10. El Tunco night out with filming of the video
I ́ve seen so much live music recently, it ́s making me really happy, especially as it ́s mostly free.This night was on a beach and for me there is nothing better than being on a beach and hearing live music – two of my favourite things.
A friend from El Salvador has a band called Mojo and they were filming a music video that included the gig in the evening. El Tunco is a surfing place so, right outside the bar crazy big waves were crashing and between songs I could just sit and watch them.
The band played quite a few cover tracks with their own stuff and the bar had a lot of energy. I love that in El Salvador, it ́s never been just tourists and there was a real mix of people from all over. My favourite were the two local surfing guys with long hair, moshing to a Police cover in an old school Antony Keidis kind of way – good times.
9. San Andres Archeological Site, El Salvador
It ́s difficult to get bored of Mayan stuff while I ́m here in Central America. San Andrés in El Salvador is much smaller than Copan in Honduras, and has a lot more excavation to go, but it ́s a wonderfully peaceful place to visit and has the added bonus of much less people.
To get to the ruins, you walk through a beautiful forest area, which had several Torogoz’ (El Salvador’s national bird) hanging out being all pretty so its a lovely place to come and hang out.
8. Swimming in a cascada, Pico Bonito, Honduras
Pico Bonito parque feels pretty wild still. It is a tourist place – meaning there are a few signs put up and a man that you have to pay to get a stick to do the walk up the mountain – but it ́s not pristine like other places can be…
There are Indiana Jones-style bridges with holes in them waiting to be fallen through. The path is not entirely clear and there is a constant vague threat of a snake jumping out at you.
But this is exactly why I loved it. It feels a little bit risky and more adventurous than more well worn walks.
The highlight for me was swimming in this pool of water by a waterfall. I look at pictures like this and can ́t believe my lucky body had the chance to swim about in it.
7. Hanging by the beach, Tela, Honduras
The brilliant thing about the beach in Tela is that it has a really really long stretch of sand. I had two truly brilliant days there just walking along it, in both directions.
It is true thatTela beach is a little bit dirty at times and like all places in Honduras, you have to be careful with safety but I ́m so glad I got to visit there and see this place and I did find a few clean places to swim.
The weather changes so dramatically during the day, we had piercing sun, a bit of a breeze, and a torrential rain storm in the space of about 2 hours.
On the second day it was only sun and we got so over excited walking along the beach collecting random pieces of coral and shells that we ended up walking for 5 hours in the mid day sun. It was well worth looking like a tomato for the next few days though!
6. Breakfast, Pico Bonito Lodge, Honduras
We decided to posh it up a little bit one morning and went to the Pico Bonito Lodge for breakfast. It ́s a beautiful way to start the day, with a fruity yoghurty, granola dish that has a healthy serving of yoghurt (rare in Central America) while being surrounded by hummingbirds and toucans. I ́m not really here to do posh, but it was a lovely treat.
5. Painting in a School, Santa Tecla, El Salvador
I was lucky enough to help out a local artist in Santa Tecla on a project painting in a school. It was 2 weeks of really long hours (and El Salvadorians don ́t drink tea, so there are no tea breaks!!!).
I was paid in pupusas though, so I was happy and the painting was brilliant fun. I helped him produce 8 murals and then cover the walls with flowers.
The final result was beautiful and the girls at the school did a collection to say thank you for it because they liked it so much.
You can see more of his work at Galeria de Tecla here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Galeria-de-Tecla/233190060082244?fref=ts
4. Semana Santa, Santa Tecla, El Salvador
Central America always seems to be colourful to me, but during Easter week in Santa Tecla it gets even more so.
Groups from the community stay up all night to cover the street in art.
I wrote more about it at the time here:
It still stays with me as a highlight from this month.
3. Progressing to paddling in my surf lessons and Pueblo loco, El Zonte, El Salvador
Progressing is a bit of a strong word, but I tried and really enjoyed my surf lessons again in El Zonte with Brian.
In my first class I stood up loads and had a great time. I waited a day before my next class because my tired old body couldnt handle two days in a row but even with a rest day the second class was seriously tough! Brian, who is young and horribly fit, told me with a mildly frustrated edge that he does this for six hours a day after I crashed into the waves again after my weak and destroyed arms couldn’t push me up to a standing position.
Luckily my camera ran out of battery for the second class.
2. Carnival, La Ceiba, Honduras
Considering I’ve lived in London for 10 years and studied carnival practice at university, I’ve never been to Notting Hill Carnival or in fact any carnival… until now.
I was fortunate to be in Honduras at carnival time and it is pretty crazy. It’s compared by many locals as being next best to Rio (although I have heard this about carnivals in Colombia also so I can’t say).
It’s got glitz, gold, colours and dancing.
So much dancing. Street parties every night for a week and fun fairs with a band, dancing, animals and the possibility to buy a fridge. (Why do Central American fun fairs always have a man selling fridges and other large household items?)
It’s not all gorgeous partying – there were some pretty sick looking horses drooling at the mouth with their drunk cowboy riders. 🙁
Also a lot of commercialism and adverts, which got a bit dull on the floats and I guess carnivals are just a bit sexist. BUT… I’m still really excited to have experienced my first carnival here in Honduras.
1. Lazy Days, Rio Pico Bonito, Honduras
There is no better way of nursing a carnival hangover than lazing by the river at Pico Bonito.
It was a quiet time, so most days we were the only people there and could just lie around listening to the sounds of the water streaming down the mountain. The water is really cold, so its best taken with a shot of rum.
But my favourite was to swim about a bit and then warm up by laying on a rock like a sleepy mermaid.