to stay at this fantastic bed and breakfast. Our room has a wonderful view of the cove and it very peaceful. This morning we did a nice little hike to the highest point on the island for a good lookout.
Now we are just reading and relaxing and enjoying our view.
We have absolutely loved El Salvador, the people here are fantastic. After a devastating civil war and gang problems, the country is finally starting to recover. Salvadorians are genuinely interested in the few travelers that come to their country, and are very eager to help them out. We have been greeted with such great hospitality (i.e being invited to local birthday parties). The people here have definitely made El Salvador one of our favorite countries so far!
Tomorrow we are off to Nicaragua for 2-3 weeks and looking forward to the adventures that it brings!!!
Much love to everyone,
Peter and Sarah