Santa Ana

Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
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28
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Casa Verde

Flag of El Salvador  , Santa Ana,
Sunday, December 18, 2011

In Santa Ana we had booked Hostel Casa Verde by email and headed straight there to check in. We got a lovely double room with private bath and a little balcony, the hostel was really great, a beautiful house in a good location about 10 mins from the main square. From the owner, Carlos, we got a great suggestion for lunch and had a lovely lunch in a café with a little courtyard. Late afternoon we went to check out the town centre and as we passed the theatre we saw that they had a show on, it was a local band doing a Beatles tribute, the tickets were only 3usd so we got one each and had to run back to shower and change before the show. The show was great and it was nice to do something cultural, however it ended really late and we missed dinner time as everything was closed on our way back to the hostel. That night we woke up around 4am, suddenly the room was moving slightly from side to side. It was the strangest feeling, it only lasted a few seconds and that's when we realised that we had just experienced our first temblor. I don’t think you could call it an earthquake because checking online the next morning it said it was on 3.1 on the Richter scale. Now we really knew that we are in an area of earthquakes and volcanoes.

The next day we headed for the Parque Naciònal de Volcanes to climb a volcano. There is a bus from Santa Ana that takes you to the park entrance for the Cerro Verde, Santa Ana and Izalco volcano. You can climb the Santa Ana and Izalco volcano, in the Lonely Planet it said 1usd for Izalco and 1.80usd for Santa Ana. We were told Santa Ana was easier to climb so we decided to go for that one, only to be told that the price was wrong and it really cost 8usd. We thought that was too much and headed for the group climbing the Izalco volcano. We were told it would be very hard! I had doubts but thought we should try. The problem was that we needed to get down 1200 metres from the Izalco volcano to climb the 1900 metres of the Izalco volcano and then again down 1900 metres and up 1200 metres to the park entrance. We started going down, more than half way down my right knee really started to bother me and I didn’t want to force it and really damaged it. So I decided to return, I told Ramón to continue but the guide wouldn’t let me return on my own so we both went back. Unfortunately we had to just hang around for some hours for the bus going back, as they only go back at the expected time it takes for a group to climb the volcano. Anyway, there was a place to have lunch and a craft fair, Ramón got a shot glass for his collection and I got an organic Aloe Vera soap as we had run out of soap anyway.

That evening we tried to organise ourselves on how to get to Mexico and spoke to Paula and Franco to see if it would be possible to catch up along the way to see them one last time before they head back home in January. We managed to find a route from El Salvador to Rìo Dulce, Guatemala for the next day which also coincided with their next destination. That evening we found Carlos around the hostel, he said he was bored and offered to take us to a place for having some dinner. We said we didn’t want to bother him but he had no plans and brought us to a great Mexican restaurant and had dinner with us, of course we paid as thanks!

This morning we got up early and caught the bus to Metapán, where we changed buses to Aguìatù which is the border crossing the Guatemala. Again we crossed the border without any problems and I am now updating the blog on a minibus from the border to Chiquimula. We are hoping to catch a bus from Chiquimula to Río Dulce and have a place booked for the two of us and Paula and Franco this evening. Tomorrow we’ll probably head to Livingston with them and from there get a ferry to Punta Gorda en Belize on Tuesday morning. Tuesday we’ll spend travelling straight through Belize to the Mexican border at Chetumal and then get a bus to Playa del Carmen. That way we should be in Playa del Carmen either late Tuesday night or sometime Wednesday. Wednesday night Ramón’s brother and family arrive by flight to Cancun. After Christmas and New Year we’ll head back to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize.
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