hop on the good foot

This blog is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.


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Crossing through the Golfo de Fonseca to Nicaragua, the gritty beauty of Leon and the tiresome gringo streets of Granada.

Be safe - Buckle up - A sticker on the front, probably from the days before it trundled along the coast of El Salvador

Be safe – Buckle up – A sticker on the front, probably from the days before it trundled along the coast of El Salvador

It’s time to leave the beach.  Not because we want to you understand, but because all good things must come to an end.  Also we have a boat booked to cross the Golfo de Fonseca into Nicaragua the next day with Ruta del Golfo (but it is cheaper to do it through Tortuga Verde in El Cuco if you get there, and probably a much better experience before!).  After some hard farewells, we take a bus back to La Libertad, then back into San Salvador where then get a #304 all the way to La Union.  The Journey takes 7 hours, not tough by any means, but it is sad to see the rest of El Salvador zip past us; through the sun kissed fields of the east along the Pan-American Highway.  Views at all times framed with fierce looking volcanoes, including the recently erupted and still smoking San Miguel.

Laters El Salvador!

“Business or pleasure sir?”  I am asked this by an undercover store detective (not very undercover with gun and radio) whilst I browse the selection of sun screen at a supermarket in the port town of La Union.  An ominous tone accompanies the irrelevant question asked by this plastic official whose sole purpose was, I assume, to try and intimidate me for no good reason.  He then follows us from a distance and inserts himself into a conversation Ollie and I are having about cheese and ham, whilst his uniformed collegue (also with gun) looms further up the aisle, partially hidden by a stack of Doritos.  Sums up the feeling of suspicion we encountered in this shady/sketchy port town.  We retreat to our ‘hotel’ (that we assume is usually charged by the hour, complete with wipe clean faux-leather mattress and foul smelling bathroom) where we drink our beers and eat cream cheese sandwiches in the driveway, whilst wishing the night away.  La Union does not have the charm of the rest of El Salvador, but we were determined not to let that be our last memory of this enchanting little country.

Want the pictures without the waffle? Click here

La Union Migration

Bright and early we find the migration office at the port attached to the police station (the local ‘bobby’ we asked didn’t know it existed by the way) where we met our man Mario, who got us stamped out of El Salvador and then led us to the ‘waters-edge’.  There was no water…the tide was out, but as we pondered the fate of our footwear, a huge man showed up pulling a cart and instructed us all to climb aboard so he could pull us through the sludge-filled water towards our boat.  My aversion to being carted around like a prince was put to one side as I realised that this was how this guy makes his living, so we obliged…weird!

Being carted to the lancha through the shallows - Odd

Being carted to the lancha through the shallows – Odd

The Golfo de Fonseca is a body of water that is partially claimed by El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, which has been responsible for many disagreements between these friendly neighbours in the past.  The gulf is dotted with a variety of volcanic islands, some larger than others, but all captivatingly beautiful.  One of the islands is rumoured to be where Sir Frances Drake buried some gold and another (I am told) has locals with blonde hair and blue eyes who are descendants of pirates who used to sail these waters. We zip through these waters for 2 hours and before we know it, we are wading through the shallows onto Nicaraguan soil.

First view of the Gulf de Fronseca

One of the Islands of the Gulf

It wasn't as calm as this the whole way

We get stamped into the country in a small dirty building just up from the shore and then we pile into the back of a Jeep bound for León along with  passengers from another boat who came via Tortuga Verde.  I mention this place again, in the hope that it comes up in a google search about Ruta del Golfo.  We paid $100 each for the same service that cost a total of $55 for other passengers who were offered our same transport ride at a cut down price.  We also didn’t get our stop on an island as we paid for!  Pissed off, does not begin to describe it!

The bumpy road takes us back into civilization and into León in around 2.5 hours where we find lodgings at the tranquil Colibri Hostal.   To our surprise we find Will, Sarah and Holly from the beach staying there as well, so we head out with some others to some live salsa and several mojitos in at the Via Via which is filled with locals and backpackers alike.

Leon es Culture

Another country, another colonial city.  León is a fully functioning colonial city; much Like Santa Ana in El Salvador, except this has a larger expat community and more appealing vibe in general.  A history of rebellion runs through Nicaragua so we dive straight into the city to see what we can learn about the Sandinista (FSLN) movement at the Heroes and Martyrs gallery.  A small room, partially used as a diabetes clinic, houses boards filled with pictures of rebels who lost their lives for León during the fighting, many of which have the stories of how they gave their lives.

Mural for the 4 students who lost their lives in 1959

Mural for the 4 students who lost their lives in 1959

Gallery of Heroes and Martyrs

Gallery of Heroes and Martyrs

We then move onto the Parque Central and the UNESCO site of ‘Real e Insigne Basilica’ Cathedral which is the largest in Central America.  Its enormous dirty white façade casts a shadow in which locals sit and chat next to a memorial for the heroes and martyrs.  After this we decided we needed more culture so headed to Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Guardián.  The cool air con and peaceful setting was just a cheeky bonus and sweet relief from the oppressive heat of the city streets.  The collection ranged from modern installations, religious portraits, a couple of Picasso sketches and a huge collection of modern Latin American paintings.  A belly full of culture was all we had digested so we sought out a French bakery for some sustenance.

Whaaa

Real e Insigne Basilica Cathedral

Real e Insigne Basilica Cathedral

Locals seeking shade

Locals seeking shade

Something unusual on a lot of corners in Leon

Titled 'The Burden' - 10 points to anyone who can tell us who the two jokers are.  We all know whos getting a piggy back - Found in a little lace called 'casa de culture'

Titled ‘The Burden’ – 10 points to anyone who can tell us who the two jokers are. We all know whos getting a piggy back – Found in a little lace called ‘casa de culture’

]

Cheeky snap of some abstract art from Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Guardián

Cheeky snap of some abstract art from Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Guardián

Around the Catedral

Some people don’t get on with this city, but I, someone who dislikes cities in general, found it homely.  I enjoy the juxtaposition of modern day life working around crumbling old churches that peek out above the cobbled red-roofed colouful buildings.  The local ways of life do not seem to have altered too much too accommodate tourism.  It’s a bit grubby, a bit hectic, but it feels safe.  I like it there!

Mural on bb court

The next day, we head for the irritable little Volcano of Cerro Negro with the intention of chucking ourselves down it on speed on a piece of wood.  The volcano is the youngest in Central America, very active and is way overdue an eruption.    The sport of Volcano Boarding was invented by an Australian who tried to snowboard down it, but ended up melting his board. It is a dark, hot and steamy bastard.  A slow hike to the top took an hour when carrying large wooden boards and jumpsuits, but was relatively easy.  Going down takes about 45 seconds.  The record being 92kph, Ollie trounced us by getting 62 kph, with me falling behind at 53kph and Will with a gentleman’s 23kph.  I did fall off mine at the end and manage to fill my eyes with grit and smash my camera.  It hurt.  But only for a short while.  There were a few backpackers walking around town with very visible injuries that I assume are from activities on volcanoes.  An interesting day, topped off with our introduction to American Football and us losing $5 on the Superbowl.  Damn Seahawks!

Ollie sporting the latest in Volcano boarding gear

Ollie sporting the latest in Volcano boarding gear

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In case of eruption...erm, this way!

In case of eruption…erm, this way!

Some of the nearby volcanoes that line through the country visible from the top

Some of the nearby volcanoes that line through the country visible from the top

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For some perspective as to how steep that is, the little orange dot at the bottom is the truck

For some perspective as to how steep that is, the little orange dot at the bottom is the truck

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Will ready!

Will ready!

No pictures of our own as i smashed my camera.  This one if from the bigfoot guide.  Borrowed from the FB page.  Nice shot though!

No pictures of our own as I smashed my camera. This one if from the bigfoot guide from that day. Borrowed from the FB page. Nice shot though!

It was time to make a move to Granada and see what all the fuss was about!  We were aware that it is the main tourism hub for Nicaragua, and being the oldest colonial city in the Americas dating back to 1524, would offer much in the way of architecture.   Two buses, changing at Managua, took us into the market area around the main Parque Central on a blazing hot afternoon.

Horse drawn carts of Granada

Horse drawn carts of Granada

My personal opinion on Granada is that I don’t like it.  I just don’t, sorry.  It is indeed one of the more picturesque colonial cities.  Its buildings are magnificently restored around the Parque Central, leading to Calle la Calzada (gringo street), with its endless supply of expensive (for gypsies like us) restaurants leading past the TWO Irish bars down to the shores of Lake Nicaragua.  Milling around are hundreds of tourists, all snapping away at the fronts of the handsomely restored expensive restaurants and privately owned holiday homes.  It is just not my thing.  It’s pretty yes, but it’s too busy and too plastic.  Take it for what it is and you will enjoy it.  Come expecting a snap of rustic colonial charm, you won’t find much.  The local market two blocks from the square was a swift remedy for the hordes of tourists swarming through the main square.  But, like I have said, it was pretty, so here are some pretty pictures of it.

Beutifully restored colonial stuff everywhere

Beutifully restored colonial stuff everywhere

A goat, a bike, and a Canadian

A goat, a bike, and a Canadian

Further down Gringo street

Rubén Darío - And some other moody peops

Rubén Darío – And some other moody peops

Cordoba - The citys founder and the currencys namesake

Cordoba – The citys founder and the currencys namesake

Granada street

Granada street

Ok, it is actually quite nice

Ok, it is actually quite nice

Ron delivery

Ron delivery

For all its faults, we met some great people there and had a couple of nice meals (yes we went to the Irish bars, you can’t really avoid it, but I did have fish and chips!).   One of the days we spent at Lake Apoyo which is a pretty crater lake near to the city, but again, this is set up for tourism where we found ourselves shuttled to a lake side hostel, and then shuttled back.  Pretty scenery, but not much wiggle room to explore in the time given.

Lake Apoyo- Sorry about the nipple shot

Lake Apoyo- Sorry about the nipple shot

Feeling the need to escape, we decided to head over Lake Nicaragua to the shores of Isla de Ometepe in search of a quiet spot.

Thanks for reading if you have managed to wade through it!  If you ant the full photo gallery, click here

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Playa El Zonte – A warning to all travellers!

Playa El Zonte

Playa El Zonte

“I’m pretty sure all we need is a couple of days there, you know, just to say that we have seen the legendary coast of El Salvador.  Honestly, I don’t think it can be that great, I mean, we don’t even surf right?  That is roughly what I said to Ols when we decided to head for Playa El Zonte on the western shores of El Salvador.

We left Juayua early and took part in a bus epic through the capital city of San Salvador, not surprisingly, the journey was long and there were four buses. I’m not going to talk about it.   For anyone who wants to bus from Juayua to the coast, it can be done very easily by taking the #249 to Sonsonate and another bus (I forget the number, but your hostal can tell you) direct to Zonte, all the way along to La Libertad. Note, the bus only goes once a day at around 3pm from Sonsonate.  We chose the hard way as we had a tedious errand to run.

Just want some pretty pictures?  Click here! 

Finally we got dropped off to at the side of a random road, and walked down a dirt track without signs in the faith that it was in the direction of the sea.  Soon, we were on one of the most impressive stretches of beach I have ever seen.  To our left lay a lagoon framed with palm trees and rickety looking shacks and to our right an expansive windswept beach that was pretty much empty.  We had obviously come the wrong way, but we were on a beach, so we kept walking, the wrong way, with packs, along the sea front until we find out we have to cross the lagoon to get to our desired lodgings.  We wade through and find ‘the town’ and the hostal of Esencia Nativa, along with a couple of well-earned and frosty cold Pilsners.

Arriving at the beach...boots n' all

Arriving at the beach…boots n’ all

Lagoon out let that divides Zonte beach

Lagoon outlet that divides Zonte beach

“I know a great place for sunset, follow me!” An invitation from another guest that we decline by telling her we want to check out ‘the town’.  She knowingly smirked and tottered off along down the beach.  After 2 minutes, we had seen the town of El Zonte, which consists of three small comedors, two shops well stocked in crisps, smokes and water, and a couple of hostals.  We decided to find the sunset straight away at Olas Permanentes along the front.  Wow…

Checking out the town

Checking out the town

Like you would try and cycle through there!

Black (greyish) sand sunset

Black (greyish) sand sunset

Zonte Sunset

We returned in the dark, to find Rob and Will who we met briefly in Tacuba, who had also just arrived.  After a few beers and some damn fine pizza at the hostal we made a plan to go and surf in the morning.  They had surfed more than I had.  I have never surfed.  They had a couple of experiences between them, and some confidence everything will be ok.  Teco, the local longboard legend rented us some boards the next morning and we headed into the surf.  Let’s just say I have a new found respect for surfers. I was awful and came away with many cuts and scrapes from stupidly spending most of my time in the rocky area.  Board rash is an evil thing!   Ollie gave it a good go in the evening, but had a similar experience to me.  Good fun, and we did the same the day after, but we conceded our surfing careers would end there for a while. Like looking at volcanos rather than summiting them, watching surfers is much more entertaining than giving it a go yourself.

Teco's place

ToNar

Checking out the damage

Checking out the damage

A nervous giggle

A nervous giggle

Ollie showing us how its not done

Ollie showing us how its not done

Success...ish

Two days effortlessly turned into five and then melted away to ten.  The guys are good people (even though Rob is from Sidcup) and we spent plenty of time collectively doing not much apart from ping-pong, cards, frisbee and drinking.  Serious surfers Josh and Michelle joined us when they were not ripping it up out in the surf.  It became an easy routine.  Breakfast at Teco’s for $3 each while we watched the surfers was almost compulsory on a daily basis.  Beers at the sunset bar was a given.  Bottles of Flor de Caña rum were imbibed alarmingly rapidly between us over pizza some nights that resulted in ill-advised acrobatics and questionable dance moves.  Joined by some more fellow Brits, Sarah and Glen, we had some great nights.

This is what rum makes you do

This is what rum makes you do

A walking advert...I know

El Zonte's eastern beach

El Zonte’s eastern beach

Looking out from the cave

Looking out from the cave

Kids fish with wire attached to wood while dad casts his line out

Kids fish with wire attached to wood while dad casts his line out

 

Coffee at Teco's watching the point break surfers

Coffee at Teco’s watching the point break surfers

The need for cash took us to the ‘party town’ of El Tunco one day, where many travelers stay a while and learn to surf in the day and drink hard by night.  We had to leave by 6pm (which was unfortunately when the craft beer house opened its doors) as the last bus back along the front ran at that time.  Chicken buses are named so because people pack onto them like battery farm chickens.  There is also a strong possibility that you will be taking your journey along with some actual chickens (twice so far for us).  This bus offered both, and we had to squeeze on at the front, where some were hanging out the door and I nearly in the drivers lap.

Playa El Tunco

Playa El Tunco

The Tunco rock...could be a beers advert really!

The Tunco rock…could be a beer advert really!

On recommendation we headed west to the end of the beach and up a dark pathway then onto the coastal road for five minutes until we came found a great little restaurant run by Aldo and his wife.  There is no name yet, but ‘Cuidemos El Agua’ is painted on the front.  Lobster was on offer at $10 a throw as well as the fishy option of ‘Sopa de Mariscada’ which had so much fishy goodness in it, it was overflowing.  Aldo has only just opened and they serve up some fine cuisine (the same fare as where his wife works at a fancy hotel up the road, but for cut down prices) along with welcoming service.  Not having a name for the place yet, he is debating whether to call it ‘Carisa Café’ after his daughter or ‘Tube Café’ after his love for surfing.  Aldo is soon to be offering accommodation and also runs some tours.  He is top bloke and passionate about his business.  On our second visit and last meal in Zonte he arranged for a cake to be taxied in from La Libertad for the birthday girl at Will’s request.  Support this guy’s business if you go there.  Make the effort.  It’s worth it just for the nighttime walk along the beach back to your lodgings while you dodge crabs and waves under the stars.

Farewell dinner at Aldos restaurant

We are not ‘beach people’, but we found it hard to leave.  You could spend months along this stretch of coastline and not get a lot else done.  Ollie partook in the surfer geared yoga some days while I got to know some hammocks better.  One day, spotting whales breaching the surface just past the surf was a special moment that I won’t forget soon.

hoponthegootfoot

 

Surfs up

 

Rock pools of El Zonte

 

I've taken to wearing a bandana...don't judge me too harshly

I’ve taken to wearing a bandana…don’t judge me too harshly

Zonte point break

Zonte point break

So, take heed of this warning.  El Zonte is not conducive to a productive travel experience!  Luckily (or unluckily as we felt) we had a boat booked to Nicaragua, so had to leave….

Playa El Zonte

Playa El Zonte

Thanks for reading.For the full photo gallery, click here


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Ruta de las Flores – Waterfalls, coffee and a beast of a food festival in Juayúa

Juayua chicken bus

Juayua chicken bus

It could have been the fried chicken dinner from Pollo Campero.  It could have been the over-consumption of Pilsner.  It may even have been the $1.30 pupusa breakfast on that street corner.  Whatever it was, I was suffering horrendously in the gastric region.  I will leave it at that.  However, we hopped on a bus #210 from Santa Ana bound for Ahuachapán with the intention of changing to bus #264 to take us to Tacuba, where we could explore the El Bosque Imposible national park.  As we left Santa Ana we slowly crawled out of the market, while through the aisle came an endless stream of vendors for 10 minutes straight, selling everything you could ever need from parasite medication, avocadoes, rat poison, gaffa tape, ice cream, socks and not surprisingly, pupusas.  You wouldn’t need to get off the bus to do your weekly shop here!

For the full picture gallery, click here.

We got to Tacuba, a tiny town cobbled street town, sitting 1300m above sea level and found our way to Hostal Mama y Papa, where that have a great mirador looking over the town and the national park, relatively cheap rooms and some aggressive attack ducks.  Unfortunately, I was unwell for two more days, so we decided to move on without doing a hike, but it was a nice place to recuperate in peace.  There really is nothing to do in Tacuba, unless you want to go to the Bosque.

Random Tacuba wall art

Random Tacuba wall art

Streets of Tacuba

Streets of Tacuba

Reflection of the view from the mirador at Mumas and Papas

Reflection of the view from the mirador at Mumas and Papas

Attack duck!

Attack duck!

Packed into a mini chicken bus made for 35 people with approximately 80 other souls we were back to Ahuachapán, where we were soon an a #249 headed down the Ruta de las Flores, which is another of the areas that the country is marketing to tourists.  It’s about a 30km stretch of road lined by wild flowers and framed by some 16 long since extinct volcanoes that now serve as coffee plantations.  The driver ‘tazzed’ past the towns of Ataco and Apaneca bound for our next destination Juayúa, at such a speed I couldn’t tell you if there actually were any wildflowers.  Some locals took pleasure in laughing at Ollie’s facial expressions during the ride, as did I.

One of the extinct volcanoes along the Ruta de las Flores

One of the extinct volcanoes along the Ruta de las Flores

Juayúa is yet another attractive cobbled street town with a handsome white-washed church, peaceful centre square and colourfully painted buildings.  What sets it apart from the rest is the weekly food festival held on Saturdays and Sundays 11am-5pm.  We wandered around until we came to the little haven of Hotel Anahuac where we checked in for 3 nights and booked a waterfall hike for the next day.

The busy streets of Juayua around the white washed church

The busy streets of Juayua around the white washed church

Up at 8am, we follow our local guide called Douglas into the hills with a Canadian couple, and a pack of dogs headed by the guide’s own pooch.  We signed up to hike through the fields and see seven waterfalls along the way.  It was so much more than that.  We approached the edge of what we soon discovered to be a dried up waterfall we could see the first cascade of the day which was streaming out of the rock face in front of us halfway down from underground rivers.  We then walked to another waterfall popular with local tourists where the Canadians took a dip.  I could go on and describe each waterfall in detail.  Let’s just say they were all beautiful and different from each other in remarkable ways.  Douglas disappeared for some time, when he returned we discovered he had tied some ropes so we could rappel down the face of a waterfall into the valley below.  This was unexpected and very challenging in flip-flops, but we all made it down without falling to a watery death.  Here are some pretty pictures of waterfalls now….

Waterfall from underground river appears mid cliff

Waterfall from underground river appears mid cliff

Local lads have a dip in one of the  waterfalls

Local lads have a dip in one of the waterfalls

Hike selfie

Waterfall rainbow

Waterfall rainbow

Waterfall drench

Rappel number one for Ollie

Rappel nummber 2 - My go!

Lunch break

As I have said, the area is a huge producer of coffee.  The conditions of high altitude and volcanic soil are perfect for the industry.  The area is green with coffee trees and an unusual line formation is seen in the lush hills, which are trees planted by the coffee farmers to serve as wind breakers to protect the precious crop.  Hiking through these plantations gave some incredible views of the surrounding country, which seemed to be endlessly green and unspoiled as far as the eye can see.  It was a remarkable hike.

El Salvador...wow

The food festival.  Wow.  We got to the centre square for some serious lunch at 2pm on a Sunday and the place was packed.  Locals and tourists (mainly El Salvadoran) shuffle excitedly past the two streets of food vendors that set up side by side, sniffing the meaty air, tasting tit-bits from touts and looking at what everyone else is eating around them.  Rabbit, Iguana, Frog and even snake are all on offer, but for us hungry traditionalist backpackers we settled on a plate of ribs and a huge chorizo, served with heaps of sides and  a couple of beers for the attractive price of $10 all in.  We then treated ourselves to a couple of crispy fried prawns for dessert.  It was a fine festival, and it happens every week.  Amazing stuff.

Food festival stall - Juayua

Food festival stall – Juayua

Our humble meals!

Our humble meals!

Watching people people watch

Watching people people watch

More food stalls

The center square packs with people who scramble for a place to eat their plates of meat

The center square packs with people who scramble for a place to eat their plates of meat

We decided we liked Juayúa so spent another day, where the owner of Hotel Anahuac, Cesar, took us and another guy on a tour of the local coffee factory where he seemed to have free rein of the place, showing us each stage of the production of my favourite drink and explained the processes in detail. The coffee industry here is huge, as the conditions are perfect for growth.  The higher the better for coffee growth.  The flavour improves the higher you go, and it is grown up to 1800m here.  The highest in the world is in Africa at around some 2300m I am told.  It is not a native crop and was introduced many years ago with the foresight of demand from the US.  It is now shipped worldwide as the photo below will show you.

The lines of the wind breakers to protect the coffee cover most of the scenery around Ruta de las Flores

The lines of the wind breakers to protect the coffee cover most of the scenery around Ruta de las Flores

This ones going to Japan

This ones going to Japan

Good quality coffee is dried by machine and by the sun like this

Good quality coffee is dried by machine and by the sun like this

Truck load of coffee ready for the roast

Truck load of coffee ready for the roast

I’m gonna talk about coffee for a while now so skip ahead a couple of paragraphs if it doesn’t interest you.  Cesar then took us to his own ‘coffee compound’ in town where he hand-dries his beans in the Juayúan sun, then roasts on a small scale for local sale whilst preparing some of his most prized breeds of  coffee plants before they are ready go on the hills.  Cesar roasted some beans in front of us, while explaining the process for the 17 minute duration using a graph to help.  He instructed us on the importance of the timing, as seconds longer could change the acidity, sweetness or the body of the drink that the beans will produce.  There is basically a hell of a lot that can go wrong before the beans of your morning cup of Joe are even ground.  There is also a lot that can go wrong at the next stage…

The roast is a delicate process

The roast is a delicate process

Coffee by Chemix

Coffee by Chemix

I’m a coffee fiend.  Addict is probably more accurate.  I gave up grinding my own beans long ago for lack of success in my technique.  Cesar gave us some excellent tips on how to grind the perfect consistency for the style of coffee you are making.  Of course, he is an excellent Barista as well, and after introducing us to a re-emerging brewing method from 1940’s America called Chemex, he set to work on the machine.  The difference between good espresso and bad espresso is unreal.  I believe I have only been drinking the ‘bad espresso’ by my own untrained hand.  Ollie was treated to the best cappuccino of her life and instructed on how one should sip it in order to get the most out it.  After too many cups of coffee Cesar gave us a pound of coffee, that had been ground to the perfect consistency for use with our trusty coffee sock whilst on the road.  What a dude he is.

Cesars baby coffee trees

Cesars baby coffee trees

We also visited the towns of Ataco and Apaneca that we had passed on the way to Juayúa.  They were pleasant enough in a similar way, both following the trend of cobbled streets, pretty painted houses, white-washed churches near a central square and surrounded by stunning scenery.  Both very pretty, but very quiet towns.

Old fashioned lamposts of Ataco

Old fashioned lamposts of Ataco

Ataco church

Inside the Ataco church

Inside the Ataco church

The distinctive wind breakers and crosses of Apaneca

The distinctive wind breakers and crosses of Apaneca

El Salvador…wow.  That should be the advertising poster for this country.  What have you got in store for us next?

Thanks for reading!

For the full photo gallery, click here!