Back to relaxing again

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of El Salvador  ,
Sunday, December 17, 2006

Have a fruit salad breakfast in the sunshine and chill for a few hours.  Then walk until the bus arrives to take us up the hill to the mirador or viewpoint area to look at the restaurants.  Opt for one and have lunch looking at the lake from another angle.

  Then walk down as far as the petrol station.  This is the scene of much excitement as they have loads of things in compared to the tiny shops by our hotel.  We have to ignore all the sweets and crisps and instead plump for healthy vodka and diet coke.
Then get the bus back to the hotel where we finish off our Spanish and attempt to go through our bags to ditch some unnecessary stuff. Doesnt work very well though.  As the sun sets we enjoy our (small) bottle of vodka and dc with ice provided by the hotel and then have dinner.
We have convinced ourselves we can stay another day without creating ourselves too many problems.  Its the first time we have spent so long somewhere we reckon and is testimony to how much we love it!
Today is yet another difficult day.  Our routine and the routine of the town appears to be the following:
5.30am approx - sweeper starts brushing the leaves outside
Birds singing various tunes
7am - first bus that permits itself to beep every few minutes to announce it is going up to Santa Ana. This happens throughout the day every 30 mins or so.
We get up. I go for a run.
Past the small shops and comedores (local restaurants) and lovely white church that looks like its off a wedding cake.  Avoid dogs trying to follow or bark at me.  Past the old man that waves at me and vice versa.  Past all the people either washing their house entrances or watering their plants.  Dodge the odd bicycle or car and try not to notice people staring at me.  Then back again for a cold shower and breakfast.
7.30am the bread delivery person rings his bicycle bell as he cycles down the street (realised this last day)
8am music in noisy restaurant next door starts.
At some point in the day we will talk to one of the hotel staff who asks if we like it here.
Various points in day sunbathe, swim, read, maybe walk.  Intermittently here the loud speaker of  another delivery person selling anything from bananas to belts.
About 5pm the bread delivery man comes through again. 
Before the sun sets we intermittently hear whistling from a local football match up the road.  We watch sunset.  We then hear what we think is diabolical karaoke only to discover on closer inspection it is a church service. 
Eat and go to bed.
Today is slightly different ast from early afternoon the staff are setting up a 15th birthday party.  This is the girls coming of age party and I think it was traditionally when they would get married.  Anyway about 300 people are expected and the hotel gets spruced up with pink flowers everywhere and tables with pink table cloths.  I sincerely hope its a girls party for their sake.
The party is due to start at 1800 and we are in our customary position in the stilt restaurant watching the sunset and considering ordering lobster thermidor for dinner (where else can you get it for $20 for 2?)  The DJ is doing his warm up and blasting out various dreadful music (we seem to have traded awful S American Shakira for awful Central America music whose name I dont know.  Do I sound like I am getting old?).  Suddenly all goes quiet.  The anti-Christ of all things Latin American. Silence.  A power cut.  I conclude it is from overloading the circuit here with there huge speakers and amps.  As it gets darker we realise there are only a couple of lights on around the lake.  They must be from generators and we appear to be in the middle of a power cut.  I feel very sorry for the party people and esp the poor kitchen staff who are trying to cook by candle light.

All the guests start arriving and just before 1800 the star guest arrival time the generator kicks in and the music starts and the commentary of who is arriving with whom.  First off the lead girl in what can only be described as a meringue dress with small children in bridesmaidy type dresses and then a series of girls in matching pastel green dresses with uncomfortable looking boys in black suits.  They all parade down the centre of everyone and then stop.  There is then the first excruciatingly painful slow dance of daughter and father with small children holding plastic flowers around them.  At this point the generator goes out too.  I do feel sorry for them really.
We decide to make a hasty exit  and see whats going on down the road as unlikely our request for lobster thermidor will go down well as the staff are trying to plate up 300 meals. 
As we leave the generator starts again and we hear the music carry on.
Further down the road we find a few shops illuminated by candles and then the shop that sells beer.  We go in and a couple of tables are candle lit.  We decide to have a couple of beers and watch the owner cook her pupusas.  We are entranced for ages watching her  make balls and then flatten them by hand and flip them on the (gas fired) hot plate.  Locals come and go for beers and huge orders to take away.  Lots of boys arrive on bikes to hang out. We have found the saturday night spot of the lake.  We are glad that there has been a power cut and we are with the locals.
Sadly the power comes back on after a while so no more candles and the tv is put on with more awful music on DVD.  After a few beers we have some pupusas too and once well over 100 have been made for the various orders and it appears to be quietening down Dave persuades me to ask if I can make one.

I am duly taken to wash my hands and then given my lump of corn flour with beans and cheese inside to flatten into a pancake. I am not quite as adept at it as she is so mine looks pretty crap.  No doubt the photo will be here somewhere.  They are pretty amused by my wanting to make one and refuse to let us pay for it (yes it looked that bad).
It is now a late night for us - gone 21.30 so back to the hotel where the party is in full swing.  We are not sure we will get to sleep with the loud music but somehow we manage.
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