Monday, July 27, 2015

CA1- Suchitoto, El Salvador

My plane departed at 1 am and 5 hours later I was in El Salvador.  On the way I read the background information in my guidebook and realized that El Salvador uses the US dollar too!  Panama only uses the bills while El Salvador uses everything (I have noticed that they don't use one dollar bills, they use dollar coins instead).  Apparently I have to travel to other countries to learn about my own.

I was going to take a bus to Suchitoto but I found out that there is not a bus station anywhere near the airport.  There is only one airport in the whole country and it is closer to the beach than it is the capital, San Salvador.  The bus stations are all in San Salvador and I didn't want to go there (it would have cost me 25$ in a taxi, and most of the buses were on strike which apparently never happens), so I ended up paying more than double the price to San Salvador via taxi and took a taxi all the way to Suchitoto. 

Apparently the striking buses increased the picka business.  Pickas are pickups that are like collectivos, transportation that picks up and drops off anywhere along a route.  
No, I did not take a picka.  I was just an observer from my comfortable taxi with AC as we drove through San Salvador headed to Suchitoto.  I didn't get a picture of a stuffed picka.  Some of them had probably 30 people inside, so packed people where hanging off the sides.  It was insane.   

This is El Gringo restaurant and hotel.  The restaurant is on the top level, my room is the next level down.

This reptile hangs out in front of my room.  
I am not saying he is my pet, but I am not not saying it either.

Suchitoto is a nauhatl word that means bird-flower.  Los pipiles lived in the area for around 500 years before the Spaniards arrived and settled. 
La iglesia Santa Lucia fue construido en 1853.  

I walked around the city waiting patiently until 3pm.  
I have never been to a city quite like it.  There are so few cars on the road that everyone (including myself) just walks in the middle of the street.  They have enough tourists that I don't feel like a spectacle, but so few that there doesn't seem to be any around.  
It is so quiet, and mellow.   

Everyday at 3pm the tourist police takes whomever wants to go to their main tourist attraction, Los Tercios.   The owner of the hotel told me I needed to wait in front of the Centro de Amigos del Turista de Suchitoto en la plaza Central but when I arrived they told me that I had to go directly to the police station.  He also said I would be taking the bus with the police, but for whatever reason they decided to drive me.  You are allowed to walk there on your own but the police escort sounded more interesting.  

Soon after walking through the entrance of Los Tercios is a beautiful vista del lago Suchitlan.  

During the rainy season this is a waterfall but there has been no rain (even though it is the rainy season) so it is dry. Luckily the hexagonal basalt blocks which cracked as the lava cooled are amazing sans water.  
There are countless geologic formations in El Salvador since it sits on three tectonic plates (the North American plate, the Cocos plate and the Caribbean plate) it is one of the most seismologically active places in the world.  

My police escorts, Sargento Fuentes y Agente Gonzales.  

1 comment:

  1. The beauty of your blog is that I learn something I never knew. You continue to surprise, delight and inform. This is an amazing introduction to the spectacular country of El Salvador. Who knew?

    I love the photo with the wall of basalt behind you and the cute police escort photo isn't too bad either. Wildly interesting. I am so ready for more. This is going to be one intriguing month. Bring it on. I'm ready.


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