Making the trek to the Rebel Stronghold


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Published: February 10th 2008
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Leaving Jiquilillo, it was a long day on the buses starting at 5am. Two buses to the Honduras border,

where we were told we could get an express mini bus straight through to El Salvador. Much like the bus me

and Mike were told about that was just across the Bulgarian Turkish Border, this bus didn´t materialize

either. It was one chicken bus to Choluteca, and then another chicken bus tho El Amatillo, before hopping

our last chicken bus of the day to San Miguel for the night.


Aside from the pedal taxi who ripped us off for 25 cents, both border crossings went very smoothly, no

lineups, and apparently the $10 fee for entering El Sal is no longer in effect...I guess we´ll find out when

we try to leave.


Pistol grip shot guns seem to be the gun of choice at almost all stores and hostels here in El Salvador,

although I did see the guy at the grocery store holding a six shooter as they were getting ready to close up

shop. I suppose that´s when they´re most likely to get robbed, and having the door opened by a security

guard waving around a gun with his finger on the trigger didn´t fail to get my attention.


After spending the night, and a quick walk through central park for a hot dog (They´re delicious Gordie) in

the morning, it was on another couple buses up to Perquin, the Rebel Stronghold. Perquin is a small village

up in the mountains, surrounded by pine trees and palm trees. The Rebel Museum, run by ex-rebels was

interesting, with its propoganda posters and sprawled out American Chopper that the rebels managed to

shoot down during the Cival War.


The Cerra de Perquin provides some nice views of the surrounding area, it´s an easy 15 minute walk up,

and costs 25 cents if someone ever bothers to show up at the booth. The lovely water falls 2.5 k´s

downhill, are best skipped during the dry season as they were nothing more than a couple small cesspools

and a few overprotective dogs later.


The hike of the Cerro de Percon is also best skipped unless your willing to spring for a guide. As there is a

couple of fenced in areas that are no doubt protected areas that are run by the guides you can hire. I

suppose that´s what the farmer in the woods was trying to inform me about when he dropped his machete

to lead me to a fence, babbling in Spanish and motioning to the left. There is only one little path that leads

into the mountain, beside some houses, through the rock quarry if you want to try it.


I spent about two hours wandering through paths that: crisscross, disapear, run smack dab into the

fenced areas, have been overgrown by dense forest, give you a foot of space beside 50ft drop offs, and are

at 75 degree inclines with nothing but loose dirt coverered in slippery leaves and pine needles. I did

eventually make it to the top. However, with the dark stormclouds still looming overhead since starting my 7

am trek (I thought the book said, rain in the afternoon) and no indication of an immediate path down the

other side, knowing the "path" I had just used to get up there, I sided with caution and choose to head

down the same way I got up LOL. Finally breaking through the forest about 100 metres away from where I

entered.


Hanging out in the Pupuseria across from our Hostel at the entrance to the town. I watched them roast

coffee and waited for Chris to return from waiting for me down the mountain where I was supposed to get

out if I would have completed the trek over the Cerra and the 10 k hike out, before hopping on a bus to La

Union. The seedy Port Town on our way to Isla Meangera

D


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