Suchitoto, Miramundo

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of El Salvador  ,
Saturday, January 27, 2007

After the chaos that is San Salvador, itīs good to be on a familiar chicken bus, bumping our way through the countryside. Suchitoto is a small colonial town, pretty but not exceptional, tranquil, and clean.We arrive at sunset and find lodging in a modern hotel in a room that must be hitting close to 35 degrees. I ask Anna if she can fan me all night, but she is non-cooperative.
Early morning and I am un-customarily wide awake after a backpack laden run for a collectivo heading for the lake. We bounce around the big lakeside tourism centre (built to attract and accommodate rich weekend-trippers from El Salvador) before negotiating a launch to a local waterfall and village on the other side of the lake.
We should have put two and two together - dry season, low rainfall - because the waterfall is more akin to a "dustfall" or "rockfall". However, the walk is pleasant, and we see giant morph butterflies - flashes of brilliant blue, as well as the strange tall hexagonal rocks that line the riverbed, a little like the Giantīs Causeway in Northern Ireland.
A brief journey to the other side of the lake where we watch a fisherman casting a net and dragging in tens of tiny fish, followed by a bus ride northwest to an intersection where we buy and eat coconuts "machetied" open, and share bananas with a young local couple who are waiting the same bus north.
Finally we are snaking our way from a small village upwards and towards Miramundo. Anna had been wondering why the locals were staring and laughing at her while waiting for the bus to leave. As it turned out, a gorgeous pig-tailed two-year-old indigenous girl was blowing kisses to Anna on the bus while her pot-tummy protruded over her little trackpants.

We reach our intersection and walk the remaining 3km in twilight accompanied by a young boy who assures us we are going in the right direction. Yellow light breaks through trees on the ridge as we reach the town. The view is incredible stretching eastwards to the sea looking over the whole of El Salvador. The sun has already set and far below the clouds float by in fading oranges and reds.
The temperature has dropped almost 20 degrees and with the wind-chill factor it must be close to zero. And thatīs not the only shock we get. Our budget accommodation for the night turns out to be a $50 honeymoon suite, the only room unoccupied, or so weīre told. The hotel also has a problem. A large wasp problem (4cm in length). Theyīre behind curtains, between the sheets and under pillows. In addition, we risk frostbite everytime we have to get out of bed and touch the freezing-cold tiled floor. Between the devil ...
Next morning, Anna, with the luck of the Kiwis (who else could turn the humble Chinese gooseberry into a multimillion dollar kiwifruit industry) manages to thumb an early-morning ride in the back of a pickup down the mountain through the clouds, our first step back into Honduras.
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