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Grrr... go away!


Lietuviskas aprasymas zemiau

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Day 24: Electricity 101

March 3, 2006

Since we are just a few days from Honduras, today is a good time for the first anti-malaria pill. To be honest, we hate pills and were thinking about trying to do without them, but… we are traveling without any health insurance, and getting hospitalized somewhere in Honduras instead of diving in Islas de la Bahia doesn't sound like fun at all. So, perhaps better safe than sorry, and here comes the pill - Yummy! :)

Tip #1 We talked to many people we met on the road as well as the locals, and the common approach seems to be this: the people who plan to stay in Honduras or other malaria-infested areas for an extended period of time, or the folks who reside there opt not to take the anti-malaria medication. Instead, they use lots of insect repellent, mosquito nets and other anti-mosquito measures, and avoid the time and the places when/where the nasty creatures are most active (mostly at dusk and at dawn, places near still water). For those who travel in the area for a short time, an anti-malaria pill would eliminate a headache. One thing for sure - malaria is no fun at all and can have very serious consequences, so you definitely want to read and know more about the symptoms and the treatment: CDC Travelers' Health - Malaria

Back to El Salvador, where a little town of Suchitoto is the next one on the itinerary. According to the Lonely Planet, Suchitoto is like "Antigua Guatemala before tourists got there". Since we skipped Antigua, we are very excited indeed to see a "better version" of it. Besides, we love places with no tourists - the ones who get daily massive tourist flow, as a rule, take a downturn.

On the way to Suchitoto, we pass the capital, San Salvador. Just like the rest of the noisy, dusty, smoggy capitals, this one should also be on the "avoid if you can" list. Because of the traffic jams and lack of road signs, we spent about 2 hours just looking for a way out of San Salvador. On the other hand, San Salvador can be praised for looking a little bit cleaner and more organized than the majority of big cities in Central America.

While cruising San Salvador streets, we noticed a local rule we had not seen before: a bus stop is not a place where busses actually stop. To be precise, a bus stop should be called a "bus slow down point". A typical bus (most often a chicken bus) will slow down to the minimal speed but will not come to a complete stop. While the bus is still slowly rolling, there comes a hand from the inside and helps the new passengers, who are running after the bus, jump in by pulling them and their luggage inside. In a similar manner, if somebody wants to get off the bus, the bus slows down, the passengers jump off; while the helping hand tosses out the luggage. Looked like the Salvadorians have taken the expression "to catch a bus" literally :) The actual reason for such a bizarre behavior turned out to be very practical: this way the buses have less wear and tear, run faster, service more customers, what subsequently helps to keep the fare lower.

Whoever wrote the entry about Suchitoto for Lonely Planet comparing it to Antigua Guatemala, must have been either joking or smoking some funny stuff while exploring the town :) No denying, it was a nice and clean little town with a lovely little church next to the central park and lots of friendly people… Pretty much just like all the remaining towns and villages in El Salvador, except for the beautiful big lake on the edge of town. We kept searching thoroughly through the tiniest streets and most remote corners of Suchitoto hoping to find something unusual, until we started hearing the locals discussing "este carro" ("this car") - the town has noticed us :)

Recommendation: One of the nicest things we found in Suchitoto was the "Dos Gardenias" hotel (listed in the Lonely Planet guide as "Casa de los Mestizos", but they have recently changed their name). For $20 you get a cozy room with hot shower, nicely painted doors and windows, and a mango-shaded patio in front. On weekend nights, the café under the mango trees hosts free live music concerts. All you have to do is open the door of your room and let the beautiful Latin rhythms in :)

Joke of the Day: Some of the hotels seem to have invented a new way of cutting down costs by disabling electricity in the wall sockets. Our first encounter with the broken wall socket phenomenon happened in Dos Gardenias - the wall socket looks fine, but there is no power. According to the owner, the socket is broken. In this case, maybe we could switch to another room? No, because unfortunately, all the sockets in all the rooms are broken… You will probably agree that this just doesn't sound right, especially when the light bulb on the ceiling works just fine :) No big deal - fixing the broken wall sockets is fast and easy! All you have to do is remove the socket from the wall using a screwdriver and affix the intentionally disconnected wire (just be be careful not to disable the lights in the entire hotel, and also don't get electrocuted :)) The repair process takes less than 5 minutes and is an overall very satisfying experience - it's always nice to help people solve their problems… :) In case you don't want to mess with the socket, ask for the middle room on the right hand side - electricity problems in this room have been recently fixed :)

Cick on the pictures to enlarge

Night falling over Lake Suchitlan. Hungry mosquitoes coming out...

lake suchitlan

Vakaras virs Suchitlan ezero. Renkasi alkani uodai... (nuotraukoje nesimato :))

Valentine's every day!

valentine's every day

I Suchitoto kazkada atskrido Valentinas... ir pasiliko :)

If you stay in Dos Gardenias, ask for the middle room on the right :)

Hotel Dos Gardenias

Durys i kambari, kuriame pataiseme rozete. Reikia gi padeti zmonems nelaimeje! :)

Siesta time on the tranquil streets of Suchitoto

streets of suchitoto

Apsnudusiose Suchitoto gatvese - siestos metas.

They say it's easier this way... Will have to try during the next shopping trip.

traditions prevail

Sako, tokiu budu lengviausia nesti sunku krepsi. Per sekanti "shopping'a" reiks isbandyt.

Nuvesk pelyte virs paveiksliuko, spustelk jos kaire ausele, ir paveiksliukas padides

24-oji diena: Ir El Salvadore yra suvalkieciu :)

2006 m. kovo 3

Rytas prasideda graudziai - berasydami 16-tosios dienos reportaza pastebime, kad visos sios dienos nuotraukos dingusios be pedsaku. Garsiai raudame, o mums pritaria viesbucio papuga (sita tai rauda jau nuo penktos ryto) Susaukiame skubu pasitarima tarp musu ir papugos, kurio metu vienbalsiai nusprendziame I Meksika nebegrizti… :) Ka gi, 16-tos dienos vaizdai liks atminty, kuria reiks aktyviau stiprinsi vitaminu B. Gerimo, gerai zinomo kaip B grupes vitaminu saltinis, nei vienoje is siu saliu netruksta :) Pusryciai siandien prabangus - pasitiekiame po prevencine antimaliarine tablete. (uz savaites jau busim Hondure, kur ypatingai daug maliarija platinanciu uodu).

Juayua'oj greit atsibosta, nes, be darzoviu turgelio ir keliu pulperiju, daugiau cia nieko nevyksta (pulperija - tai tokia mini maisto parduotuvele, tradiciskai esanti ant gatves kampo, kurios pasiula dazniausiai prasideda ir baigiasi bulviu ir kukuruzu traskuciais ("nachos")). Aplink Juayua irgi dideliu idomybiu nera, tad vaziuojame I tolimesni miesta - Suchitoto, kur turetumem rasti puiku senamiesti, primenanti Antigua Guatemala senais gerais laikais (iki turistu antpludzio). Jau is anksto triname rankomis, nes Antigua Guatemala praleidom, tad Suchitoto mums ne tik kompensuos praradima, bet net gi gausim "bonusa" - nereikes grozio dalintis su kitais turistais! :)

Pakeliui pravaziuojame salies sostine - San Salvadora. Gal kiek svaresnis ir naujesnis, daugiau San Salvadras nelabai kuo skiriasi nuo kitu didmiesciu - begales masinu, kamsciai, karstis, smogas… Pastebejome viena San Salvadoro "ypatybe" - autobusai stotelese nesustoja, o tik suletina greiti; ir keleiviai, gerai isibegeje, soka I judanti autobusa. Butu idomu pamatyti, kaip tai daro garbaus amziaus zmones.

Suchitoto laukia baisus nusivylimas - dar vienas apsepes baznytkaimis. Ilgai negalime patiketi savo akimis ir kruopsciai tikriname net pacius smulkiausius skersgatvius ir uzkampius, kol pradedam girdeti vietinius aptarinejant "este carro" ("sita masina") - miestelis mus jau isidemejo :).

Tik nepagalvokit nieko blogo - Suchitoto labai normalus, tradicinis salvadorietiskas miestukas - gal net kiek per normalus, nes tokiu kaip Suchitoto - simtai, o mes tikejomes pamatyti kazka neiprasto (Antigua Guatemala, I kuria Suchitoto turejo buti panasus, garseja tuo, kad yra ikurta antikiniame Maju miese - nauji pastatai sustatyti tarp piramidziu ir akropoliu, kataliku baznycios - tarp Maju sventyklu. Kitaip tariant, antikine gyvenviete "neuzkonservuota" archeologiniame parke, kaip dauguma kitu, o tapusi gyva tradicinio miesto dalimi. Nieko net is tolo panasaus Suchitoto neiziurejome.). Suchitoto reputacija siek tiek pataise didelis, grazus priemiescio ezeras, vakare prisipildes valteliu su sirdelemis ir romantiskomis porelemis. Situacija dar labiau pagerejo, kada radom miela viesbutuka su meniskai ispiestais langais ir durimis, bei vidiniu kiemu, pilnu mango medziu. Savaitgalio vakarais siame kieme vyksta gyvos muzikos koncertai. Tereikia tik praverti kambario duris ir prisileisti kambari lotynisku ritmu :)

Taciau juokingiausias dienos ivykis atsitiko jau velai vakare. Besededami savo mielajame kambarelyje, placiai atvere meniskasias duris muzikai ir zvaigzdems (zvaigzdziu visoj Centrinej Amerikoj bet kuria nakti - neitiketinai daug), sugalvojome issivirti arbatos. Jungiam I rozete virduliuka… Nera elektros? Bet kaip gi taip galetu buti, jeigu kambaryje dega elektros lempute. Einame pasiskusti seimininkei. Pastaroji nutaiso labai susirupinusi veida ir paaiskina, kad kambaryje elektros nera - rozete sugedusi. Ar visuose kambariuose nera? Taip, taip, visuose kambariuose sugedusios visos rozetes… Hmmm… Skamba nelabai itikinamai. Tokius primityvius makaronus galima kabinti nebent pradedantiesiems keliautojams, o mes griztam I kambari ir ardom rozete :) Netrunkam issiaiskinti, kad tik vienas is laidu yra "sugedes" - mistisku budu tvarkingai nusikirpes, o jo galiukas graziai apsivyniojes izoliacija!! :)) O gal mielojo viesbutuko seimininke paprasciausiai turi siek tiek suvalkietisko kraujo?? :)

Nusprendziame, kad reikia padeti moteriskei, papuolusiai I tokia masisko rozeciu sugedimo beda, ir sutaisome savo kambario rozete. Uz 5 minuciu musu kambaryje jau skaniai kvepia arbata :) Rytoj ryte reiks paklaust, gal seimininke noretu, kad ir kituose kambariuose rozetes sutaisytumem. Mums gi nesunku… :)

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