Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Weekend Food Festival of Juayua; Ruta de las Flores & getting caught in a downpour in El Salvador. Kid friendly adventures.

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We seem not to have the best of weather for food festivals.
Two times we have stayed at towns just for a Saturday food festive.
The last time was in Paraguay, and it went for 28oC to 8oC in a day and we froze so badly my son cried. (Mind you I had tried for days to get him to stores to buy warm clothes and he refused).

This time we walked into town with no umbrella, and waited for the Conga tram / bus at the information booth.  Three times we went back to the Information store. Eventually the nice man printed us out a map, hold us the Conga was cancel for Ruta de las Flores due to the rainy season, and pointed us to the local bus.

So we wandered through the main square and the markets where Silkie chickens stood on cages for $1 photos.

There were horse and carriage rides, horse rides, mini road-train rides, and about 200 market stalls all setting up.

 There were also long food marquees all being set up for lunch.
We decided to skip that as we just needed snacks.
So back to our new favourite Guadalupan Mexican restaurant for more tortilla soup and a burrito plate to share.

Bus 249 runs frequently between Sonsonate and Ahuachapán, stopping in all the towns along the way, including Juayúa where we hopped onApaneca and Ataco.

You will notice the tiled mosaics in some towns, and a lot of painted buildings.

As soon as we hit the first town the rain started.
We took shelter in their food central market area, and also enjoyed trying the organic coffee and looking up to the misty coffee plantations on the hill with the crosses at the top.
Once the rain died down, we took a mini-van to the next town.

When we got there it was bucketing down.
We skipped from store to store.

We nearly left, but had read there was weaving in this area, so asked a couple of locals for the Artisan store, and found it!
Here on the corner is room upon room if unusual locally made crafts.

Inside you see men at the weaving looms, and get to fully appreciate the detail of the cloth.

The coloured cottons are so bright and amazing and you may even get a turn and spinning the cotton if you ask.

The room is filled with amazing soft cotton weaves handing from the roof.

But by the time we were n side, we were drenched.
We wandered through and found a huge cafe area.
They made the most delicious real hot chocolates with grated dark chocolate and marshmallows.
 I had bought a table runner at the markets earlier, but it severed as a shawl while I tried to get warm.

 We decided to make a run for it and explore the Oktoberfest in the main square.
As we walked we saw many more stores.  All brightly painted with their art.

Again it started to rain.
We found the stone museum and Explorason wanted to go in and see the Mayan carved stones.

The interesting thing was that most are depicting the Jaguar face.
We are not sure if they missed the face that was so clear when we looked at this stone upside-down.

 As we headed around the square, many little quaint stores can be found.
The Oktoberfest was in the centre, and the fountain was again working.

They sold Iguana shaped bread, with sprinkles and raisin eyes and it was quite delicious for 50 cents.

 Again there was a food festival, but I am dreading what this meat is - we just decided to look and not taste.

There was a wedding on at the fantastic Ave Maria church.
We were invited when talking to a man who had good English, but the sky misted over and we decided to make a run for the bus home.

We had not yet managed the next town with the hot springs - but it was not good weather and it had all become too hard.

We only got as far as the weaving store and the rain bucketed down.
So we had fun in the hat department.
We had to wait the best part of an hour, but we had fun.

 The rain lightened enough for us to leave.
Most cobblestone streets were flooded.
I hated to think of what animal faeces might have been left on the pavements that now washed the streets, but we had no choice as we couldn't cross unless we walked through.
Oh well we would shower later!

We finally managed to find our way back through the streets.
We dripped as we waited and shivered for the bus.
Once back in Juayua we wandered through the quiet streets.
The Food Festival was a wash-out.
And so were we!

We somehow managed to find a tuk-tuk in the pouring rain.
Back home we peeled off wet clothes and Explorason jumped in the lovely hot shower.
Never so much have fluffy towels and hot water been so appreciated!

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