Playa El Sunzal
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
For my first night in El Salvador I want to get into Parque National El Imposible, described as one of the great remaining wilderness areas in Central America. The two guide books once again differ in their advice although both are equally cryptic with their directions to the entrance. Both suggest the best entry is via the small town of Tacuba, and then go on to describe something completely unrelated. I try my best to get in, at one point going up a gravel road so steep the Jeep will not physically climb it in regular first gear, I have to use low-range. That’s a first.
I meet a truck with some locals who tell me there is no way to get in from where I am and I’ve gone completely the wrong way. Hmm. I backtrack a long way and spend the night in a nondescript hotel near the town of Ahuachapán. My level of tiredness, hunger, my inability to communicate in Spanish and a long day leaves me feeling really lonely and a bit lost. Probably the loneliest I have felt for the whole trip.
I start to wonder what I’m doing with my life.
I feel much better after a good nights sleep and move along the Ruta del las Flores, a very famous mountain road in El Salvador that is fairly nice. El Salvador uses the US dollar as it’s national currency and things are absurdly cheap, probably owing to the $1.10 minimum wage.
The minute I pull into the Surfers Inn in Playa El Sunzal I know I’ve found a great place. Camping is $2.50 for a night, a big meal of pupusas which are kind of sealed over taco is $1.35 and cold beers are $1. There are a few surfers hanging around, some who have been living here for months and months they love it so much. A hundred meters away is the beautiful beach which has a great point break that rolls into the sandy beach.
I stay for just over a week, attempting to surf, swimming, hanging out with all the guys and eating really well and exercising every day on the beach at sunrise. I also pay $125 for 20 hours of one-on-one Spanish lessons which help immensely. The guy really knows his stuff and we cover an insane amount of material. That’s not to say it all stuck in my head, but with practice over the coming months I really hope to get around a lot better.
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