El Cuco…..argh now this is a beach

A relatively short 3 hour bus ride to our next beach stop in El Salvador, El Cuco.  We are staying in a resort on the beach, yep this is going to be a tuff couple of days. Below is my room, and personal hammock.

Mmmmm time for a swim and then find a hammock to hang out in.


So as we are at the beach, must eat fish….or in this case lobster, when it only costs $15 for this you really can’t say no.

They had a bon fire on the beach, the resort was a little quiet, so the bon fire was a low key event really, with a fire and a few drinks, but was a pretty big bon fire.

Went for a lovely walk along the beach the next morning, the beach was totally isolated, I literally walked along it for an hour and didn’t see anyone except a few fishermen.


They had a sunset boat cruise for a whole $2…..yep count me in.  Getting out past the surf was great fun, then the driver thought to turn the cruise into a high speed jet boat ride…..woo hoo was great fun. Some of the girls even did some tubbing.

What best to follow up our joy ride on the water, than a happy hour and 2-4-1 cocktails at sunset, yep life is pretty tuff at the moment.

A few of us the went out to a pool party at a resort up the beach…..mmmmm it wasn’t exactly pumping, but hey with 3-4-1 margaritas…..I no complain!!  Even did some salsa dancing!

Surfs up in El Salvador

Next destination in El Salvador is a cute little beach town called El Tunco, well known for the great surf, it’s a black sand beach due to all the volcanoes, was a little overcast when we arrived so first impressions not great of the beach.  It’s your typical beachside town, cafes, bikini shops and I scream shops, oh and surfers waking around everywhere, yep as I said cute town!!!


After a walk around town, which was literally two streets, I decided to hang by the pool for the afternoon and read in a hammock.  It’s really hot here, the humidity is really high, the pool was rather hot but still felt nice to be in the water, as too the ice cold beer!



After a very relaxing afternoon it was time for dinner, we headed to a restaurant down on the beach, i went for the grilled snapper……this whole snapper cost $10 usd, a total bargain and it was delicious too.


After dinner went for a walk along the beach, little better at night time, I think it’s just black sand beaches not as pretty as white sand.




Was a little clearer this morning so got a few more snaps of the beach, might be great surf, but not the prettiest beach I’ve ever seen.

Off to El Salvador we go

Back on the bus again in the morning, we head back into Guatemala and drive down to the boarder of El Salvaddor, after a brief delay caused by the immigration lady thinking the lady in our tour from South Korea was from North Korea, we enter into El Salvador, you can notice the difference slightly between the two countries, as the roads are a little better and cleaner in El Salavdor.  The country and economy is recovering from the conflict in the recent past and with the US dollar being the legal currency its more stable than its Central American neighbours.

We arrived in a little town called Suchitoto, a colonial town that was saved from being bombed in the 90’s due to one of the more wealthier residents having knowledge of the planned night the town was to be bombed, he called up the philharmonic orchestra to come and perform in the town on that night, he then rang and invited all the diplomatic reps of foreign countries to attend.  He then rang the military planning to bomb the town and advised them of the event he had organized, so to avoid a political nightmare the bombing was cancelled.  It was rescheduled but by this time almost all the local towns had been bombed and destroyed so he argued the town should be saved and that it now had historical importance, and cause of his position in society and connections it was saved.

Just out of town we saw an amazing rock formation, reminded me of the giants causeway in Ireland.


We then went and visited a local legend in a gorgeous 97 year old who had been rolling cigars for 85 years.  She on average rolls 250 cigars a day, she would earn $12 a day, she only works 4 hours a day now.  The art of cigar rolling is slowly dying out due to the time it takes and the low income.


Her house was set up like most in that all the living areas are set up along the corridors around the garden in the middle of the house, this is due to the heat.

The town is near a large lake that has a huge bird life population, unfortunately I had a migraine and so slept the day away so didn’t make it down to the lake, but did get some shots from a vantage point in town.


We went to a local restaurant for dinner and tried the local dish called pupusas, which is a tortilla stuffed with what ever you like, I had sausage and jalapeño and the second with chicken and veg, they really yummy and cost $1 each.  We also tried a shot of a local favourite called chaparro, like a tequila shot with a sugar coated lime chaser…..yummmmy.



Liked this little town, was very quiet, it’s the low season here, so tourists are minimal, but it kind of just added to the charm of the town, all the locals where so friendly, but then I guess we are an income to them, so you are always nice to the boss, lol!!




Next stop is the beach……bring it on baby!

Hola Honduras

Have started my tour now, after a night in Antigua, we set off early in the morning bound for Honduras, one of the most dangerous countries in Central America, however the town we are heading to isn’t very dangerous, well so our tour leader says, they rely on tourists for income so – don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

It was a long bus ride, including the boarder crossing it took us 8 hours to arrive at Copan, a town not far from the Guatemala border and known for its Mayan ruins.

The town itself is tiny, literally walk 5 or so streets from the town Centre and you on the outskirts of town. But a really cute little town, only negative is the hills, and of course our hotel it at the top of one!


Like all towns they had a busy market which sold everything and anything.

After a long day, looking forward to hitting the pillow and getting a good nights sleep…….but that didn’t exactly go to plan, firstly my room mate was snoring…..loudly, but that wasn’t that bad as was tired so feel asleep…..until around 4:30am when the rooster right outside our room decided to start crowing, and crowing and crowing, finally it stopped, argh back to sleep, until around 5:15am….yep it started crowing again, then all the birds started getting in on the act, including a wood pecker…..omg are you serious!!  Then the cafe started making smoothies so had the blender going, it’s 6am people….seriously!

After giving up on the whole sleeping idea headed off to see the Mayan Ruins, they are about a 1km walk out of town.  Not as impressive as some of the ruins I saw last year, but still pretty cool.


The Copan ruins are famous for all of the carvings that they have uncovered in the area and how well preserved they are.


The Macaw birds can be seen flying all around the grounds, such beautiful birds, so colorful, especially when you see them up in the trees.

After walking around the ruins for a few hours it was getting pretty bloody hot, it was only 10am but was in the 30’s and high humidity.  I head back to the hotel to chill out before we get back on the bus again to head to our next country El Salvador.  It really felt like a long way to come to get to Honduras to be leaving so quickly, but I got the stamp in the passport so another country off the list!

Am currently in El Salvador, will post a blog about here shortly. 

Mi familiar y Antigua de la ciudad 

So I have now been living with my local family here in Antigua for a week, for the most part it has been lovely, the language barrier has created a few misunderstandings, but it’s amazing how the international sign language for upset stomach was very clearly understood without a word of Spanish, or English for that matter.  Yep been taken down by travelers stomach already, wouldn’t be a trip without it!

Lucky for me the house I am staying in has an amazing view of both the volcanoes so while drinking ginger tea, eating saladas and waiting for drugs to work, this was my view.


The house itself is pretty standard, if your ignore that the furniture is made from pellets.  I spent many hours studying on those couches and balcony, clearly no oh&s! 



The family don’t actually stay here at the house, so we students have the place to ourselves, the family just comes and cooks our meals….yep sweet deal, for the price it feels like robbery. Having said that, dinner portions and content where on the light side. Lunch seemed to be the main meal here, so dinner was often a vegetable….that’s not a typo…singular….a vegetable. One night was mash potatoe….mmmmmmmm, for the price I paid I can’t complain, but after the first nights dinner I got snacks to subliment it. 

Sadly, I didn’t actually get any photos of the family as I left today without seeing them, but I did leave them a note, in Spanish……hope it makes sense lol.

Although I have been to Antigua before I still love exploring this town, it’s just such a cute little place.  It’s not safe to walk alone at night time, so most nights have been spent relaxing in my lounge or on my balcony watching the volcanoes.


Oh and the craziness of the bus station and all the chicken buses.  It seems like buses are constantly coming and going here.

This is the view from the McDonald’s court yard, almost enough to make me eat there…..nah, photo is enough.


Antigua is surrounded by active volcanoes, with one having a major eruption the day before I arrive, the German buys said they could see lava…..dam it!!!  But it did still have a few minor eruptions while I was here, it does this all the time. Photos from last night and again this morning.


Lots of the local ladies walk around carrying things on there heads, it never ceases  to amaze me, I managed to get this photo of one lady carrying a box, yep, a box!

My papa told me not to walk the streets on the weekend with a backpack, in Spanish and hand gestures he advised me that people will slash my bag and grab my stuff……mmmmm I have to get from my families home to my hotel tour starting point, yep one side of town to another…….ill be alright!!  I noticed yesterday plenty of armed security around town so pretty sure papa just being concerned for me, well I’m writing this post so I made it, no drama.

As I mentioned it’s not safe at all to walk the streets at night time alone, and they also suggest not in small groups, last night all the other students in my house where out of town, so I was home alone, I could hear a live concert happening in the main square…..was thinking shame would love to check it out, but then I heard a Spanish cover band sing Justin Berber……yep I am happy right here lol

I meet my tour group tonight, I am ready for the next part of my trip now, will be sad to leave Antigua, last year when I left here I knew I’d be back, but this time I don’t think I will be here again, but you just never now. 

Hola. Hablas espanol? ………mmmm no speak Spanish, yet!

So one of the things I wanted to achieve on this trip was to learn to speak Spanish, all be it the very basics.  A friend recommended a Spanish school here in Antigua to me last year and so I thought I would give it a go.

Get to the office on day one and meet my teacher, it’s one teacher per student, so this poor lady has to try get this Aussie with no languistics skills, some would argue my English is some what creative, to speak Spanish.  She starts saying a whole lot of stuff to me in Spanish as we walk to our classroom…..I won’t lie, the thought, OMG what was I thinking ran through my head, but luckily she also speaks a little English.

Our classroom, if you want to call it that is a local park, lovely and shady from the hot sun.   We literally grab a table and chairs and find a spot in amongst the plants.  My teachers name is Anabeli, she is lovely.

Classes start at 8am…..yep believe it or not I am up and at my table at 8am….ok maybe by 8:05am, but it’s the German boys fault we running late in the morning…..honest.  The school is totally supported by local families, with all the students staying in houses with a local family and all the teachers being locals.  

They also don’t miss an opportunity to sell you something, with a small shop in the park set up for all the students selling really cheap food.  Cost me just over $1 for the two tacos……and they where pretty yummy too.  The second picture is chicken taco…..just .53 cents, should have got more than one!

While my teacher does speak some English she only uses Spanish to talk about all the grammar rules, like for regular verbs, adjectives, past and present tense, so half the time I am trying to understand what she is saying when she says….. Sin subjecto definido expressa existencia en general, sustantantivos, article indefinido y numberos……argh yep ok?!?!  I not sure that I actually ‘know’ the grammar rules for English, well not to explain the rules anyway.  

It’s very tiring doing 5 hours of 1:1 Spanish lessons, I have needed a siesta the last few days……could be a little jet lag, but 5 hours of intense concentration is pretty exhausting.  I even get given home work.   Had to translate the below sentences last night, she corrected today, I think I actually did ok.


So I have had 4 days of classes now, can I speak Spanish……..no, not that I expected to by the way, but do I have a whole lot of notes to help me over the next few weeks while I am still in Central America, yes!  One more class tomorrow, maybe it will all come together tomorrow…….ok mayb not, as my teacher and my family here keep saying to me “mas practica”….more practice!

Adios amigos.  

And so the adventure begins…..

Wow, what started as a crazy idea to go overseas for a big trip has actually happened, here I am starting a trip which will have me exploring 15 countries in 15 weeks!!! 

I sat at the airport with real mixed emotions…..holy shit I am really doing this, scared, anxious, sad, excited and full of optimisium of the amazing adventure I was about to undertake. Oh and tired, getting up at 5am never agrees with me lol!

Right 14 hours to LA…..don’t panic I’m not about to tell you about 14 hours staring at the back of the chair in front of me…..but I did chuckle when the stewardess announced that due to US aviation regulations you are not aloud to congregate in groups in galleys or aisles……dam there goes my idea to have a party at the back of the plane!

After arriving in LA I had some much needed sleep before heading down to Santa Monica and hired a bike to ride along the beach…..yep I’m on holiday baby!

 

You really do see the Californian lifestyle along the beach, you name it they are doing it, gym, basketball, boxing, dancing, some balancing thing on elastic, running and even some guys playing roller hockey in the car park.

 

 

Venice beach is a little up from Santa Monica, very touristic here, but still great to people watch and cruise along on the bike

 

 

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