El Salvador
Estero Cerique

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  • Day25

    Up the volcano I go but land in hell!

    January 27, 2017 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    So we get a great sales pitch on this volcano visit by our tour guide. Easy he said - two hour drive there and back in a pick up truck plus 60 minutes hiking. Ok I thought. I can do that.

    Back by 1pm at the lastest - so that leaves plenty of time for hammocking and margaritas!

    The pick up truck arrives and there are 12 people - first sign of trouble. A mattress goes in the back and seven people are expected to cram into the back with five inside. I'm not stupid - as everybody eagerly jumps in the back I make it to a seat.

    An hour's drive there? Three hours later we get to the volcano but the driver takes us to the wrong volcano!!

    But let me back up abit. We assumed it was a drive on a road as we were not told otherwise. Part was a road then a very bumpy dirt track uphill followed by very steep cobblestone! It was so bumpy we were being thrown all over the place. Thank christ I was inside.
    And this pickup truck wasn't a four wheel drive!

    There was not even a remote bit of commonsense from our tour guide - who I might add has done this trip three times before.

    So we are struggling up hill and the truck is basically sliding backwards down the hill! So we all yell stop and stumble out of the truck. Not sure if the driver or tour guide would have made this crucial safety decision!

    Then half get back in and half start walking. The truck finally makes it to the wrong volcano. So while waiting for the others we walk to the top of this volcano which has telco towers! No much of a view so we trudge down. Turns out a large chunk of this volcano is owned by one person who likes to live alone. He charges $5 to get to the other side of this wrong volcano. The tour guide does say this is his fault and then says he will pay the $5 (to the wrong volcano I might add) and has rung for another truck. I just want the last 5 hours back!

    The $5 volcano has a lovely view and it looks like they are building a cafe and there is a half finished viewing platform.

    Then back to the new truck which you stand in hanging onto a rope which gives you rope burn because the truck shakes so much going over the rocks!

    There is a vote as to whether we carry onto the planned volcano. Majority vote means we do so we start hiking. I'm over it and am thinking of my hammock.

    At the top is a timber lookout which can only hold four people at a time - its pretty shaky though - hope no one is on it when it eventually collapses.

    Back down the volcano in the rope truck then we have to cram into the original truck. Will this nightmare never end.......
    We put another person in the front sitting between the gear stick so there is more room in the back and the guide sits in the back this time.

    Once we arrive back we all rush to order lunch as that can take an hour. I go straight in the pool then to the hammock to have lunch.

    I won't bore you will the bill saga at the hotel but I wasn't going to pay $9 for a piece of chicken when you can get a massive dinner of chicken rice beans and vegetables for the same price. The perils of ordering off menu.

    Day over thank heavens.

    Lovely view.
    You can see the wrong volcano with the telco towers!
    Examples of rural life.
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    Mary Maroske

    Doesn't sound like you have had much luck with the Intrepid guides. No doubt your feedback sheet will let them know!

    Margy Walsh

    I think after seeing a few volcanoes in my time like Stromboli which is bubbling away & people going to the edge no health & safety plus in Java same thing you have seen them all plus flying very very low over one in Hawaii & seeing the lava red hot then walking across a dead one with your father that is enough give them a miss the first one does look nice

  • Day351

    Tortuga Verde

    May 2, 2017 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    We FINALLY left Zonte and drove about 3 hours south along the coast road. We arrived around 2pm on a bank holiday and unsurprisingly the place was heaving.

    We parked up on the road and wandered down the beach a mile or so to Tortuga Verde (Green Turtle), which is a pretty big resorty hotel place, but a very nice one. We whiled away a few hours until Hora Feliz started, and then whiled away a few more!

    It was seriously hot and damn humid too, and we were really glad of a hookup and our air-con. The next day we chilled at our place in the morning, hit the pupuseria for lunch, walked a few miles down the wide flat beach collecting sand dollars, and then ended up back at Happy Hour!

    A nice place, but not a patch on some of the INCREDIBLE places we have stayed at so far.
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  • Day48

    Playa el Cuco

    February 13, 2017 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    "La Tortuga Verde" on Playa el Cuco was a weird little paradise. It was a resort for the rich local people who would come on the weekends and a backpackers hang out at the same time. We were afraid our stay there could become a little expensive but it turned out not to be like that at all - especially as the staff forgot to put lots of things on our tab.
    They had daily free Yoga Sessions, you could go rent boards by the hour and every night there was a boat going out to watch the sunset.
    The place also took care of hurt pelicans and collected turtle eggs from the beach to protect them from any kind of harm and released the turtles into the ocean after they were born. So there was always something to do or to watch if just hanging out in a hammock got to boring.
    It was a 45 minutes walk from the resort along the beach to town which I took one day to check out the coastline here. It was the first beach you could actually walk for that long and it was pretty beautiful.
    It was my last stop with Sebastian before he would go back to Germany and I would continue to Nicaragua. It was nice traveling with him and Sandy for a while but now I'm also looking forward to be by myself again...
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  • Day108

    El Cuco, El Salvador

    June 6, 2016 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    How long: 2 nights
    Stayed: Tortuga Verde
    Travelling with: Susan and Andreas

    Great journey to get here!! Woke up late after the excitement of the night before and headed off in the rain to find a way to get to El Cuco. We were told we had to get a bus to San Miguel and then another from San Miguel to El Cuco. Bus to San Miguel pretty uneventful but when we got there it as pretty clear that not too many gringos passed through that bus station. We were definitely the centre of attention....but in a very warm friendly way. We hung out waiting for the bus with every movement scrutinised and giggled about. The bathroom attendant even followed me in to make sure I was ok and that i found the soap dispenser :)
    Bus eventually arrived and then the fun really began. It was an old American school bus as many of the local busses in central America are. Colloquially known as chicken busses...for obvious reasons. This one was colourfully painted and at least 100 years old. Looked amazing. The next hour and a half were a riot as every single person on the bus was watching us and laughing at every move we made. Andreas made friends with a local guy called Gustavo who took a million pics of us and got our email addresses so he could send us "news". Even the bus driver was involved as he followed all the action in his mirror and shouted out comments to all his buddies...much to the hilarity of the whole bus. Probably one of the most entertaining bus journeys of my life. Everyone in El Salvador we have met so far has been amazingly welcoming and friendly. Off to a very good start!
    The Torture Verde is a beautiful hostel/resort . Right on the beach and all laid out beautifully with cabins and restaurant/ bar among coconut and mango trees. Spent two very nice relaxing days there and i had a wee surf but finding the waves in El Sal a bit tougher than Nica.
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Estero Cerique