Toto. This aint Cansas anymore

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Flag of El Salvador  ,
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Landed at 5am and decided to bum around the airport a bit until it reached a more decent hour. From cold and chilly in LA to hot and humid. Lots of people at the airport waiting to pick up arrivals. at one point had a whole stack of people waiting in fromt of the seat I was sitting in. Guess flying is a big deal here.

Dont think I saw one western tourist though the whole time. At the airport when getting my ticket in LA I even got served by a girl from El Salvador and was asked why I was going there. Dont think its a big tourist destination.

Travel book said that a shuttle ran into town but since it was mostly locals arriving I cant see how they could operate or why they would support such a service so got a taxi. Driving into town went through a mountanous region with lots of sellers by the side of the road selling coconuts and coconut juice. Also lots of people getting ries in the back of utes. The taxi also got held up a bit as some horned cows made their way down the road.

Got dropped off at the hotel which is extremely nice for $13 a night. And with the $Aus almost 1-1 with the $US at the moment my money is worth even more than it was a couple of months ago. Unfortunatley no english at the hotel though I did manage to get  a room for 2 nights though I had no idea what the guy was trying to say to me most of the time..

Bit tired from two late night and just want to settle in a bit so wandered around town for about 4 hours. Lots of buses running around in the streets in the centro areas I was wondering through belching clouds of black smoke. Making an effort to just breathe through the nose so that some of it gets filtered though Im sure my lungs are getting blacker.

All along the road I was walking were stalls that sort of started on the side walk and ended up on the road with just enough room for a bus to get through on the smaller streets. Lots of noise lots of people. Reminded me a bit of the energy and atmosphere in the streets of India. Also strangely felt quite tall. The  stalls all have verandas in front of them and it was necessary for me to duck my head a bit in order to get under some of them.

As I headed further from the hotel to the center of town I ended up hitting block after block of market stalls with the stalls eventually stopping the traffic in some places and spilling out over the whole road with just enough room for foot traffic.

Wanted to take more photos but am a little bit dubious about making myself stick out and about how some people may react. To many people around the places I want to take photos for me to easily sneak one in.

Finally made my way out the other side of the stalls and wandered around the plazas before heading back. Saw a local supermarket and so decided to check out the local produce and prices. ALso stopped in a small El Salvadorian fast food place for a cheap quite bit to eat. While wandering also stopped at a fresh fruit drink place. el Salvadorian boost? juice place. Seems like all drinks here including water and coconut milk seem to be served in small plastic bags with straws in them rather than cups. Guess it makes for more compact garbage.

While walking around saw lots and lots of building with the tops of their fences covered on razor wire. Another thing of note was the number of security guards outside of shops and on the street with their collection of various guns on display.

Ended the day trying to work through the backlog of blogs. All photos have been uploaded (made sure I did this in US) but not all blogs written and published. Didnt spend to long since I wanted an early nihjt to catch up on some missing sleep.

Days 2
Wandered down to the bus station and while its not to far, certainly dont want to do this a 5am in the morning when I neeed to head to the bus station tomorrow. Am going to have to find some way of getting a taxi. Hopefully can get someone at the hotel to understand my couple of words of english well enough to make a reservation.

Decided on having another quite day and not heading out to a park or museum. Ended up just wandering around the central part of town and taking in all the noise and activity (along with lung fulls of polution) along with a few more photos. Will make an effort to do some better sight seeing the next time I come through town.

Once again found people to be friendly and polite. After being in the states its strange to get a smile from the people serving you. Interesting to also note how the first time I say a word in spanish (the few I know like aqua) they dont understand even though it sounds pretty much the same when they say it back to me. Guess I must have a pretty heavy accent associate with my word pronounciation.

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