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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Swimming in Colour

EL SALVADOR | Tuesday, 7 February 2012 | Views [1644]

Most travellers to Northern Central America make a B-line for Antigua, Tikal, or the Bay Islands, but here I am in Suchitoto: a rather undiscovered colonial town overloaded in colour! And I made an excellent choice by coming here yesterday! Whilst I already visited Los Tercios, today I had Salto el Cubo on my radar. Up at the crack of dawn I inhale the scent of pupusas whilst in search for a cup of hot cacao, which I eventually find for a quarter. Like many other places, Suchitoto rises slowly and is without the boatloads of tourists you'd find in Granada or Antigua. It's so colourful and beautiful! And the people are lively! The streets are filled with cobblestone to ache your feet, street vendors to sell you fruit, a phone, or pupusas, and a sense of joy! Robert moved here because of his wife and to escape the rat race, which he sure picked a great place to get away! The facade of Hostal El Gringo is in the shape of hearts

Whilst it's still early, I go to the Museo de la Moneda. There are coins and currency from even the most obscure places! Whilst El Salvador uses American dollars (both coins and currency), I picked up an old El Salvador colon note. Many of the other colonial cities are well-known but Suchitoto is truly an undiscovered gem; in fact I'd never even heard of the town before I got to Central America this time around. I stake out some pupusas and a Fresca (a grapefruit soda, and drinking soda is a rarity for me) for lunch before I go to Salto el Cubo. Walking down into a ravine filled with dried brush and plastic bottles, I come across a stream where my instincts told me to head left. Up ahead I reach the waterfall. When I take off my shoes and socks and put my camera down I pull my memory card out of the camera and stick it in one of my socks and leave my socks outside of my boots; someone who happens to come by would likely steal my camera but leave my socks behind. A dip in the plunge pool is so refreshing, and a swim in the upper pool felt even better!

Nobody else was there so this was a magical place I had all to myself. It's not particularly safe to swim alone but I let Robert know where I was going today. Suchitoto and the surrounding area may be the "up and coming Granada" as there's so much colour and nature nearby, and if you're up to climb a volcano you're never too far from one. For over an hour I was swimming and some guys showed up as I was on my way out. After a break at El Gringo I stroll, absorbing the many colours that make up Suchitoto!

Many buildings look as though they came straight out of a realist painting! The colours make me drool as though they're a chocolate ice cream on a steaming hot day. Like most of Central America, the iron grating and artwork is just as splendid as the colours themselves. The most interesting piece is a gate with a sun and guitar on it. To watch the sunset I went to a hostel and sat on the roof, balancing myself on a claypot whilst overlooking Lago Suchitlan. A couple who are travelling for several years chatted with me as the sun dipped below the horizon. Tomorrow I'm thinking of staying another night but I haven't decided yet. If I leave tomorrow I'm heading back up to Honduras, although I really love El Salvador! Robert took several guests on a full-day tour of the western half of the country and he's not back until tonight. A local shared a tamale with me before I got some zucchini-filled pupusas. Pupusas for breakfast! Pupusas for lunch! Pupusas for dinner! El Salvador is all about pupusas if you're on a culinary adventure. At El Gringo I order some fries and a beer whilst I go online and then chat with Leon. He's 59 and from Canada and he says he loves nothing more than seeing new places. I can't agree more! Mosquitoes swarm the shower so you have to have a quick one to avoid getting bit up. Suchitoto has become another chapter in my travels and one of literally hundreds of magical places I've visited. Rich in colour. Overloaded with vibrance. Suchitoto is definitely a must-see on the Central American circuit. It's been a long day of pupusas, waterfalls, and colour! I just may stay another day.


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