Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Taking a break in San Salvador

National Library San Salvador

Zacatecaluca- San Salvador 55 ks

So here I am. About to enter The Capital of one of the most dangerous countries in the world. By myself, on a bike, armed with only a Texaco gas station tourist map. Sometimes I think I must really be crazy.

I was hoping for a short 55k day to San Salvador, but guess what? San Salvador is in a valley in a mountain range. So here I am again slowly going up this giant mountain desperately trying to get into San Salvador as fast as possible. The road into town was nice and big but that only invites bigger trucks and crazier bus drives. On top of that the side of the road was LITTERED with sugar canes. Just my lucky day I guess. I wanted to get off the road. After about 4 hours of slowly cruising up this beautiful mountain range I made it to the city.

Going into the city was crazy. The road turned into a major highway with overpasses and everything. I felt like I was entering San Francisco from the south on 101. After a few twists and turns I found myself in the center of town. It was seriously busy and everything around me was screaming stereotypical Central America. Reggeaton was blasting out of every other booth, grand churches on every corner, people trying to sell me crap everywhere I looked. After getting lost in this overwhelming street market I asked some cops where my hotel was. They gave me a few directions and the next thing I new I was cruising through city traffic all geared up on my bike. I was being safe and had no worries but this seemed crazy!

I have never wanted to visit San Salvador. I probably would never have wanted to come here but this ride has taken me here because of Plan. You know what? San Salvador is actually a pretty cool place. Tons of cool churches, some great markets and even some cool historical districts exist in the city. The people are also SUPER nice and want to make sure that my visit to the city was going well. They are well aware of the sterotypes that people have about them. Everyone says that El Salvador is so dangerous, but the people are friendly, the sights were pretty cool and it was great experiencing this city.

Finally after getting lost for about 2 hours I found my hotel. A cool little spot near the national stadium.

Anyway...I made it. I have a meeting with Plan El Salvador set up for the next day. And then after that I get another opportunity to visit a community in a rural part of El Salvador. This will be my second visit to a community in El Salvador. Im excited for another amazing opportunity to meet the people of the village and see there way of life.

A beautiful church in the middle of town with some orange juice vendors waiting outside.

The cute OJ vendor....I think I went back twice cause she was charmed by my horrible Spanish.
Street vendors selling everything.

Check out the ladies carrying stuff on their heads. I havent seen this in a while.

Peace, Power and Pedal


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