Not My Vacation Slides

beach

Since I’m not going anywhere interesting this winter and my co-worker,  Uma, has no blog, we thought we’d share Uma’s recent vacation to El Salvador.

I know what you’re thinking.  When she first announced her intended trip a couple of co-workers who are actually from El Salvador were astonished, to put it mildly. They said things to the effect of, “Are you insane?”

They might have been referring to the 12 years of civil war (1980-1922).

Or they might have been concerned that El Salvador is subject to significant earthquakes, volcanic activity and hurricanes. The 5.7 earthquake of 1986 resulted in 1500 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and 100,000 people left homeless. In 2001 two 7.7 earthquakes in January and February killed over 1,000 people and destroyed over 20% of the country’s housing. The latest volcanic eruption was in October of 2005.

Natural disasters aside, El Salvador also experiences one of the highest murder rates in the world and is considered a hotbed of gang activity since thousands of Salavadoran gang members were deported from the US in the mid 1990s.

But, Uma is an adventurous sort and went anyway. Tourism is still in its infancy in El Salvador so she got a really good deal ($1,000 Canadian all inclusive –  flight, accommodation and meals). Maybe Uma is just cheap?

There aren’t many nature-themed tourist destinations in El Salvador such as ecotours or archaeological monuments. There are museums and surfing, however:

surf

This is the only photo that’s not one of Uma’s. Although Uma did surf, I guess no one took pictures.  This photo is from Lonely Planet.

Uma did climb a volcano:

volcao

She said she’ll never do it again because it took hours and hours and she almost died from exhaustion.

volcano

Here she is wondering how she’s going to get off this damned volcano now that she’s almost dead from exhaustion.

Whenever they left the resort, the group was accompanied by heavily armed police.

guns

Uma says the female police were particularly gorgeous.

girl-police

And, although they were smaller than their guns, they were also very serious about their jobs. They don’t like tourists getting murdered by gangs. Good to know.

There isn’t much in the way of wildlife in El Salvador for some reason, but the scenery that isn’t covered by volcanic rubble is beautiful.

 waterfall

And the resort was lovely.

resort

 resort2

The most important area of the resort.

bar

The sad part is that El Salvador is still one of the poorest countries in Latin America with 31% of its population living below the poverty line. Many of the people live in shacks by the side of the road like this:

huts

Egads! Maybe if we all spend our next vacation in El Salvador we can help boost their economy a bit, eh?

Uma loved her vacation. The accommodations were great. The people were charming and fun. The food was perfect; the drinks abundant (even though there was no Crown Royal). She and the entire gang she went with had a fabulous time.

the-end

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Uma is happy to answer any questions about this trip or check out El Salvador Tourism.

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RED ALERT!!  There will be another Ottawa Blogger’s Breakfast (brunch) on March 7th. If any Ottawa area bloggers would like to join in who have not yet received notice of this, please send us an email, with a link to your blog, to: bloggersbreakfast@gmail.com and we will send you the details and add you to the mailing list.

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22 responses to “Not My Vacation Slides

  1. Ask Uma if she will take me next time she goes. I’ll be happy to be her valet or something if she pays for me to go with her.

  2. I love this post. Especially seeing another chick’s travel pics of what there is to do and how to do it. I’ve been a lot of places and done alot of things, but never under armed guard. It’s embarrassing to admit that I think armed guard sounds cool.

  3. Oh, that looks yummy…. So I guess El Salvador isn’t the best place to go wandering around with your backpack – unless you can hire a cop to do it with you…

  4. Dr. Monkey – How are your guerilla warfare skills? Are you handy with a sub-machine gun? I can send you the full Statement of Qualifications.

    LoLa – Uma says a lot of the guards were really hot. Short, but hot.

    Jazz – You don’t even have to hire them, they just automatically accompany any tourist who wanders off the resort. Dead tourists are bad for the industry. Ask Mexico.

  5. Well I am good with all manner of firearms as well as throwing knives and several types of swords.
    From epees to broadswords.

  6. Hi Uma! I’m glad you didn’t drop dead of exhaustion so you could come back and show us your pics. Very beautiful. Was wondering if there was something specific that ultimately made El Salvador your vacation choice? (Were you interested in the people, had you seen pictures you thought were beautiful, etc.) I never go anywhere so I’m always curious.

    My life in general could use some armed guard action. Especially if they’re hot.

  7. Shit, I’m a bit jealous, I can’t lie… It looks so beautiful there, especially at that price. And that is a gorgeous policewoman, wow. I have a soft-spot for women in uniform.

  8. YES!

    I hope she’s planning another one soon.
    Can’t wait to wax them legs,
    ’cause it takes aaalll… day… looong…

    Uma’s Grooma

  9. Lesleykim – It was a great time, and the main reason for going was that it was a bit “unexplored” I had only talked to one person who had been there for pleasure and that was many years ago. I would highly recommend this destination if you are interested in seeing a completely different part of the world.
    G_Man – I don’t know what to say…

    Uma

  10. This is Uma’s sister, I was on the trip with her.. second from the right in the bottom pic.. It was an amazing trip.. not only was it beautiful.. the tours were cheap.. we went on a day tour to a fishing village .. 2 volcano’s and a 5 star lunch on the side of a volcano.. for $65 .. .. there was massages on the beach (which we can submit to insurance because they are registered therapists.. .. I KNOW … AMAZING) and they were about half the price they are here.. and they were fabulous…
    there is so much more .. I can go on and on.. I would go back in a heartbeat… and everyone else felt the same.. if you want to go.. book now .. cause the cost is going to go through the roof as soon as people find out about it…

  11. I’ll take a massage on the beach from a short, hot cop!!!

    XUP-what happened with your lunch today and the uninvited one?

  12. Lesley – Thank you. We’ll keep your CV on file and will call you should any available postions arise.

    Lesley – Don’t pay any attention to what Uma says, she went because it was cheap.

    Jobthingy – Exactly. You pays your sheckles, you takes your chances. (Will we be seeing your and Raspy’s vacation slides to El Salvador next?)

    Em – Uma says the women were particularly beautiful. Some of the men, not so much.

    G_Man – Are you one of Uma’s travelling companions? One of the amigos? Or just a random perv?

    Uma – Thanks. (G_Man? My money’s on the new boy)

    Sally – Thanks for visiting and sharing your enthusiasm. I’m not sure everyone is going to be as adventurous as you guys. So hopefully the tourism doesn’t grow too fast. Earthquakes and murder put some people off. Odd, I know.

    Elizabeth – That was last week. As I mentioned in one of the comments we decided to invite everyone in the office as a buffer. It was okay. Thanks for asking. You still haven’t told me who you are, though?? DO you have a blog?

    Emily – Thanks. Tell all your clients about the blog.

  13. XUP-no I don’t have a blog. I found yours through Location Laura. I am a Facebook friend of hers, and she has a link to her blog on her profile. We became friends thru our Boston Terriers!

    I’m glad Friday’s lunch went okay!

  14. What an unusual vacation locale but what a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing the pictures and showing some insight into a place we don’t often think about as a travel destination. 🙂

  15. Gaaah! I have to remember to sign out of wordpress before I leave comments as a “blogger”… aconcernedcitizen is me, on a wordpress blog that I’m helping administer… this is the second time I do this… I only discover AFTER my comment is posted that I’m not “noha”…
    So, to re-iterate: jealous, and cold.

  16. Elizabeth – Ah, you’re Laura’s friend… (I’m sure you’ll have a blog soon..mwah, ha ha)

    Debra – I’m glad you enjoyed them. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to go there, but who knows, if the price is right, eh?

    Missy – Seriously?? That’s really cool. As you know, once photos are on the internet they’re fair game for whoever wants them. Borrow away. And I can’t wait to see yours!

    ACC/Noha – Me too! It’s like the middle of January today, dag-nabbit. It’s supposed to be feeling a teeny bit like spring about now, isn’t it?

  17. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your vacation. I’m actually in San Salvador right now on a business trip. This is my first time visiting the country and I’m so glad to have this opportunity. El Salvador has this stigma that has kept tourism from flourishing, but don’t be afraid of coming. It is very undiscovered and vacations can be had for cheap. Tourism is on the rise and the country is doing a lot to encourage it. I would highly advise anyone to consider a vacation here. I don’t speak Spanish, but am able to get along fine. It helps to know the basic phrases though and the people are very friendly.

    I’m not trying to paint a rosy picture because it is not all good. The vast majority of people here are extremely poor and do whatever they can to get by. I think I heard that the average person makes about $5/day. Conditions like that are breeding grounds for crime and this place is no exception. As with any large city, it is best not to go anywhere alone. I can only speak on San Salvador, which I believe is the largest city in the country. I haven’t been to the beaches.

    All in all, this is a beautiful country with lots to do. Coffee is growing on the side of some mountains and you can visit the plantations. Volcanoes, Mayan ruins and uncrowded beaches are enough for me to want to come back. Oh, and the food has been spectacular!

  18. Jay – Thanks. We had good reports from the people who went on vacation there. The people we know who used to live there and fled the country have a somewhat different perspective and think vacationing in El Salvador is insane.