Embrace The Suck

This week, San Salvador is observing the Festival of El Salvador del Mundos ... known as Agostinos, a celebration of the patron Saint and Namesake of El Salvador.  For the Salvadoreans, it is a national festival, with everything (including the Embassy), closed for six days.  For us?  It means that our HHE ... which arrived and cleared customs this past weekend ... can't get delivered for another week. 

As we are beginning to self destruct with nothing more than the kids' iPads, Wii, and a few groceries in the house, we have been trying to get out as much as possible to see El Salvador. 

Today, we went with a van full of Embassy friends, to Parque Nacional Cerro Verde, also known as the Santa Ana Volcano.  At 2381 meters (7811 feet), this volcano is the highest in the country.  It last erupted in 2005 shooting ash, the size of cars, over a mile away.

With a guide and a driver, we arrived at the volcano around 10:30 am, and after outfitting ourselves with sunblock, bug spray, hats, snacks and water, we joined a large group of hikers accompanied by guides and police, and began the journey at 11:00 am.

By 11:05 am, Grady was done.

By 11:10 am, Matt was done with Grady.

By 11:30 am, I was ready to channel my inner Jesus, and turn our 5 bottles of water, into wine.

The hike took a total of 3.5 hours ~ 2 hours going up, and 1.5 hours coming down, with a 30 minute reprieve at the summit to eat, refresh and take as many pictures as we could before our my iPhone battery died.  Oh and pray to the gawds that sometime in those 30 "relaxing" minutes that Grady would stop crying, for I had enough of his complaining and Matt's ever-so-helpful suggestions for him (which he always said through pursed lips and clenched teeth).  "In order to experience the pleasure of the views, you have to endure the pain of the hike."  Or, "Shut the front door, we're all tired."  And my favorite, "Suffer in silence."

Matt exaggerated the truth and told us that the hike would be fun and easy.  He later revised it, saying that the fun would come on the ride home.  It certainly wasn't for the faint of spirit or the average 5-year old, and unbeknownst to us until we began the hike, no one under the age of 10 is actually allowed on the trail.  So Matt and our guide had to 'grease the machine' in order for the police to allow Grady to climb with us, which cost us a whopping $5 ...

The scenery was gorgeous as we went from a tropical jungle to a volcanic moonscape.  It became more technically challenging as the trail grew steeper and more rugged.  In all, the trek was worth all the effort as the views from the top were spectacular.  Just don't ask them to do it again any time soon. 

 We hiked to the top of the mountain directly behind us.

 Spectacular views as we traversed up our volcano.

 Posing in front of Lake Coatapeque, where we went LAST Saturday.

The view inside the crater of the volcano.


Mom24 said...

Thank you, you made me laugh. :) I needed that. Poor Grady, he has my sympathies.

Emily Schwarz said...

Amazing how you get such nice smiling pictures from a child who cried all the way up, he knows better than to mess with the blog posts. Views are spectacular.

Betsy said...

It sounds like a real adventure! Your kids are real troopers. I am sure even as teens my kids would be complaining about 10 minutes in. ;)

I hope you get your HHG soon. I always hated having to entertain children for weeks at a time with nothing but a few toys - this was pre-ipad time. It will be nice for all of you to be settled in before school starts. :)

Stephanie Sever said...

As always, love your posts!

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