24th-26th November 2015
Just a quick one so this stays up to date as we rocket through countries
The travel plan we had vaguely come up with was from Antigua in Guatemala straight to Leon in Nicaragua, skipping over any stops in neighbouring El Salvador or Honduras. They have a bad rep, and we hadn’t had any glowing recommendations to go to either (unless we wanted to do our scuba certification, which is apparently super cheap in Honduras). The shuttle for our original route however was going to take about 16 hours, so we decided to break up the route with a stop in El Tunco, a tiny beach town on the way down in El Salvador.
I’m really glad we did stop. From what we have heard, the high crime/homicide rate in El Salvador is mainly focused in the capital and large cities due to gang problems, but elsewhere people are very friendly and the do not deserve the bad reputation in the slightest. El Tunco is growing in backpacker popularity, and is especially popular with surfers since the waves here on the Pacific Coast are many and huge.
The town itself consists of two roads. That’s it. The hostels and hotels are mainly along one, and the other leads to the beach and is lined with places to eat and shops selling ‘Roy-Boy’ sunglasses (which I now own a pair of) and ‘Quilver’ flip flops. People say hi to each other in the street and everything has a very laid back vibe.
The beach itself is rocky with some black sand, with the main crowds being out at sea on their surfboards. It was really beautiful, especially at sunset when the rock formations out of the sea become a silhouette against a big, colourful sky.
Since we weren’t there long, there’s not loads to say. Activities included lying in loungers, dips in the hostel’s pool, and having a wander. In the evenings, there is apparently always a bar with a ladies’ night, where women drink free for two hours. We found one right next to our hostel and enjoyed some great free margaritas/rum and cokes, before heading to the bar next door where a live band were playing. Some were songs we knew, most were spanish ones we didn’t, but we did a huge amount of incredibly energetic barefoot dancing to make up for our lazy day and came back exhausted afterwards.
It’s not a place with loads to do if you aren’t a surfer, but for me all I wanted was a place with not much to do! So I had a lovely time, and could easily have spent forever lying on a lounger reading a book. However there is so much to see so we booked a bus out, onwards and back on track to Leon, and prepared ourselves for the 10 hours still remaining on that long long trip.