Saturday, March 26, 2011

Miscellaneous El Salvador Updates

I can't believe I am saying this, but I will only have a few more "Life in El Salvador" posts left to write this year. The end of our time in El Salvador is coming so soon! It's really quite amazing how quickly June is approaching. So, here are some updates before I forget what cool things we had done in this beautiful country.

Somewhat recently, a bunch of us went on a night tour to the Cemetery of the Illustrious. The place was huuuge and had a lot of really ornate graves and tombstones.

One of the most interesting headstones was this unlabeled one of an old fascist president, Maximiliano Martinez, who had caused the slaughter of 30,000 natives during his dictatorship and had chosen to have a nameless tombstone in fear of post-mortem retaliation.

To fully appreciate how special these "illustrious" tombs are, I think you have to understand what "normal" Central American cemeteries look like. Below are some pictures we took of a regular cemetery, which we had walked past during a hike in February. These local cemeteries always have a lot of colorful flowers surrounding the tombs, and they are far from the gothic feel of the Cemetery of the Illustrious.

Here are a couple of other pictures from the February hike.

The hike itself was long (maybe 6 hours up and 3 hours down?) and not totally scenic. Pretty uneventful, I'd say, except that you come across trenches that are remnants of the Salvadoran Civil War (which ended in 1992, very recently), and in the end you also come across this terrible sign, warning of land mines ahead:

The hiking guides told us that after the war, Belgian experts had to be brought in to remove the mines with special equipment. Not just on this mountain, but on other nearby mountains as well. It serves as a reminder of just how recently the war had ravaged this country.

Then, most recently (today), I tagged along with some friends to whale-watch in Los Cobanos! I like Los Cobanos a lot, because it's a deserted beach with a chill hostel (whose owner is a great hostess and an awesome singer) and there is a food hut right around the corner from the hostel that serves delicious grilled fish, stuffed with cilantro, garlic, peppers, and salt. YUM.

Anyway, we stayed overnight last night to hang out at the beach, and this morning we woke up bright and early to go whale-watching. Mission accomplished!!

If you can't tell from the pictures above, there were two whales that we saw -- a mom and a calf. They were swimming around us peacefully for about 5 to 10 minutes, periodically sticking their backs/fins out of the water -- sometimes at the same time! In the end, the mom whipped her tail into the air. It was beautiful!

On the same trip, we also saw a variety of other wild life -- (large black) dolfins, a sea turtle, various jumping tuna, and birds! We also got to swim for a good while, and it was SO NICE to hang out in the warm ocean water.

...That's all the updates for now. :) Our next big trip will be to Roatan, in Honduras. It'll very likely be our last international trip before we move!! Que lastima!

No comments:

Post a Comment