Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Re-re-arranging plans Suchitoto, El Salvador, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 7:38pm

It's handy that Bahman has an unlocked phone. We got him a SIM card at a tiny store on the tiny main street of a tiny town on the side of a huge mountain. The woman helping us was very amused by his phone, which kept switching out of the phone app because of one bumped button or other.

Unfortunately, the dive shop that had been recommended to us told us that they could not get someone to do the Lake Ilopango tour on Thursday. So we called another dive shop, the one we'd been trying to reach on Saturday. They said they had a trip going out tomorrow! We told them we'd take it.

Of course, that meant that we had to cut our visit to the mountains a day shorter, so we started heading upward. We drove up to the access road to El Pital, the highest peak in the country, looking for a hiking trail. After a while of navigating increasingly poor roads, we realized that we must be driving on the hiking trail. And that it was probably not a great idea to continue. We found a place where there was enough room to turn around, and headed back down the hill.

We stopped for lunch and a last little bit of sightseeing in La Palma, and then drove towards the village of Concepción Quetzaltepeque, the hammock-making center of El Salvador. The sign pointed us to a suspiciously rough-looking road, but when we asked passers-by, they said that we just had to go recto, recto, recto (straight, a long ways) to get there. After maybe 40 minutes of driving about 5 mph on a gravel road, we came to a turn where we found pavement again.

Sadly, the hammock-making was not in full swing. There were a few stores open and they made token attempts to sell us some hammocks, but they were mostly garish colors or bad materials (cotton/poly blends or just polyester).

Since the Civil Police office was right there, we decided to ask for directions, just in case there was a better route back. The policeman directed us to drive recto, recto, recto along the main street and assured us it was paved all the way. Sure enough, we drove back in about 10 minutes to a turnoff from the CA-3 that we'd passed by earlier. It was labeled for some other town beyond Concepción Quetzaltepeque.

We're spending the night in Suchitoto, and planning to drive down to the Lake to meet the divemaster in the morning. We went for an upmarket hotel ($50/night instead of $25), and we're the only people here. It has a warm pool and a great view of Lake Suchitlán.


Way to trash the countryside! Quincy (Anonymously) Friday, 30 April 2010 3:01pm