Hello El Salvador and warm weather!

A lovely fern in the Cerro Verde national park (for the impatient ones: more photos at the bottom of this post) (note to JW, dad, bird lovers: there is a photo of a bird at the bottom and I don’t know what it is. Name that bird!)

So, I made it to El Salvador! I had some flight issues leaving Buenos Aires, and ended up getting a flight from Buenos Aires to Houston, TX, with a four hour lay over before my flight to San Salvador. That’s right– I flew to the US, went through customs and immigration, and sat in the airport for four hours before leaving the country again. It was odd, and despite the 10 hour red-eye flight, amusing.

It worked out, though, cause Kpo (college roommate, bad ass) and I made it to the airport in San Salvador around the same time, where my sister’s friend, Sophie, picked us up and took us to her town house.

The situation is thus: Sophie and her husband, Case, live in San Salvador now because Sophie recently got a job with USAID. So, they are being incredible and letting Kpo and I use their casa as a kind of base camp. The plan is to leave most of our stuff here in their guest room, and take short trips around the country. Honestly, it’s such an ideal situation. On another note, the foreign service is starting to look pretty appealing…

Anyway, this is our 6th day here. We arrived Friday morning and spent the day with Case and Sophie at their house. Both Kpo and I were exhausted, so we slept and unpacked. Saturday we all went to a little roadside stand and ate papusas, which are the traditional food here. And they are awesome.

That night, we went and mingled with some embassy people at their apartment and then briefly went to a club to see what the night life was like. It was fun, and the club was pretty nice, but we were all tired, so we jumped ship.

On Sunday Case and Sophie dropped us off at our first destination: Lago de Coatepeque. It’s a beautiful lake in a caldera of an old volcano, surrounded by mountains and a couple of volcanoes. We stayed at a decent hostel by the water, and were the only clients for the three days that we were there. The lake is really nice, but, the weather wasn’t very cooperative. Aside from the first day and part of the last day (Tuesday), it was so cloudy that we couldn’t see the volcanoes. After the first night, we went to Cerro Verde national park to hike a volcano. Yet, it was so cloudy that you couldn’t see anything– so we walked around the area right around the park entrance for a while and waited for the bus. Kind of disappointing, but we are planning on trying to make it back if the weather clears up.

The next day was our last there, and it was pretty sunny by the lake (volcanoes were still shrouded with clouds), so we relaxed on the hostel’s dock, swam, ate at the local lake side restaurant, and got a tad bit burnt. Yeah… my winter pallor due to the month in Argentina didn’t mix well with the equatorial sun– but it’s not too bad… just a little pink.

We got back to Case and Sophie’s and grilled out and had a great dinner with them. Today Kpo and I took a day trip to a little town in the mountains called Apaneca for a zip lining adventure. Again, the weather wasn’t great, but it was still beautiful and fun.

Right now I need to go help Kpo plan our next step. It’s looking like a three or so day trip to Antigua, Guatemala. We are also hoping to go to the beach while we’re hear, specifically this island called Isla de Montecristo. I can’t believe this is already our 6th day… We leave on August 2nd, so we have about 11 more days. Woot!

Most of the photos are from Cerro Verde national park, although some are from the lake– and I’ll post more from our trip there later. Cerro Verde had an orchid garden that we walked through, but most weren’t in bloom (they bloom in May)– so many photos are from the garden. I don’t feel completely comfortable carrying my camera around here… so I’ll try to get photos, but I’m also trying to travel light. We’ll see…

Kpo and I got a quick glimpse through the clouds of one of the volcanoes near Cerro Verde park, but not for long… going…

…going…

… gone.

A lovely flower, which I do not know the name of .

Moss. Woot!

Beautiful lily, take 1.

Beautiful lily, take 2.

It’s a fun guy!

This was one of the few orchids in the garden that was flowering, and it was AWESOME. I forget the name… but it’s tiny and smells like chocolate! No joke. So cool.

Pretty.

So, this is a bird that Kpo spotted right outside our window at the hostel at Lago de Coatepeque, and we were both excited cause we thought it was a quetzal. Oops- it’s not. But does anyone know what it is?

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7 Responses to Hello El Salvador and warm weather!

  1. Anne Bright says:

    Beautiful! When are you going to start printing these up and selling them at an art show? I’ll be your first customer.

  2. JW Randolph says:

    You have been the fortunate observer of a blue-crowned Motmot!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I LOVE these pics. The first one is amazing.
    Sounds like you guys are having a great time! I miss you! Call me when you can. I will be home on August 6-8th. Wanna hang out??

  4. JW Randolph says:

    They are SO beautiful! One of the most extravagant central American birds. Also, perhaps check out the turqiose browed Motmot. I’d love to see its back (or to know my motmots better) 🙂

    Also, you can tell once you see them, but they are in the same order as Kingfishers.

    Katherine, these pictures are stunning. My favorites are the initial shot of the leaves, and the fun guy. Also, great eye on the moss. Thats a really unique shot.

    Also, just for some historical perspective, I knew Case since the time you were born. Wowz. 🙂

  5. Daniel Vance says:

    Wow!

    What fabulous photos, I wish I was there with you. Have fun, be safe.

  6. Leah Vance says:

    Hello dear sister,

    These are amazing! I cant wait to see you again…and tackle you. It’s gonna be epic so get excited.

  7. Janet Snoddy says:

    The photos make it seem like you are there and they are great! Completely objective since my name is different than Vance. I am so glad that you and your sisters have great friends like Sophie and Case. Love you from Martha’s Vineyard

    JanetSnoddy

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