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  • Day134

    The vulcano ride

    January 19, 2020 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    What do we do when it's hot? Climb a mountain to get into nicer temperatures! Today, we decided to cycle to Volcano de Santa Ana. After some busy kilometres on the CA-1, the panamerican highway, we turned onto a smaller road that lead around Lake Coatepeque, a crater lake. The road was awesome: smooth asphalt and stunning views of the lake and the volcano.
    At the end of the crater rim road, we had to climb to Cerro Verde from where the hike started. That road was in a pretty bad condition, so the elevation gain of 1000m was tough work. At the top, we checked with some locals where we can start our hike. They told us that the next guided tour would start in about 15 minutes. We didn't want to hike in a group (worst case scenario for us), but they convinced us by saying that it's for security reasons and groups are accompanied by an armed security guard. Plus, other travellers had raved about the views from the summit.
    So we took part in a group hike with about 15 participants - and REALLY didn't like it. People just walked too slowly and stopped every few metres. Furthermore, our guide was a 20-year-old girl and no armed guard walked with us. Interesting security, more of a tourist scam I think. However, there were quite some armed officers based along the route, so they do take care of the visitors.
    Interestingly, our guide saw that we got impatient after stop number [stopped counting] and told us we may as well go on our own - which we did straight away. So hiking up got more fun! Until we got close to the top - that was when we saw those hundreds of people who had the same idea for their Sunday activity. No fun at all! Plus, when we got to the top, we saw: NOTHING! It was VERY windy as well as the clouds had come in. So we quickly took a photo and went back down - as fast as possible with hundreds of people on the way.
    Finally back on the bikes, we were happy to have escaped the masses. Downhill on the crappy road wasn't fun but at least quick. Then we were back on the amazing crater rim road which calmed us down. We didn't have enough time for a swim in the lake, but stopped for a cold coke and enjoyed the view before heading back to Santa Ana.
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