June 29, 2011

El Salvador, part 9

Filed under: travel — Frederick Noble @ 10:27 am Share RSS

We had a day without any planned trip. Degenerate JN had missed the volcanic explorations early in the trip and we’d all enjoyed it, so we opted to return.

En route, I got a photo of something we’d passed everywhere – big kilns on the side of the road. We passed dozens of them that weren’t in operation at the moment but this group was cranking out bricks as fast as they could smoke ‘em.

kilns

Since you’ve already read about the volcanoes once (you have been keeping up, haven’t you?) I’ll make it brief.

Things were very cloudy when we arrived at Cerrro Verde and we could barely make out Volcan de Izalco next door. Then the clouds parted, all the way to the sea.

Izalco

There are a few white pixels along the rim in the photo – those are people. We hadn’t gotten a good sense of scale of the thing until we saw those tiny dots moving.

topiary trailWe trekked around the park’s pretty garden, including a weird topiary-covered trail that led to a topiary hut where a bunch of local students thought the sombrero ridiculo was hilarious and insisted on getting a group photo with it. Foolishly, I didn’t ask for them to get the same shot with my camera. Instead, you get pretty flowers.

flowers

flowers

We opted against the nature hike this time, instead riding back down the mountain to nearby Coatepeque, the volcanic lake we’d visited at the start of the trip. We hit the same restaurant and had almost the exact same meal, adding an appetizer plate to the mix.

lunch

lakeJN and I took the plunge off the second story dock. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t do it justice. The clouds and sun were putting on a heck of a light show with the volcano in the background. Fortunately, I got better pictures after we climbed out of the water.

lake

lake

lake

lake

A few days back, a weird red mark appeared on my belly. At first, it looked like sunburn, as if I’d just missed that spot with the sunscreen. But over the week, it developed bubbles. Nifty!
stung
I was looking at it when another family member spotted it and asked what it was. Then we realized half the group had something similar, all appearing after our day at the beach. The only thing we could figure was that we’d gotten into some kind of jellyfish, though none of us had felt the initial sting.

After lounging in and around the lake for a while, we returned to the city for another dinner party at yet another amazing house with another spread of Salvadoran food. Even just the water feature in the entrance hall impressed us.

fountain

However, some of the crew was tired of comida tipica.

just desserts?

burnWe compared injuries sustained over the trip, from bruises to bites to stings to sunburn, and all agreed VC took top prize. He’d gotten a rather severe sunburn, but then allowed his nephew to give him a stiff punch on the shoulder, resulting in this bubbling, oozing mess.

hell
Equally disturbing, to me at least, is one of El Salvador’s favorite pastimes - karaoke.

The only way karaoke works is if you embrace it with a “sure, none of us have a sense of pitch or rhythm and we’re all talentless, but we’re all in this together!” mentality. Alas, I couldn’t get into the groove. Some of the family members are born entertainers (though whether they’re entertaining or not is subjective) and monopolized the mike for the first couple of hours before others were coaxed into the task.

karaoke

Eventually we could take no more, though our hosts weren’t ready for the party to end. JN stayed on and was taken to the mall, San Salvador’s happening spot, where he did some bar hopping with one of the locals. According to his reports, there was a series of crowded clubs with typical house/techno/machine-generated dance racket. Neither She Who Shall Not Be Named nor I were up for the challenge, however, and crawled into bed.

Next: part 10

Previous: part 8

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