Edit Blog Post
Published: December 18th 2007
It is really funny how so many buses terminate at markets. It takes ages for the big beasts to negotiate their way through the crowded market and they spew huge amounts of black exhaust fumes contaminating the fresh produce and choking pedestrians. We encountered this in Ahuachapan, on our way to Juayua. Juayua is on the Ruta de las Flores (Route of the Flowers) and it was quite beautiful getting there. Not so many flowers but probably a little too early in the dry season for those. Lots of coffee plantations. We had a lovely view of Juayua from the main road before we turned off to the town.
Juayua had a lovely feeling and when we looked lost a boy on a bike asked if he could help. We were walking in the wrong direction for Hotel Anahuac and he set us straight. The hotel was painted a bright yellow and in the reception we were greeted by a tall young guy who spoke fluent English and offered us a room for US$25 a night. It was a little pricey for us but it was a really nice hotel. A colonial house with a beautiful courtyard, hammocks, rustic furniture,
The church being prepared for a wedding
antique machinery, and a nicely manicured garden. The room was newly decorated with all the roof panels and bathroom tiles in place. A tree had been painted on one wall. There was a writing desk and a door opening to the street. We were quite comfy there.
We had a late breakfast on the main square, at Tienda San Jose. Scrambles, beans, cheese and cream with warm bread. We would return here a couple more times for breakfast.
We visited Apaneca, the next town back up the road and the highest in San Salvador. Obviously more lively at the weekend it was still nice to wander the quiet streets and visit the cathedral which was still under construction. The old cathedral, 400 years old, had collapsed in a 2001 earthquake. A huge concrete structure was slowly getting erected to replace it. Our 3 year old Lonely Planet mentioned the new cathedral so it had been started quite a while ago. The only original feature appeared to be the circular stairs leading up. The works had chipped away a lot of concrete revealing the brick below.
On the way back to Juayua we stopped at Finca Santa Leticia.
They had a very posh restaurant and hotel and we stopped for a drink. The place was decorated for Christmas and had a huge tree. At the hotel we paid US$3 each to visit the archaeological site on the farm. I understood the Spanish instructions correctly but had underestimated the distance so there was doubt after we had walked close on 1 km through the coffee plantations and we turned back. Returning to the restaurant an American guest told us we were going the right way, we just needed to carry on a bit further and have some faith. And, sure enough, a bit further and we found it. It was a lovely walk to do twice anyway, lots of butterflies. From the gate it was still a bit of a hike and followed a narrow path lined with beautiful plants and lots of coffee to another smaller gate that marked the entrance to the site. Three stones had been found here from about 600 BC, carved by the Mayans. One had been removed because it was a victim of vandalism. The other two larger stones rested in the pits they were dug from. We rested on the benches in
front of the stones enjoying the quiet green environment with the birds singing. As we waited for bus to Juayua we saw workers heading down the road, some with sacks of coffee carried on their backs, others with the baskets used for picking.
Back in Juayua we went to the market. I needed to fix my trousers that really should have been thrown away a long time ago but it was hard to find clothes in my size. I found a matching colour of cotton, a big roll, and was asked for only US$0.25. It was a good buy and I sewed up lots of holes while relaxing in a hammock.
The internet we visited was the noisiest ever with people playing whatever loud music they liked. But it was also the most interesting. After a couple of hours the guy came and asked in English if we wanted to see a mouse get eaten by a snake. Well, we had to take a look. He had 6 cages out back, 5 boas and one big iguana. A good sized boa had his mouth around a poor white mouse and was slowly encouraging it down its gullet. The
A pretty tuktuk
feet and tail disappeared quite fast. Yuck but fascinating.
The reason we visited Juayua was for the food fair. Every weekend stalls are set up around the square and you have a big choice of good food. So on Saturday about lunch time we were ready for action. We had seen the tent frames go up the night before and had watched them set up during the morning. Lots of day trippers arrived and the town was buzzing. Food tended to come in huge plate fulls so it was difficult to try bits and pieces. Pieter spotted a huge sausage and I had a plate of various meats. All very nice. We sat under a tent in the street. We had met Jennifer the night before. She was staying at the same place. From Canada, she does the same work as Pieter, and she came along with us for lunch. While we sat we were visited by a number of people. A very old lady was collecting empty cans so we drank up and gave her ours. Boys came around selling a variety of nuts from big plastic bags. When I said no to some little girls selling porcelain
Power pole decorations
turtles, one of them said 'Buen Provecho' (Enjoy your meal). No one was a bother.
The area around the square and a block in every direction was also humming with souvenir stalls. We browsed a while and bought 2 colourful rugs for US$25 and 3 chicken oven gloves for US$6. We also got a DVD, 'Hot Fuzz', which we watch on the TV at the hotel. I thought it was funny, Pieter found it silly. But it was great sitting in the courtyard where the TV resided in rocking chairs.
In the evening we went with Jennifer to a new bar in town, Jah. It was run by 2 skinny, energetic, lady artists. One from El Salvador and one from New York. There stuff was great .. mosaics, paintings, furniture made with rough wood cuttings and metal rods. They had lots of plans including a project where kids could come to their place to learn art. The community would definitely benefit from their presence.
Tot: 1.467s; Tpl: 0.058s; cc: 24; qc: 112; dbt: 0.0851s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.6mb