Ruta de Flores, El Salvador: Day 5
Sometimes when you are traveling the world you learn not only about what to see and what to do but you learn about famous roads to travel on. For us in the US it might be the famous Route 66. People from all over the world come to the US to drive a car or motorcycle or hitchhike Route 66. Well there are others as well like Ruta de Siete which has a stretch of road from Argentina to Chile through the Andes and is a MUST do. And you may know about the Pan American Highway stretching from Alaska down through Argentina. That stretch of road goes through El Salvador and I used it to get to the famous Ruta de Flores.
This morning – solo once again – I left the magnificent Coatepeque Lake drove through El Congo passed by Santa Ana and intercepted Ruta de Flores after stopping in Juayúa village at Parrillada Cuscatleca for some GRANDE camerones de ajillo, which was one of the better meals I’ve had in all my travels, and young Alexander there was so incredibly helpful and kind and allowed me to leave the car in the restaurant’s driveway so I could walk through this charming yet very happening village with its market, Latin music and friendly people. I must say while I liked the drive on Ruta de Flores there is no comparison to the “unnamed” route from El Congo to Juayúa through the Sierra Apaneca Ilamatepec mountains which should perhaps get itself a special name like Ruta de Verde or Ruta de los Arboles or something as it has certainly earned it.
Final destination – down La Costa del Bálsamo and in particular – Playa El Tunco where all the tourists and the locals have flocked for Semana Santa. Oh and what a fantastic place to be and a blast of a beach town. I grabbed the last room left on this stretch of beach at El Tunco Lodge (and I mean that as I checked) so they had me by the short you know what and charged me $80/night. And the short you know whats they can have as I was truly blessed to be here at all watching the sunset and the surfers and, of course, seeing the infamous rock in the middle of the ocean that gave this place its name – The Pig.
While sitting seaside, I heard a new unfamiliar sound of bliss pouring from an instrument I had yet to see in the world, a melody from the fingertips of a man precariously perched on a log extended out over the ocean. A wave of spiritual calm washed over me and an indiscernible intrigue swept through me like a gush of wind. I had to meet this man whose fingers could invent such a soulful and disarming sound. And that’s how I met the MOST amazing people. Gal from Israel explained that the instrument that looks like a turtle is a hang drum. It originated in Switzerland in 2001 and is literally music to my ears. I also met Itzec and Raz from Israel and Raz’s soon to be wife Cindy Maria from El Salvador and we became fast friends and had my favorite night out on the town out of all my travels dancing to mainstream music at Blū and salsa at Thekla. I even was honored with an invite to the May 9th wedding in Israel!!!
So all you fly brothers get on out here and dance, dance I tell you (or Salt and Pepper does) and catch some of the most incredible surf breaks (ola) there are on earth and dive into the congenial mentality of surf life with surfers from around the world and the locals and, if you can, try to be here the weekend of Semana Santa. It’s crazy fun during this time!
That’s all for now with love from The Pig.