I met two people, one was Kelly Kingston that were here to give away Firewire™ surfboards to deserving kids, two boys here at Playa El Palmarcito. They are currently donating 100 boards to 10 coastal countries around the world. Right now Central America is their targeted area. They have been giving away donated used boards for years but now Firewire™ has donated new high quality boards with a promise to increase the number of donated boards each year, next year 200, than 300 the following year. The mission is to change lives by spreading love, hope and surfing along the way. Please feel free to checkout their site at www.Sharethestokefoundation.org
The other day while I was at the store, I met a very nice lady from New York her name is Emma and she is 76 years young and full of fire. I was invited to her place on the beach for dinner. She is renting a two bedroom apartment overlooking the beach for $360 a month that includes everything including cable TV and internet. I had a great time eating, visiting and sharing stories of our journeys throughout different countries. She has been living here full time for many years. She says it is a great way to stretch her Social Security money.
Archaeological Parks in El Salvador
The parks are windows into their Pre-Hispanic past. Many of the ruin sites have been destroyed throughout there turbulent revolutionary past. Today approximately 810 sites have been recorded ranging in age from several thousand years through their colonial period. There are only six sites San Andres, Cinuatan, Joya De Geren, Tazumal, Casa Blanca and Gruta Del Espirita Santoare currently open to the public. But as I drove around looking for some of these sites the lack of driving directional signs made it unrealistic to find the Tazumal and Casa Blanca sites; whereas the San Andres site had good signage.
Pupusas are stuffed tortillas made with chicken, fish, beans, rice, cheese or combinations of them. Here in El Salvador the tortillas are made more like flat bread and using white corn rather than the thin yellow or blue corn ones I have seen in Guatemala, Mexico and in the states. I watched a local lady make them to order. These are typically served from 5-9pm at a cost of 40-50 cents each.
There is a group of medical students from Spain here on holiday from their studies. They are touring El Salvador and happened to visit Playa El Palmarcito while I was here.
Vinalia - Celebrando El Vino
My friend Ernie is opening a wine and cheese restaurant in San Salvador. Ernie has a master’s degree in wine from when he lived in New York State. This restaurant will cater to tourist mostly to start because El Salvadorians do not drink much wine in dining situation. He hopes to introduce locals to its enjoyment as well. He will be bringing in wines from around the world. The planned opening is for the 25th of July.
Across the street from the hostel I am camping at here at Playa El Palmarcito are Kim and Steve currently from Bend Oregon, but they have lived in Hawaii, and are opening a surfing camp with programs that are designed to help kids that get involved in their community to have access to surf boards and surfing lessons as rewards.
The plan is to open this year, I know it says on their website that they would be open by now, but they are almost ready. Check their website for the grand opening dates coming soon. It will be worth the wait.Facebook page at Hammock Plantation Surf Camp and Lodge shared El Salvador Impressive!'s photo and their website at www.hammockplantation.com
Ruta De Las Flores runs the coastline and up into the mountains. This is a very nice drive full of little villages to visit with crafts, woodworkers, food, basket weavers and much more displayed along the roadside. As a bonus these towns and National Park are of special interest: Three Volcanos at Cerro Verde National Park near Santa Ana is a reasonable drive up the mountain with many pullouts for great photo opportunities, the road had some pot holes to watch out for. The park at the top was well worth the trip. It is well maintained and user friendly in its layout. For foreign visitors the cost $3US per person and $1US for the car, locals pay $1US to get in. This seems to be standard here in El Salvador.
Juayua Village - Food Festival near Sonsonate on CA 12; I went to this little village because of its reputation on specialty foods like Iguana, crickets, frogs, snake, and many other meats. Unfortunately the most exotic food I found was rabbit but my lunch was delicious anyway. I had beef, shrimp with heads, cheesy potatoes, avocado, rice, chilies, grilled green onions, El Salvadoran tortillas, all for only $5US.
Apaneca Village – Coffee Plantations about 9km farther up the mountain from Juayua; I went here because it is supposed to be here all the major coffee manufactures buy their coffee and I would have an opportunity to try many different kinds. I did not try any but I think I got over caffeinated just from the aroma that filled the air. They had a lovely garden area around the grounds as well.