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Before leaving El Salvador we headed out on a road trip with Bill and Jean organizers of the El Salvador Rally, Dave and Linda from Perrr-fect, and Bruce and Gina on board Dream Catcher to visit the town of Suchitoto. After spending hours on old American school buses and vans with bald tires and no air conditioning, the van Jean rented was heaven even if the driver was a little sketchy (just checking to see if you are reading the blog, Bill 🙂 ).

Bill aka our driver!

Bill aka our driver!

We stopped on the way at the Fernando Llort art gallery in San Salvador. Fernando is a local artist whose art work even appears on the cups at the local coffee shop.

Fernando Llort

Fernando Llort

At an elevation of a little over 1000 feet, Suchitoto didn’t offer relief from the heat but it had a nice little town and our awesome hotel Los Almendros had a pool. The owners, Pascal and Joaquin, along with their boxer Leonardo, welcomed us at the front door.

Leonardo

Leonardo

Los Almendros

Los Almendros

Each room is unique. We had a two story suite where we could have thrown one heck of a party.

Our room is too the left overlooking the pool

Our room is to the left overlooking the pool

Los Almendros

Los Almendros

Los Almendros

Los Almendros

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The hotel is filled with art.  This was in our room.  That is a door turned into a shelf.

The hotel is filled with art. This was in our room. That is a door turned into a shelf.

The hotel had a bar across the street called El Chucho, which translates to The Pooch, that Gary thought reminded him of the bars in New Orleans one of our all time favorite places to visit. I have to agree. It had that same rich, old decor and vibe New Orleans is known for. As you would expect, Gary and I went there several times and the owners hosted a wine tasting for our group there. On the second night they hosted a dinner for us along with guitar music on their patio. A lot of poetry, which isn’t quite our taste especially in Spanish, but the food was delicious.

Suchitoto is a small town with a few galleries and shops.

The cathedral

The cathedral

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Everyone rides around in a Tuk Tuk typically 25 cents

Everyone catches a ride in a Tuk Tuk typically 25 cents

On this day the people lined this one street selling all kinds of goods.

On this day the people lined this one street selling all kinds of things.

I feel like a pack animal lugging groceries and just about everything to and from the boat.  My two hands and arms are not enough.  I need to stop one of these ladies sometime and get lessons.

I feel like a pack animal lugging groceries and just about everything and anything to and from the boat. My two hands and arms are not enough. I need to stop one of these ladies sometime and get lessons.

Suchitoto

Suchitoto

Everyone brings their corn to the town corn grinder.  Her hand is on the finished product, which is then turned into corn tortilla's, etc.

Everyone brings their corn to the town corn grinder. Her hand is on the finished product, which is then turned into corn tortilla’s, etc.

We took a boat tour of the lake by Suchitoto because well I guess we thought we all don’t spend enough time on the water. The lake was very low since the rainy season had not quite started.
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I had a flash back to the 60’s when us girls went to a women’s co-op and tie-dyed our own indigo scarf. Indigo dye supported Suchitoto’s economic and population growth in the 19th century until synthetic dyes collapsed the market.

Folding and tying

Folding and tying

Hard to believe this makes a design

Hard to believe this makes a design

So I volunteered to stir all our scarves in the vat.  This vat was six years old and contained live bacteria.  Yes, it smelled yucky.  And yes, I did get it on my favorite skirt :(

So I volunteered to stir all our scarves in the vat. This vat was six years old and contained live bacteria. Yes, it smelled yucky. And yes, I did get it on my favorite skirt 😦

But the final products turned out beautiful. (l to r Cindy, Jean, our instructor, Gina, Linda)

But the final products turned out beautiful.
(l to r Cindy, Jean, our instructor, Gina, Linda)

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Fair winds
Cindy