Well, it was time to leave Guatemala and the route shifted slightly again. Since we had visited so many ruins, we decided to skip Copan in Honduras. There are many wonders in Guatemala and the USD goes far. I will definitely return to this country one day.
We took a bus at 6 am from Flores, Guatemala to San Salvador, El Salvador for $50 US. Let’s be honest, not the most enjoyable day. It started out cramped and hot with a broken non reclining seat. I sat next to a guy from San Salvador, and we had a nice chat despite the conditions. The bus emptied out about halfway through so I was able to switch seats and enjoy the view. Maybe my geography isn’t so great, but I was surprised to see the landscape change from flat, to rolling hills, to winding through mountains and volcanoes.
Hmm.. what a surprise, another change. When we purchased our bus tickets we were told we would arrive in San Salvador at 4pm. Unfortunately, it was 7:30 and dark. El Salvador was intended to be just a pass through country on our way to Nicaragua, but I guess you can’t always predict everything. A little stress began to set in as we didn’t have any hostels in mind and didn’t want to run the risk of searching San Salvador at night. But, we were very blessed with an offer from Rafael who I sat next to on the bus. He offered his uncle’s house as a place to research and create a plan. This seemed like our only real option, so we went. Rafael’s family was so generous and kind. They welcomed us into their house and allowed us to shower, watch tv, make a plan, and generously bought us a pizza. We ended up accompanying Rafael to his friend’s house for a beer and a bonfire. They made us burgers and offered couch space. It’s funny what a bad seat on the bus turned into…
Rafael and his friends were not only helpful with food and a roof, but also gave us great advice about the area and advised us to visit Playa Tunco near La Liberdad. So the next morning, that’s just what we did.
Playa Tunco is a small surf town with a calming energy. People come here from all around the world to surf. There’s not much else here to do but relax and enjoy the waves.
We found a place, Layback Hostel, for $7 usd / night and decided to rest and recuperate for awhile. We met some really wonderful people from Chile and Germany, amongst other places, and felt right at home.
This past week in Tunco was all about catching up our energy levels. (And recuperating a little money. We spent less than $20 usd each per day and could’ve spent less.) We also got to celebrate my 25th birthday with my new friends. I was sang to in English, Spanish, German, Italian, and Portuguese. How fun.
On our last day in El Salvador, we decided to visit San Salvador which was our first city experience in the trip. Solo un poco loco ;-). There were people everywhere obviously not used to seeing tourists, let alone female tourists. We walked along streets and streets and streets filled with markets and people selling everything. It made the once a week farmer’s market at home a joke. The only disheartening point was noticing all the trash everywhere. I’ve never seen littering on such a huge scale. While we were out, we got temporarily stuck in a downpour which created “el rio de basura.”
Overall, El Salvador, you are a wonderful surprise and I hope to see you again one day.