We had a wonderful and productive time with our new friends in San Salvador. They had come up with a tempting plan for the remaining days in El Salvador, including a VW caravan to this very town on Saturday. But, once we looked at our map and our timeline we decided we needed to hit the road.
We’ve got 4 sets of friends and family who are planning on meeting us down the road, so we’ve got to get moving south. We have several places north of here in Honduras we really want to see, but we may just drive right through. If we decide to head straight for Nicaragua, we still have to pass through 124 km of Honduras, where we’ve met people that were stopped over 10 times by policia on the 80 or so mile stretch of road. It’s the Honduran stretch of the Pan-American highway and a known pain in the ass , where cops are notorious for making up infractions and looking for bribes.
So for now, we decided to move a just little bit north and hit the very small colonial town of Suchitoto.
Right now I’m sitting on the balcony of our “swank” hotel room overlooking the town square. Samba music rings out from the pirate music dealer in the corner, and a 7 year old dances alone in the middle of the square. A funeral procession passed by a bit ago. A coffin was displayed in a clear box on a pickup truck. I’m happy to report this because we saw the truck and box empty when we drove into town, and I was worried there wouldn’t be a coffin.
An El Salvadorian extended family is taking photos by the fountain, and now that we’ve caught up with the blog I realize I’m much happier writing about what I’m seeing rather than what has already happened.
It’s rained off and on all day, and now it is thundering in the distance. White doves are swooping around the beautiful white church in front of us as the bell rings (we can’t figure out the ringing system , it’s 4:38pm).
The town was hit hard in the war here, and 90% of the population fled. Bomb craters cover the volcano near here, where guerrillas hid underground as they were bombed. Now, it holds food and art festivals on weekends, and is a favorite getaway for those from San Salvador.
This town is like Antigua, but 50 years ago, before the tourist boom. Even better, there is a huge lake and you could actually have a home in the colonial town with lake views. Add another town to our list. It’s easy to day-dream of buying a little place here. Muy tranquillo.
On our way out of the very modern capital city of San Salvador, we were stuck in traffic for about an hour and got lost a few times. Once out of the city, the drive was beautiful all green and hilly. We were afraid it was closed until the weekend when we arrived, but slowly things are starting to come alive and we seem to have front row seats (church bell ringing again; 4:53, music has switched to 80’s).
The lone camping spot here has apparently been closed 8 years (time for someone to write an up-to-date Central American camping book!), the VW friend recommended hotel was closed, and the hostel room had 1 bed. So, we splurged the $50 for the best place in town. I think Jason is a bit afraid of how happy I am with a little luxury, but he’s now enjoying this balcony as much as I am – perched right above the town square. This place would cost a fortune anywhere in the U.S. and Bode is excited about the bathtub.
Now it’s time for us to decide where to go next – and plan on a return trip.