A lull in Suchitoto and El Tunco

Suchitoto was boring.  It was a nice enough colonial town that apparently came to life on weekends with art galleries, a place that San Salvadorans escaped to from the heat and madness of the city.  But I was there on a Monday, and it was dead.  It felt like a smaller Granada without all the tourists.

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Though there were reminders stenciled on many houses that Suchitoto was not such a quaint place during the war.

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Street life was non-existent.  The tourist center and the edge of the lake, fifteen minutes walking down a hill,

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was empty, so I spent a some time watching the ferry go back and forth between Suchitoto and San Francisco Lempira to make it feel like my walk was worth something.

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I was done with Suchitoto in two hours, so I went to the bank and changed some $20s in to $5s and $10s since I knew there was no bank in my next stop, El Tunco.  I got a hamburger and a beer for lunch and took it back to my hotel to sit on the terrace and catch up on blogging. A decent hotel can make up for a lot.

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The next morning would be a bus relay.  First, the reverse 1.5 hour trip back to San Salvador.  I thought I was going to have to take an expensive taxi ride across the whole of San Salvador from the East bus terminal to the West terminal. But I had seen in my guidebook that the bus I needed to take to La Libertad, where I would connect again for El Tunco, had a terminal not far from the West terminal, so I told the taxi driver to drop me there instead.  An hour and a half later, I missed my stop in La Libertad and had to backtrack a block and half.  On bus ruta 80, I asked the ayudante to tell me when to get off at El Tunco, and 35 minutes later, I was there.

My first choice hotel, the Mopelia, had a room.

It was an expansive and run down looking property with nice rooms fifty feet from the ocean.

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Each room had a lanai with a plastic table and chairs and a hammock.

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The room was large and clean, but stuffy, with only a ceiling far for circulation, and El Tunco was as hot as my first stop in Corcovado, the kind of stifling humidity where you drip sweat just sitting still, the air so heavy sweat won’t evaporate.

I had pretty good shrimp burritos at Tacos Guanacos and walked up and down the rocky beach.

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It wasn’t Dominical, Costa Rica, but it would suit a couple days down time.It was full of surfers.  There was one main cobble-stoned road from the highway came to a T with an unpaved road where most of the restaurants were.  It had a good vibe, even though I don’t surf.

The room was hot at night, as I expected, so I got out my hammock which had a mosquito net, and hung it in place of the one that was there.  I slept well to the sound of the ocean, until I started raining sideways at 2am and I had to move into the room.  This was the second night in a row it had rained.  It was May, and I was moving fully into the rainy season, which didn’t bode well for the rest of my trip.  At least now, it was only raining at night.

I took the bus back to La Libertad late in the morning to see the fish market.  La Libertad was hot, loud and frenetic.  I had planned on staying for lunch, but the places along the water, on the malecon, were empty and looked expensive.

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On the bus back there were a Brit and an Australian seated behind me.  They were talking about all the people they met in their hostel.  An Iranian, someone from France, an American, a Czech.  It seems the best way to me people from other countries is go to a completely different country and stay in a hostel. If I actually wanted to talk to a Salvadoran or a Nicaraguan, why bother going to those countries?  Just go to a hostel, in say, Italy, and try to find one there.  Then we could talk about the places we’d been and how they were better and worse than where were we now.  And most importantly, how much things cost.

I had reached the point in my trip where I didn’t feel the need to do anything, so I spent the afternoon lazing in my hammock. At the start, it felt like a wasted day if I wasn’t seeing something or experiencing something new.  Maybe that was the Manhattan that had seeped into me over the last four years.  Sitting still was not acceptable.

I slept again in the hammock, until again it started raining sideways late in the night.

I could’ve left the next day for Juayua, my last stop in El Salvador, but I decided to stay another day of doing nothing.  I was getting better, if not good, at it. I was glad I made some time to come the to Pacific Coast of El Salvador.

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Friday morningI had to be standing next to the highway at 6:15am for the 3 hour bus ride to Juayua.

One thought on “A lull in Suchitoto and El Tunco”

  1. Hi, I’m from El Salvador. I think you would love Juayua, it’s pretty cool.. And Suchitoto is not boring on a Sunday I guarantee. I recommend you to go to Bahia de Jiquilisco, Usulutan, or Coatepeque Lake.. And try the “pupusas” … Good luck

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