The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

Shall we have a taco in Ataco?

This post is originally from February 13, 2013
So much to tell about the last few days…406795_10152639611720434_1893520363_n
I will start with where I left off (how appropriate). Back on San Braziles Island I forgot to mention a proposition that one of my friends got. So this place that we were staying was a hostel which had other traveler there with our group.   On the second day,  a skinny french dude in dreadlocks with fingernails that were super long showed up. He seemed nice enough but there was something kind of dodgy about him. The Australian couple who we’ve really become good friend’s  (Tom and Katherine)  were talking to him about their upcoming travels. They are heading to Cuba. This dude was like “I know of a way that you can get a free flight to Cuba”. Oh really how???? “Well all you have to do is carry a bag full of clothes and they will pay for your flight”. Obviously he wants them to be drug mules and when they questioned him on it, he insisted that it was totally legit and legal. He insisted and gave them the email of the lovely fellow who could get them into Cuba for free! Hmmmmm. That’s a first.
That’s me trying to tempt a small child into my snare…
The night before we left a friend and I went to the beach to see the phosphorescence glow in the water. I am not sure if you have experienced this before but it is absolutely amazing. I remember seeing this in Australia. I am unsure of the scientific explanation but basically the algae in the water glow when you move in the ocean in the dark. It kind of looks like when you are in the dark and your blankets spark with static. With the stars shining so bright above me and the moon shining off the wet sand I felt like I was in a dream. Did I say it was beautiful there?
The next day we set off on a 14 hour journey. The day was long, but it was such a great day. When we had to cross from Nicaragua into El Salvador we actually crossed a bay that from the centre we could see Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras at one time. We took a speed boat across the bay and about an hour and a half later arrived in El Salvador. Our first stop was a town called Suchitoto. With a name like this I thought I had arrived in Japan. But domo arigato Mr Robato…no, it was El Salvador.
Yesterday we moved on to another town called Ataco. Here is another sleepy town, and by that I mean that hardly anything is open. Tourism has really not touched this country and we are definitely seeing the back roads of Central America. Last night we ate a typical Salvadorian meal of pupusas. These are little cakes the same shape as a green onion cake that in the middle have a variety of things in them (cheese, spinach, beans, squash). They are then fried and you eat them with pickled salad and some sauce. Delish!!!!!
This morning we drove about 2 hours in a 4×4 vehicle to a remote area. Here we hiked where literally there were no trails. We were told that we are probably the first tourists in the area. Ripping down trees and branches to get through, as well as crouching under huge branches were not an uncommon occurrence.
At one point we had to pull ourselves up by the roots of the trees. Hiking in my Toms shoes was a bit of a challenge once again, but I made it out in one piece. The scenery was amazing. There was even a place we could see that had Mayan ruins that haven’t been excavated.  Because the country doesn’t have the money to uncover the ruins it lays there untouched. It would have been a 15 hour hike to this site, but we could see the views from where we were. From there we made our way to El Salvador’s most beautiful beach. 28 km of soft sand. Again, getting to this location you needed a 4×4 vehicle and also a guide as it is so remote. Driving past little villages was very cool. Here the guide actually fished himself and served the food for us. Being vegetarian I obviously I opted out of the fish but was impressed, all the same. The waves had some major undertow, but it was hilarious to be pummeled by them.

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