Published: January 7th 2009November 20th 2008
Get used to them! This guy was selling a pill that apparently cures everything from sore eyes to impotency to cancer
* Went back through San Salvador, got Eve a backpack to replace her suitcase, then moved on to Tacuba.
* Met up again with some friends from Sunzal, did an incredible trek involving many waterfall jumps, followed by chilling with a view thats beautiful beyond words and good coffee and food.
The version that hopes to try and convey just how incredible Tacuba is:
From Sunzal we cooked and scoffed what food was left (well... I did anyway. I think for breakfast I ate half a dozen pancakes, toast, fruit, yoghurt and maybe some other stuff, and nearly popped) and scurried off for a bus, making our way back to San Salvador.
Again loving the ease of moving around in El Salvador, we cruised back to San Salvador in chicken buses to the Universities area and grabbed a room at a hotel with the cable TV and private bathroom - extreme luxury for backpacking! It gave us a good little base and is surrounded by cheap places to eat and drink and has a real student vibe (not surprising as its in the middle of the university sets of buildings on various blocks!), leaving
Am I seeing double?... or triple?...
multiple street vendors, here about 7 in total, all selling exactly the same shit!
me feeling very at home. We spent 2 nights in San Salvador, it truly being a city that I was never in a hurry to move on from! Easy to navigate, very comfortable, and easy to get whatever you want. Also very importantly, cheap when you need it to be! While you could eat for anywhere from $1 to whatever extreme amount you wished to pay, all are in easy to access areas and quite safe to wander at reasonable hours (don´t go commenting "I nearly was robbed at 3am near the Central zone!" coz thats your own silly fault). Eve had a suitcase so we hunted down a hiking pack with some success although it was still rather difficult, and with that and a repacked setup we were ready to re-launch as a much more mobile pair towards Tacuba and Parque Imposible.
The bus ride up there took us 2 buses I think. With directions drawn from our Spanish powers combined *said in a Captain Planet voice* it took one from the city to Ahuachapan, then another from there to Tacuba. You get to view everything from city to country, suits and expencive cars to cowboy hats and
A church in San Salvador
In the University City Centre area
horses, all the while passing volcanoes and gaining altitude which changes the fauna quite dramatically. In the cooler country coffee regions now, the air is crisp and refreshing, and while it was better experienced with Dizzy from the back of a Ute, the bus did just fine!
Tacuba is located at what is really the end of the line of civilization in these parts, giving it more tranquility as there appears to be almost no through traffick. People are either arriving or leaving. The town crawls up the side of the mountain at reasonable altitude, getting you nice and close to parque Imposible. With the hostal "Mama y Papas" located high in the town, it also avoids almost all the traffick of those who even live there! Its got the place by the short and curlies as its the only hostel, but they haven´t played on that at all and its an incredible homely feeling place with great coffee and food, comfortable rooms, and an outdoor setup up the back up high providing priceless views all day - a top place to have a beer or a coffee and chill either when you get up or post hiking.
Pretty entrance eh?
Food wise another place we found was a cute little family run place, run kinda outta their living room with no signs on the place, one block left and one block down with a white front on it. Incredible food and the prices felt criminal, and the best service you could ask for! Which made us fall in love with Tacuba all the more.
While there on the second day we followed the others there onto a tour run by their son Manolo, "Las Cascades". First you get to cruise along some rocky bumpy roads for a bit, giving as per usual, crazily good views, but then after picking up some more guides and gear we arrived at the top of a hill, the start of the hike. From there you then trek through coffee plants and lush green grass, down past still quite tropical but drier looking vegetation for a while, to the first waterfall, and thats where the real fun starts!! Another guy from Canada, maybe in his mid 40s but with long grey hair nicknamed "Gandalf" along with some Italians, myself and the girl from Coloroda stripped down to the bare essentials and took our first
leap, and it was freezing!! Whats the word for it? Crisp. Very very crisp! But refreshing as anything all the same. That then set the theme for most of the rest of the afternoon as we jumped down waterfall after waterfall, anywhere from a metre high to up to around 1 1/2 to 2 stories maybe, some decent sized jumps! Eve and one Italian girl didn´t want to do the jumps which I don´t blame Eve for at all with the bruises she ended up with after El Tunco rock jumping, so they got to climb all around the sides of the place trying to keep up! She told me about one part that I didn´t get to see where one of the guides, and incredible strong and agile guy of around 4 foot (well, maybe 5, but he looked so tiny!) actually held onto vines, holding himself at 90 degrees to the wall, and got eve to actually walk along his legs while he moved himself along the wall to make a one man human bridge, incredible! And after seeing him scale vertical cliffs with a tonne of gear like a mountain goat, I fully believe it! We stopped
for a good lunch about half way and got warm again sunning ourselves on the rocks before heading out to the dramatic end where you get to climb down a large beautiful waterfall and, if you wish, make the final much higher jump! They told me it was 12m but I´m not so sure it was that big, but with my arms accidently out when I hit the water it was enough to leave a good stick but a smile from ear to ear and a real adrenalin buzz! Just swimming around the bottom of the waterfall, "frolicking" in the water was a hell of a lot of fun. We were hoping there was a car waiting for us at the bottom but it turned out thats impossible, so we had to trek back up to where we started but I got to taste sweet fresh coffee plant fruit, and see this beautiful landscape all over again so not a bad deal! A bumpy hip bruising ride back and a quick car change for most when our suspension broke half way and we were chilling once again in their beautiful hostel, feeling pretty damn good! The next day was just
spent relaxing, and what a place to do it... this place is definitely not a place you want to miss.
On our day relaxing we found 2 cows wandering down the street, and looking like they were walking really slowly its funny to notice that actually thats just kinda the pace of people! Having got used to chickens, dogs, pigs, and horses all randomly wandering streets as a normal occurrence, we weren´t sure if they had escaped or not but we decided to follow... They wandered down hill, past a small church, past the hotdog stand, past the icecream trolley until out stopped outside a building with the word "crazy" written above it, making it look like it was written just for the cow. Sadly behind me I noticed M18 scratched into the wall of this really peaceful village... which I can´t see them having any presence here and was possibly done by a kid just thinking it was cool. A sad thing in itself! Later a couple came running down the road after their cows and took them back to their house so they obviously had escaped, but they were never taking their escape at much of a
A couple of days down we were feeling it was time to head off again as just like Sunzal you could lose a whole lot of time here, so we decided we´d make tracks for Carnaval in San Miguel, a massive party in a few days time.
There are more photos below