Ed's Travel Blog

Saturday, June 25, 2005

El Salvador

I visited my friend Ana in El Salvador from June 19 to 24. I had a warm welcome when I arrived at the airport. Ana, her mother and younger sister took me to the country club for dinner. I was introduced to a meal of Corvina. I think we call this White Sea Bass. It is mild and a bit sweet (like lobster)...delicious!

On my first day out, Ana took me to visit the volcano, San Salvador. This is a photo taken looking into the extinct vocano.

On the trail up to the volcano there were giant begonias. Some were as tall as me (which actually isn't that tall).

We met Ana's friend Luisa for dinner and had the local food "pupusa". This is sort of a corn meal pancake made with different fillings: cheese, black beans or a vegetable that is similar to chicory...good stuff. We also enjoyed a dessert similar to a popover with a sweet brown sauce with plantains.

Don't worry Roger. If you ever decide to visit El Salvador, Ana says that she won't force you to eat the local food. On my second day, I awoke and went outside my room to sit on the veranda. Pancakes and coffee appeared...I like the Ayala Resort!

On our second day we went to the National Museum of Anthropology. It was interesting to see displays about the history of the country including many preserved artifacts. Ana showed me an exhibit about the many earthquakes that had damaged buildings and killed people in El Salvador. We were having coffee after this when there was a slight tremor... slight, but enough to shake me up. We picked up Jen, our friend from UNCC, at the airport. We went to see a church in the mountains. This is a photo of Ana and Jen at the church.

Not far from the church was an area called Devil's Gate. The clouds were low making it foggy as you can see in this photo. Since El Salvador is near the equator, there are no extreme seasonal changes like in North Carolina. There is, however, a rainy season (May to October), so we encountered some rain or heavy clouds each day during my visit.
My 3rd day began with the necessary cup of coffee. Here is a photo of Ana... she knows (and so do most of you others know)that I don't become human until after at least two cups of good strong coffee.
Ana took me and Jen to visit the Tazumal Mayan Ruins. It is customary to sacrifice any American who tells too many long and detailed stories in the car on the way to this archeological dig. The structures date from 300 to 900 AD.
From here we went to the town of Santa Ana which is northwest of San Salvador. This is a typical town with a beautiful cathedral on one of the main public squares.
Between the coast and Santa Ana is the beautiful Lake Cotapeque. The lake is formed by the collapse of several volcano cones. It is 2400 feet above sea level. We returned to San Salvador for lunch at a great Italian restaurant. For dinner Ana's mother and her friend Luisa took us to a place that served Cerviches. I had a shrimp cocktail prepared with lime and cilantro.
On my last day of touring the country we traveled along the coast. The area reminded me of parts of California's Pacific Coast highway where the mountains meet the sea. Here is a photo taken from a place we stopped for a snack.
We had lunch at a large restaurant that was in a lush garden. They had all types of grilled foods on the menu. You can see from the photo that the restaurant building is a log structure. In above photo,L to R: Jen, Lizette (Ana's mom), Ana, me.

Here are a few more photographs:

left- view of San Salvador looking northeast between dark rainclouds.

right- Cashew fruit from trees in Ana's backyard. The dark crescent contains the nut. The apple-like fruit is also edible.

left- The veranda at Ana's house...I call affectionately "The Ayala Resort"

below right- A view of the typical coffee fields that grow on the slopes of the numerous volcanos

My First Entry

I'm excited about being able to share my travel adventures with my friends and family. I have just returned from visiting my friend Ana in El Salvador and eager to share photos with my impressions. This is my first blog experience...so please excuse the rough spots as I get used to this.