Friday, February 15, 2008

Change of plan

OK, I made to the El Salvador without any problem - I guess my taxi driver understood me. But I felt now my Spanish has regressed without the daily practice and listening.

Anyway, because the high class bus I took, they don´t stop at little town I want to get off, so I decided headed directly to Santa Ana climbing a volcano and then spend couple days in the flower towns in the mountains of western El Salvador. Then I´ll try do some trekking for 2-3 days before heading into Guatemala for a few days of R&R in Antigua with more volcano climbing. Not sure how the internet will be here in western El Salvador.

BTW, it is strange to see a country that use US$, everything is in $, and the change you get quarters and cents as well!

Yesterday I went to climb the Izalco volcano. It is relatively young. Only started since 1770. The nearby higher one Santa Ana was close due some activity there. I climbed with 4 other people, 3 friends from Montreal, and one from France - the first French I met. So far top 3 nationality I met are American, Canadian (lots French Canadian, too cold and no ski resort in Eastern Canada), and British. German probably the 4th largest. Anyway, we finished the relative short climb in 3 hours. We started from higher elevation than the volcano, and then descent to the base of the volcano and then up the volcano.

The hostel I was staying in Santa Ana is pretty good, you get to use the kitchen, so I went out and brought some snack/drinks for breakfast.

This morning I arrived in Juayua, but unfortunately the hostel I was hoping to stay was full, so I stayed in a nearby hotel and will switch tomorrow. I went to visit the near town of Ataco, and just wonder around its streets. Not much of tourists, may be 1-2 I saw. I saw a funeral procession through the town. The town's speaker system even played a funeral music for a little. These towns in the hills are part of the Ruta de Las Flores, for the wildflowers found between Oct and Feb. I have not seen any so far, may be the tomorrow's hike to seven small waterfalls there will be some.

O, for you foodies out there, on weekends here in Juayua, they have popular Feria Gastronomica (food fair), where many visitors come to sample the region's best cuisine on the plaza with live band. It includes grilled frog, and marinated rabbit. I'll definitely check out and try some - hostel is nearby so I can always find a bathroom if something goes bad with my stomach :)

My cheap watch band broke couple days ago, and today I got a new band here for $4 not bad! But I wished I had my compass/altimeter watch, it could have save some walking in Santa Ana trying to find the hostel in the hot sun with my big pack.

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