Wednesday, 21 May 2008

El Salvador



As we took the ferry to leave Isla Ometepe there was literally a plague of flies that swarmed around the port and covered everything. Apparently they are quite common here especially after rain but luckily they don't bite. The worst thing they do is fly up your nostrils, and in my case into your ears and mouth - yum! We spent half a day in the colourful colonial city of Granada before heading on to El Salvador. Our plan was to make it to the mountain top village of Alegria but our bus river and some of the locals on the bus advised us that the area was well dodgy so we headed for the capital San Salvador instead.

Here's an extract from the Lonely Planet travel guide about the city.

"Crime is a serious problem in San Salvador...violence continues to permeate all of El Salvador. The crime tally rose last year including an increase in murders (3,596) and extortion. ..gang violence looms large..travellers may see headlines of gang wars, meet survivers of the civil war or bump into a rifleman guarding the village ice cream parlor."

We had a security guard with a shotgun at our hotel and the place had a big iron gate locked after 10pm. Although I'm a hardened Dubliner and a Northsider at that, it's hard not to be intimidated here especially as you don't see many other tourists. The locals are extremely friendly and curious however. We hit the road again - Next stop Honduras.


5 comments:

Nick May 21, 2008 4:30 pm  

Sounds a bit scary. So a rifleman was guarding the ice cream parlour - I'm glad they've got a proper sense of priorities. Hope you've left the flies behind.

Baino May 21, 2008 4:57 pm  

Haha . . nothing as irritating as a 'lie' up yer schnoz! Every Australian without exception has swallowed at least one of the buggers!

Quickroute May 21, 2008 7:31 pm  

Nick: It's a bit of a no go zone alright but interesting nonetheless - the flies stayed put!

Baino: Ah the old traveller fatigue led to some formatting issues and typos - hopefully now corrected - I remember the flies in Kakadu being the most aggressive I have ever experienced!

Shaunj May 23, 2008 11:48 am  

what is it with flies and dark wet places? The ones in Aussie were the worst I'd ever come across. West coast particularly. Global warming as some beetle that supposedly eats the fly larvae hadn't hatched in time-queue a swarm of biblical proportions

Quickroute May 24, 2008 6:23 pm  

Shaunj: Flies are one thing that drive me mad especially the ones that bite and I seem particularly prone to being bitten being sweet new blood n´all!

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