El Salvador's Nutshell has gotten out of hand

Published: September 15th 2015
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Santa Ana to Suchitoto

Our next stop was Santa Ana because we heard from friends it had the best hostel boasting a well deserved high nineties review rating for little over USD11 per night. Make sure you take extra change from home to Santa Ana since there is an ice cream vendor (we encountered him near Parque Libertad) who seems to genuinely want to chat and collect foreign change. He was excited to show us his collection that he stores in a styrofoam cup, but we still made sure to be watching our backs since we can never tell what kind of distractions people may come up with to get a drop on you. From Santa Ana we were able to take a bus to a national park, Cerro Verde, that contains several volcanoes, including the Santa Ana volcano. We hiked up with a large-ish school group and took about an hour and a half. Being up that high it was thankfully cool and the breeze at the top almost made it chilly. We could look down into the crater and see the lake in there bubbling away and could spy a wisp of steam floating across the surface of the water. After our return to town we couldn't take out money and discovered Dan's bank card had been used in a compromised ATM somewhere along our travels. The bank learned about the ATM before anyone had a chance to use Dan's info so that was good, and it shed new light as to why we were having so much trouble getting money as we left Little Corn Island. Our saving grace since the beginning of June had been another kind traveler lending us cordobas in Nicaragua and us having leftover currencies from the quick trip to Costa Rica that we never bothered changing since we knew we'd be going back through most of the countries.

From Santa Ana is was a short trip to Tazumal, another set of ruins close by. We spent one day visiting Casa Blanca and Tazumal. Neither was particularity impressive, nor were they expensive, compared to the sites we'd seen already, but Casa Blanca was rife with information in English of the culture and eras of the area.

Our final stop in El Salvador was the small town of Suchitoto. We ended up having to go through San Salvador to switch bus stations (thankfully we knew where they
Los Tercios waterfallLos Tercios waterfallLos Tercios waterfall

No water, but that's not what makes this an interesting waterfall.
both were and could take the 7C bus between them). On the main square we dined on licuados and papusas. It was the first place we were given the option of corn or rice dough (corn had always been the default before) and they had a much larger selection of fillings. The rice had a more mild flavor which was a good switch up and trowing some shrimp in a papusa didn't sound too shabby either. Dan did a little research and found a waterfall that we decided to try and walk to. It turned out to be much farther from town than we thought (note: Dan read that it's possible to go to the tourist police office and get a free escort to the falls; we didn't but probably should have). Once we found the sign to the falls we went in the path and walked right past where we were meant to go. We spent a good 45min wandering down a ridiculous hill on a tiny trail and finding a couple of small creeks; neither looked like they would have a waterfall. Just as we were almost to the main road we noticed the not so small (or marked) path and followed that for 10 meters and found the hexagon columns that made up the waterfall; reminiscent of the Giants Causeway in Ireland. Oh those volcanoes; always making nifty rocks. From Suchitoto it is easy to get to the lake down the hill that has loads of boat tours, but we walked as usual. Once we got there it turned out to go to the water front you still have to pay USD1; at least if you follow the main road. We heard of others who just left the main road and got great views of the lake. There wasn't much other than boat tours, a restaurant, and a couple shops on the water.

We met Mika, a lone traveler heading Copan, and resolved that we'd travel together across yet another border, back into Honduras.

More pictures of Santa Ana and Suchitoto.


15th September 2015

It's fun.....
.....to be travelling along with you virtually. Much less risky and less stressful than not being able to get money and being on the alert for bad guys. Glad to know you're making it over all the humps and seeing and learning about such cool things. Great to have it recorded! Love to you both.

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