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Published: January 8th 2018
Colourful styled buildings of Santa Ana
Santa Ana is known in El Salvador for its wealth from coffee. More than 90% of export income in El Salvador is from coffee, so while we didn’t have time to visit a plantation, we wanted to visit a local coffee shop. We visited a small place called café expresión, a short walk from our hostel. The coffee, like those we tried in Guatemala, were somewhat disappointing, lower than the standards of an average coffee in Europe.
We spent the morning strolling around the city, visiting a local bakery, pharmacy (because I was feeling ill) and then the main square. Ben laughed as he pointed out one of the larger signs in the square indicating a guns weren’t allowed. It was quite funny. At the end of our short stroll through Sabra Ana we passed through the streets and market area of the city. We saw clothes being sold for $0.25 from the back of a pickup truck and a woman selling a wheelbarrow full of cauliflower. We returned the hostel to make plans for lunch. Ben had heard of a local dish that he wanted to try. He asked Carlos, the owner of the hostel we were staying in, if
he could recommend a place we could try it. Carlos seemed interested and so offered to drive us somewhere that specializes in that dish. He advised it wasn’t easy to find places that serve it. He picked up his cousin and we then pulled in to the restaurant “Sopón de Gallina India” for the speciality dish, sopa de gallina. The restaurant had a very nice local feel to it, and it was quite busy with people all there to eat the sopa de gallina. It was a hot chicken and vegetable soup, with chicken and rice on the side. They served it with fresh blackberry juice, and Carlos also ordered cheese filled pupuso as a side for each of us. I added a lot of spice to the soup, which was the perfect meal for me given that I was ill. It was delicious and great to visit a local restaurant serving local recipes and meals. After lunch, we took another short walk north of the hostel to visit a grand building’s ruins. It was guarded by police, although they were open to letting visitors in. It was an impressive sight, but must have taken something to fall into that
state. Ok the way back I stopped off for a haircut in preparation for the wedding. I dropped into a local barber shop and asked for a local, traditional style haircut. Mauricio, the barber in his 60s with a mustache, well kept hair and wearing checkered shirt. He did a really good job, but his style was a little out of fashion as I walked out with doubles parted slick hair. Ben was snickering as we walked out, having initially planned to get his haircut too, saying “I think I’ll leave it.” The style was quickly changed, before I endured any further comments. Our journey on to San Salvador was smooth, although I began to fall more ill. I developed a fever, keeping me in bed for the next four days, missing most of Rolando and Monika’s wedding celebrations - the main reason I was visiting. It was unfortunate, but not much to do until I could make a recovery.
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