El Salvador, surprisingly, the easy part of our trip. A family friend from L.A. lived there with his grandmother while fixing up his uncles plot of land on a secluded beach, so he was more than happy to tour guide during our stay. Spent the first week in San Salvador exploring Arts and Craft shows (Flea Markets), sprawling parks, local food shacks (falling even more in love with pupusas) and general sight seeing. As well as the seedy night life of sketchy clubs packed with cheap hookers and 40 cent Cerveza Imperials, inexpensive yet “high end” strip clubs, where at some drunk point I bought a $1 raffle ticket and won a 3 song lap dance to my surprise. Figured my friend was messing with me when he said they called the number on my ticket, but moments later I was informed by the man on the microphone he wasn’t yankin’ my chain.
The following weeks were at the beach property in tents filled with clouds of hash and many more Cerveza Imperials that were accompanied by a few bottles of rum and vodka. And I must not forget the arsenal of fireworks we stocked up on before leaving San Salvador. I spent my days working out, reading bad business books, listening to the handful of CDs I brought in my portable CD player, chasing wild pigs around, going to local markets to buy strange foods, body surfing in the heavy surf and generally pondering the meaning of my existence while wondering why I should ever return to the normal world.
We took a few overnight trips to other beaches for a night or 2 at a time as well. Some places we went to, Playa Sunzal being 1 of them, were so rustic there were no hotels or hostels near the beaches so we paid “restaurants” $5/$10 to pitch a tent on their dirt floors for the night. La Libertad was the most developed of the beaches we visited, where we were actually able to find surfboard rental shops, amazing beach side seafood restaurants and even a hotel/hostel that had a tree house.
We took a bus from La Libertad back to San Salvador and this was the only time on our trip we had a negative reaction to our gringo appearance. Walking through a neighborhood soon after the bus dropped us off and a woman on a porch started yelling what I can only assume were inspiring obscenities because seconds later a few heavyset, possibly not so friendly fellows flew through the door onto the porch with us in their sights, so we took off at a nice sprint and didn’t wait around to see if they would be inviting us in for Horchata and quesadillas. We safely returned to our destination and before we knew it we were headed for Costa Rica leaving a beautiful but incredibly impoverished country behind, and once again to our pleasure in first class style.