Central America definitely runs on a different time than what I think of as German punctuality. We woke up early to get to breakfast on time, which supposedly was at 7am. We really didn’t eat until 8:30am and then started to leave at 9:30am for our volcano hike. It was a beautiful ride.
Having lived in the US and Germany, it has been easy for me to differentiate a good driver from a bad one in the years that I have cared about driving. Salvadorians don’t fit any of my categories. It’s a whole new world to driving for me. People honk all the time–if you want to pass a car (HONK), if there’s a traffic jam (HONK loudly), if someone does something you don’t like (HONK as often as you like). It’s quite entertaining to watch traffic and pass cars, and a bit frightening as well. Sometimes I thought we were going to crash, but the skillful driving of our guides Ricardo and Lolo, showed that even when it seems like there are no traffic laws, people still successfully communicate from one driver to the next and avoid unfortunate events. I have yet to see a crash. Think about traffic now, I don’t think we ran into any traffic lights today. Everything is simply handled by stop signs or the right before left rule…or honking.
So, we were off to our hike. It took us roughly 3 hours to get to the volcano. And our hike ended up being a 45 minute walk. We expected more of a strenuous hike so everyone had over packed, nevertheless it was a great experience.
We took a few group and individual pictures at the end of our guided tour (we had a regular guide and two police officer escorts). In the past, tourists have been robbed at main attractions, and for this national park in order to protect against such events tours have escorts.
Often parks like Cerro Verde, have multiple access points making tourists an easy target.
After our volcano hike, we went to Juayua and enjoyed la feria gastronómica. I had some Horchata and took lots of pictures.
Expecting to only go on a hike today, most of us girls received lots of surprised from the locals…if our height and skin color didn’t already give us away, short running shorts definitely did.
When we first got back to a hostel, after taking off my shoes I thought I had a dark tan line on my feet–it had me fooled for a second, though a cold shower confirmed it was only dust from the volcanic ash we went hiking on.
Another fantastic day has gone by, tomorrow it’s off to Bajo Lempa!