Friday, November 16, 2012

Greetings From San Salvador

Greetings All,
We are in San Salvador, the capital of the tiny Central American country of El Salvador. We are half way through our two week trip exploring the highlights of El Salvador. We started at a coffee plantation in the northwest and did a bit of mountain biking and hiking. Coffee is the number one export here and the high elevation variety is just starting to ripen. Our first major hike was a climb up El Salvador's newest volcano, Izalco at 6404 feet. We hiked around the rim encountering many steaming thermal vents.

Our second climb was up Santa Anna, the highest volcano in El Salvador. Along the way were giant Agave plants with flower stalks 12 feet tall.

We had great views of the perfect cone of Izalco.

As we approached the rim at 7812 feet, the wind gusted at us from the North. We were hesitant to get too close to the rim for fear of being blow in. At the bottom of the crater was a beautiful turquoise lake.

Our next objective was El Pital, the highest point in El Salvador at 8957 feet. The summit straddles the border between Honduras and El Salvador so you could be in two countries at the same time.

The next volcano to conquer was El Boqueron. This peak was not much of a challenge as you can drive almost to the top. Boqueron has a very large crater. It is 1640 feet deep and almost a mile in diameter. There is a smaller crater in the bottom.

This volcano last erupted in 1917. It is a sleeping giant looming over the 2 million inhabitants of San Salvador. We hiked around some of the lava flows from the 1917 eruption.

Today we took a break from volcano bagging and toured the city of San Salvador. We visited the national cathedral, theater and palace. Many of the old building here have been damaged by earthquakes over the years. An earthquake in 1986 was particularly devastating. Tomorrow we're off to hike another volcano.
We hope all is well back home.
Peggy and Marc

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