I had mixed feelings about packing up and leaving our little apartment in Antigua, Guatemala and heading to El Salvador. I was ready for a new adventure after conquering 3 weeks of Spanish, but sad to be leaving a town that I fell in love with. Our first stop was Playa El Tunco on the Pacific. El Tunco is a little commercialized black sand surf community with lots of overpriced food and lodging options. The waves were massive, but for those of us who are not surf inclined and prefer to frolic in the waves, I wouldn’t recommend it. The beach is covered with smooth black rocks, which are pushed up and down the beach with incoming and outgoing waves. You can imagine how hazardous this can be on your ankles when you’re standing in the shallow water. G and I did have good fun getting a little carried away playing in the black sand though.
Up next were some colonial towns off the coast, Concepcion de Ataco, Juayua and Suchitoto. Ataco and Juaya are part of the Salvadorian Ruta de Las Flores known for gastronomic festivals every weekend. On the road there, we were introduced to a new method of livestock transport (see photo below). Once there, although G didn’t try the more adventurous dishes like barbecued iguana or frog skewers, we did have stacks of pupusas filled with cheese, beans, meat and hot peppers. We did hear that iguana tastes like chicken, who knew.
On the way to Suchitoto, we slept in the parking lot of a large restaurant on Lago de Coatepeque. The place was bursting with locals enjoying the lake. I had picked up a can of fermented vegetables to snack on. I’m a fan of the Bulgarian version called turshiya (vegetables preserved in vinegar – very tasty). The Salvadorian version however was ridiculous hot. Needless to say, the can got tossed out. While having breakfast on Sunday morning before taking off for the next stop, there was a baptism in the lake next to the restaurant. Wonderful to see how the lake is incorporated into all aspects of life. Suchitoto was another pretty little town. It was a tad quiet for us, but we did roll in during mid day heat.