What do you do when you have a 21 hour layover in San Salvador, El Salvador? Spend it at the airport? Of course not! You get out and discover a place that, while not on most folks’ bucket list, surely has a lot to offer. Granted, there were some practical considerations. Could I get a visa at the airport and explore? –yes, for a $12 fee. Should I rent a car in a city ranked by the Economist as having the highest per-capita homicide rate in the world (excluding war zones)? –no, tempting as the $15 daily rate was, I didn’t want to drive to the wrong side of town end end-up dead. Could I leave my carry-on bags somewhere at the airport? –no, unfortunately there are no lockers. The solution came in the form of Julio César, my Über driver who agreed to show my son and I the sites for $50, plus gas. It was amazing! Sure we had a false start. La Puerta del Diablo (the Devil’s gate), our first stop, had been closed for remodeling for a year, so all we saw were some zinc sheets meant to keep people out. After that, things got better! San Salvador volcano, a short hike to the edge of a deep crater with a cool-looking circular feature at the bottom of the chasm (known as el Boquerón). The views from the rim were amazing and our ten year old tour guide wasn’t bad either (after school he makes some spending cash by tagging along tourists and making conversation –so spare me your child labor quips). While my panoramic picture below doesn’t do it justice (I didn’t have a drone to take a picture like this), trust me it was humbling seeing this artifact of the 1917 eruption that devastated San Salvador.
Now, I realize some of you may confuse El Salvador (the country I visited Tuesday) with Ecuador (the country where I spent a good chunk of the summer). Next week I will attempt to remedy that by compiling some photos from my trip to Ecuador. Meanwhile, enjoy your day!