Tag Archives: photography

Journey Through Latin America (Part 15)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I gratefully ate a roasted chicken dinner at a comedor just steps away from the Honduran/El Salvadoran border.  I took a bus to Santa Rosa de Lima, then another to San Salvador.  To my surprise the bus was air-conditioned and by the time I got to San Salvador I was freezing and dehydrated and extremely grateful to arrive at JoAn’s Hostal.  The owner Ana gave me time to clean up, then took me and two other guests to share a great pizza dinner.  Wow, what a great host! But thats not all. As we were talking about Casa Verde Hostal in Santa Ana, and how Ana had talked to the owner Carlos often but had never been to the place, the next day she offered to drive me an hour to Casa Verde herself!  Such a beautiful lady.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was great to eat El Salvadoran Pupusas, something like a meat&cheese&bean filled tortilla.  Delicious and cheap.  It took Ana and I a while to find the Casa Verde but although Carlos was at the lake entertaining some guests (El Salvadoran hostal owners are awesome hosts!)  we got to see the new addition to Casa Verde, which is simply fabulous, incredible, awesome and puts this hostel miles ahead of most of the other hostels I’ve experienced.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I enjoyed walking around the Santa Ana market in search of groceries to cook in the brand new kitchen, which has just as many utensils and appliances as the old one, which was already the most awesome kitchen I’d seen.  I made an effort to take photos of people, and some of them actually asked to have their photo taken.  I find El Salvadoran people to be quite friendly and helpful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a couple of beautiful days swimming in the very cold pool and exercising Qi Gong on the terrace overlooking the city and cooking my own food, I was ready to move on t0 Guatemala.  I tried to find a route avoiding Antigua, or what I like to call “Gringotenango”, but it really has a good location, so I went on back to Hostal Pasar de los Años and actually enjoyed myself for the one night and partial day I was there.  The morning I left I went to a favorite restaurant for breakfast, and there was the same family sitting at their favorite table that I had met back in October.  We chatted a while and I enjoyed a good breakfast before a long day on the road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From Antigua I took a bus to Escuintla, where it was quite warm, but I decided not to take the route through Xela that I took in October because I wanted to enjoy the heat as long as I could.  I was let off on a sidewalk in Escuintla and proceeded to ask everyone I could where to find a bus to Retalhuleu.  Five blocks later I was on another sidewalk and a pullman bus pulled up quickly and we stuffed my backpack and guitar below as the driver was already driving off.  As I squeezed on I realized there was standing room only, and I spent most of the trip sitting or standing right there by the driver.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At Retalhuleu I found a decent Hotel, walked several blocks looking for a restaurant in vain, then ate some street tacos by the plaza.  The next morning I ate a fresh pan dulce with juice before standing around almost an hour waiting for the bus to the Mexican border.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Journey Through Latin America (Part 3)

Arriaga Mexico was a nice spot, even though it was steamy, I didn´t mind the heat, but then I´m from Arizona.  The afternoon shower was refreshing, and the room I had was cool with the ceiling fan just on low.  I like when you can take a shower and lay down with just a sheet and sleep comfortably.  I woke up before dawn and performed my Qi Gong exercises on the balcony as the sun came up, then I took a taxi to the bus station and arrived just 5 minutes before the bus to Tapachula left.   It was a ¨first class¨ bus and we arrived a couple of hours later and I lugged my heavy backpack a few blocks to take a shuttle to the border.  Crossing the border into Guatemala was extremely easy, though the Mexican Tricycle Taxistas wanted to overcharge me the Guatemalans were very reasonable.  I ate an awesome meal at  a cafe near the bus terminal for around $3 and talked with three backpackers who had been in Quetzaltenango (Xela) for up to two months! and now were heading to the beach for some warm days.

From Ayutla I took my first ¨chicken bus¨ ride, in the front seat, and boy was that exciting!  The driver had a great sixth sense as to when to pass on a blind curve, and only once did he have to back off quickly to avoid a horrible accident, and the cobrador meanwhile was hanging out the door calling out to potential passengers the whole time, with one hand holding his cellphone to his ear.   The route to Xela was continuosly populated, going from extremely sweaty Retalhuleu quickly up to the cool mountains of Quetzaltenango. 

The taxi driver took advantage of my ignorance as to the location of my hostel and charged me $7 when it should have been $6, then we couldn´t find Las Amigas and instead Hostel M&M looked good for just $6 per night, with a private room.  Martina,  a German lady, and Maynor, a Guatemalan, are the owners who also offer classes in German, Spanish, and English.  I talked alot with Alex from San Diego who has been living there since January and has decided to retire in Xela.  He was leaving the next day for the Gulf Coast and he gave me his eggs, sausage, and bread to eat while I was there, which saved me alot of money.  It was a very comfortable place to stay , and I often met my fellow housemates on the rooftop terrace: Marina, a retired Guatemalan teacher traveling with her neice Delmit, though they had been living at M&M for four months!  I loved to play guitar on the rooftop, and also ran into Martina and Maynor often, who are very gracious hosts. 

I didn´t have much luck finding a place to perform in Xela, but I had a great day at Zunil , where they have hot, HOT baths in private tiled rooms for $3 an hour.  I only needed half an hour to be extremely relaxed.  The next day I walked half way there to the pass where I could take some nice pictures of the valley.


%d bloggers like this: