Getting out of Antigua was harder than expected, I think the universe wanted us to stay, and made harder because the navigator was having a sudden attack of eyes overly sensitive to light and she couldn’t open them! However, we eventually made it out of town and found ourselves on a road to the border, just not the border we initially intended! The crossing was the usual combination of traffic jams and unintelligible forms – but smiling and basic Spanish got us through.
First, stop was Ataco on the Ruta de Flores, famed for its beauty and coffee farms. Having left Guatemala in 35 degrees it was a shock to find ourselves at 13 degrees up in the hills. Having found a spot to camp and piled on a lot more clothes we headed into the nearest village to find supper. As is the way there was a fiesta going on. Supper was uninspiring, the dancing Santa with his accompaniment of devils and assorted characters was not!!?? (see our Instagram)
After a very windy night we continued along the Ruta de Flores, stopping in Juayua for a quick hike to some cascades and pools (too cold for swimming), and Santa Ana. We overnight-ed at Lago Coatepeque, a gorgeous caldera again surrounded by extinct volcanos before continuing eastward via the top of another volcano, just outside San Salvador and then headed on to the coast. We arrived at El Cuco, a small village on the Pacific coast, near to the Honduran border in good time. Pulling into the campsite we were pleased to see Alex & Jade had also just arrived – hope they were as pleased to see us! A relaxed evening was followed by an even more chilled day on the beach, playing in the surf.
Our time in El Salvador has been all too brief but the container to Columbia keeps beckoning. Once again we feel we have only scratched the surface of this delightful country, whose ‘scary’ reputation seems entirely unfounded based on our experience. The quality of the roads here compared to most we’ve encountered is fantastic, and as for it being the murder capital of the world – that may be the case but for a couple of linguistically challenged gringos they could not have been more welcoming.