La Ruta De Las Floras

Published: January 31st 2018
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Unfortunately, our hostel is at the very edge of town, like we overlook nothingness on one side and the last property on the street on the other side. Unfortunately, unfortunately the town also doesn't seem that great, safety wise. Our long walk here was through the market and then past corner shops that serve through the metal door and houses covered with fences and barbwire on the rooftops, not exactly giving us the feeling that we were in the right spot. Too late now. Oh, and its up a big hill, probably not that bad but we both still have Acatenango muscles so its quite the bitch. Despite only being two hostels in town and it being the weekend (when the famous food festival is on) there was only one other person in the hostel. We gossiped to ourselves working out where we knew her from, but luckily she came out and said it, we met her in San Pedro, when she was really sick.

Dinner? Pupusas. We'd already sussed out our local on the way here, with options spread all over the wall for 40c - perfect! I had garlic, spinach and beans - all with cheese of course,
but they didn't have any juices unfortunately.


Our hostel advertises online a $1 breakfast, but upon inquiring it turned out this was false, not really too much of a surprise, everything else about it was disappointing. Our hunt for breakfast was far more difficult than expected, the bakery had nothing, the coffee shop was closed, the market wasn't yet open... We eventually found ourself at a very, very local dive. Everything had meat, so we had the saddest plate of rice/beans and a single plantain, with a promise of fruit to come. We struggled our way through the close-to-inedible meal, the plantain we could barely cut or chew, when a fruit salad arrived, fresh from the market - apparently one place was open! the pineapple was great, the watermelon was great, but of course it was 70% papaya and i seriously cannot stand it. I refuse to eat it. Its meaty, its disgusting, it smells.

The Flower Route is made up of three towns; furtherst away is Ataco, then Apanenca and then Juayua, where we are. Our first stop was Ataco, the second biggest after here and apparently the second best - with
good coffee. It quickly became apparent that there were no flowers anywhere, a quick Google search confirmed that we were indeed here at the right time of year, so go figure. The town itself is structurally no different to any town anywhere in Central America, big concrete buildings and a park in the center. We also seemed to attract a lot of attention, and still there were no other tourists, despite being El Salvador's main tourist attraction. We knew most people skipped, but seriously? the only tourists? The only difference and point of interest was the murals on buildings, they were very well done but so few and far between that we wondered if it was even worth it. Depressed, we went for coffee and apple pie (guess who had what) which was equally depressing. The central park was quite lively, with food sellers, although this isn't really unusual, and a few touristy things going around, all for rich locals. Our favourite was a motorised bright pink high heel carrying people around. We went to check out the church and its view point over the town but a guy was making me feel uncomfortable so we skipped it. And that
was it. Not quite the four or five hours we expected to spend here. Disappointed, we tried to kill some time by checking out a few of the clothing stalls, but they weren't in our sizes so onwards we went.

Ataco, the small town is apparently just that, small with not a lot to do. We made our way to the church, which was beautiful on the outside and absolutely destroyed with attempted modern updates on the inside.

Back in Juayua, much earlier than anticipated we checked out the market for an early lunch only to find it completely unvegeterian friendly. There was probably 50 stalls, all offering set plates of food, all containing meat, badly cooked looking meat. There was only one dish i saw that I thought "yeah, maybe" but at the standard $5-6 it was a no. So we settled for a bowl of fries. The only vegetarian thing in the entire market. Unfortunately, they are already fried and then they fry them again when you order, in oil that is evidently not hot enough so they just come out soggy and cold. Then, just to make them even more disgusting they were covered in
ketchup, cheese sauce and then dried cheese (like parmesan only inedible). But we got to put our own salt on, just in case we didn't want it. thanks. Again, dinner was pupusas.

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