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Published: January 30th 2018
With no choice but a bus to El Tunco if we wanted to go to El Salvador, we found ourselves beachside, not loving life. Though we did wake up with enough time this morning to run over and get our last egg sandwich, apple pies and carrot cake (a poor replacement for the banana bread that was not yet ready - bastards). More bad news came when the only other guy at our hostel, Mr Wanker Hat was also on our bus. In fact, everyone on our bus was shit; perhaps we should've seen that as an omen of what was about to come. hindsight. Up the back were the heavy drinkers, the front seat was occupied by a sweaty american who later got kicked out for not knowing how to count and overstaying his C4 visa (though im pretty sure he wouldn't have been let in with 88 or 90 days left as he claimed). In front of us was a bitchy German woman, decked out in travel gear (North Face brand representative) who had an issue with every single bloody thing, and then another hippie couple drinking veggie smoothies and eating unidentifiable foods that stunk out the entire bus.
So Mr Wanker Hat was in good company.
The ride was fine, the border was fine THOUGH I DIDNT GET MY GOD DAMN STAMP. I had been conspiring ways of getting a stamp after reading that El Salvador don't stamp your passport and had all kinds of back up plans. Why so important? ITS MY 50TH COUNTRY!!!!! and coincidently ITS THE WORLDS MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRY (outside a war zone)!!!!! Anyway, after Mr Cant-Count got taken away into an office and his phone and luggage taken off him I wasn't really in a place that I could demand a stamp, my first world problems were put into context. We then got our bags sniffed by the most well-groomed lab I've seen in my entire life and were off.
Another few hours later an we arrived in the gated community that is El Tunco. Yes, gated community. Second sign that this is not my place. I did absolutely no research and hadn't the slightest clue what was awaiting me, normally this means you will be pleasantly surprised, but in this case some research would've perhaps saved my bitter disappointment. Maybe.
We saw a street with three hostels advertised on
the drive through so headed back to check them out before settling on Ma Koi, which curiously didn't have any signs on the outside indicating that it was a hostel, but I do remember hearing the name somewhere so figured we wouldn't die, also we were promised an amazing breakfast. It's pretty basic, but enough. Our first stop? Pupusas, obviously. They were kinda recommended, though Im not sure whether just for their proximity. And they were good. Not amazing but good. Pupusas, the national food of El Salvador are tortillas filled with stuff, Fernando didn't shut up about them so we had pretty high expectations. The restaurant
was quite curious, the front was a shop but they also advertised laundry, camping and parking. We were joined by chicken at our feet and watched in on what seemed a tiny community of houses (possibly the only locals of El Tunco). Three apparently wasn't enough so we headed to find more, which didn't take too long! Apparently they were better here but I just had yoghurt, pupusa-ed out. The yoghurt decision was followed by instant regret, it never occurred to me at the supermarket that beer and strawberry yoghurt was a terrible combination, it is. A lazy arvo followed with a quick walk around 'town' (two streets) and thirty seconds spent on the beach looking at the black sand and big rock. The town itself is essentially a lot of overpriced restaurants serving burgers and shit bad-tourists eat, a few smoothie shops and a few pupusa places, thats it. On another street is some yoga places and hotels. Nothing that screams El Salvador.
Dinner? Pupusas (different flavours this time, pumpkin, spinach and beans - my first type). And passionfruit juice, possibly the best invention on this planet and I don't understand why we don't serve it EVERYWHERE.
DAY 2 -
Our original plan was to go to the caves today but we couldn't really get an answer on when to go - its only safe in low tide but the times differed from everyone we spoke to. Also the people at our hostel (surfing hippies) really just started to piss us off so we hatched our escape plan: to Juayua, a town along the Flower Route. We'd read that the bus comes at 1:30 but the guy at our hostel - completely stoned - said it was faster to go via San Salvador. So we did, and we quickly learnt our lesson. Never trust a stoned person for advice. Our first bus, we were charged $1 for our bags, but we got to San Salvador in airconditioning which is perfect in this weather, though the security camera with a note saying if we needed a copy of the tape call this number was slightly disconcerting. Our second bus, a full on chicken bus was quite the experience; it came and everyone ran, so so did we. The seats were gone, but a few people were nice enough to give them up for gringas. The bus was only meant to take an hour and a half, which I didn't mind, a woman was sitting next to me with a tiny, tiny 3 week old kitten in her handbag that I was playing with. But it quickly got old, hot, sticky, gross and awful. The guy on the other side of me (seats meant for two american school kids bums but here 3 Latino bums, one gringos butt kinda throws it out) kept falling asleep on me and was super, super sweaty. My bag was in the isle, being held up by the woman sitting next to Simone (i never asked, but since I couldnt reach it she decided it was her duty - lovely lady).
We were dumped in Sonsonate, a bus stop most of the way to Juayua. A lovely but useless security guard helped us find our bus, after walking in circles ten times, at the back of a very, very long line. Everyone lined up so well, but then the bus came and suddenly the line no longer mattered, we were crushed.
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