Friday, November 20, 2015

Suchitoto Bound!

I guess if nothing goes wrong it's just not adventurous enough. At least, that's how it feels sometimes traveling. We woke up extra early in the morning to leave Copan, only to discover that we probably didn't have enough cash on us and NONE of the ATMs in town were functioning - some luck, eh? In the end the woman working in our hostel was able to exchange some money for us and, with a bit of a delay, we were on our way to Suchitoto, El Salvador. The trip was going quite smoothly at the beginning, although we still were rather on edge about whether or not we could make it to our destination before dark because believe me, we weren't keen on traveling anywhere in El Salvador at night.
Traveling by bus in Central America = AMAZING views!
On the road
Why yes, that man standing up on the bus does have a giant gun.
The panic didn't set in until on our second to last bus the other passengers began telling us that there wouldn't be anymore buses to Suchitoto that night. They said we could try to hitchhike, but I'm sure you can imagine how we felt about that option. The other passengers confirmed, however, that there was a hotel in the city where we were supposed to make our last bus transfer, so we resolved to sleep there for the night. That is, of course, until the nice old lady who got off the bus with us asked around on the streets only to find out that this supposed hotel actually doesn't exist at all. She also told us not to take a taxi. "Too dangerous!" she repeated. At this point she said something to Mario which he briefly hesitated before translating to me. "She says we can come home with her and sleep on her floor". As crazy as it sounds, at that point sleeping at a strangers house was the least risky of our options, so off we headed. And then suddenly, as we turned the corner, a bus was sitting there - destination Suchitoto. As we boarded the bus and waited impatiently for it to depart, we looked at the setting sun and began to wonder if taking the bus was our best decision after all.

At the border, before our second to last bus ride
By the time we got to Suchitoto it was pitch black, made worse by the heavy rains which had caused a power outage in the entire town. And since we had absolutely no idea where we were going, we were thankful yet again for the ever-helpful locals who showed us the way with one teenage boy even leading us directly to the hostel's doorstep.

At our hostel they welcomed us with smiles and showed us to our room by candlelight.  We were the only guests except for some volunteers who had rented out the private rooms, so we had the dorm room to ourselves, something we definitely weren't going to complain about.  Using Mario's flashlight we decided to take turns showering after the long day of stuffy, hot buses.  We had resolved to go to sleep with rumbly tummies since we hadn't eaten hardly anything and everything was closed down for the night, especially with the power outage. Just as Mario was getting back from his shower, however, the lights came back on! And the hostel owner (they also have a restaurant upstairs) offered to cook us something up! Let me just say that those giant nachos and strawberry milkshake was the best comfort food ever after such a long and, at times, anxiety-filled day.  As they say, all's well that ends well! :)


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