30.12.2012 - 02.01.2013
New Years in El Salvador is a family holiday. We have spent the past few days at a couple beaches: Playa San Diego and Playa El Tunco. Similar to Christmas Day, the beaches were full of families on New Years Day. Latins know to have a good time--they have us gringos beat on that point, hands down. And naturally, we had another Bagdad night New Years Eve.
Many El Salvador beaches are known for their surfing. These are also swimmable, though strenuous.
Backing up, we spent a couple days in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador. We enjoyed the city, much moreso than Santa Ana. A Sunday afternoon in Centro was fun. First, we rode the bus (20 cents). There is a wide disparity between rich and poor in El Salvador, and therefore folks try to make money in any way possible. It is common for someone to get on the bus and give a sales spiel to his captive audience, selling vitamins, or in our experience, toothbrushes. Good ones, too, four for a buck!
Once in the center of the city, there were myriad examples of folks selling anything and everything, all packed together in block after block of stalls. More jeans than I knew existed, shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, food, hammocks, watch bands, CDs, DVDs, fireworks . . . how does it all ever get sold? At one point, a Latino woman looked at us with a very confused look on her face, and said in perfect English, "What are you guys doing here?" As in, "are you crazy?" We both laughed.
Found a great local restaurant that night where all the locals come to eat . . . pizza! It was great, and they had NFL on the TV.
Back to the beach.
Today, we took a bus with our new amigos from Canada to a small village up the mountain, and went for a hike to a waterfall (la cascada). Our guide, Pedro, took us across his farmland to a sweet mountain stream with pools and waterfalls. The chilly water felt great after working up a sweat.
One more night at the beach.