The day after El Cerro Campana trek I did the La Luna trek. Also for this trek there is a minimum of two persons and the cost is then 25 dollars per person (June 2009). I was alone and paid 40 dollars for the trek. It is a bit easier than El Cerro Campana trek and it took six hours. The whole trek is outside El Imposible National Park.
I was happy to get Miguel as a guide at this trek too. We were driven to the starting point in the morning, it was a longer drive than the previous day. From where we started the trek we had a wonderful view and could see far into Guatemala. Our trek went into the other direction. Also during this walk we walked through coffee plantations and dry forest, up and down, and got very beautiful views. There were more butterflies, caterpillars and beetles during this trek than the previous day. And once again Miguel showed me different plants to eat or plants that could be used for medical use. At one point we stopped by a high waterfall where I had a swim in the freezing cold water.
On the signs in Hostal de Mamá y Papá it says there is a minimum of two persons for the trekking tours. I was alone so I had to pay a bit more, 25 dollars (June 2009) instead of 20 dollars per person for the Cerro Campana trek.
In the morning I and the guide Miguel were driven by Manolo to the starting point of the trek. We walked through coffee plantations up to a view point with great views down towards Tacuba and beyond. The ascent continued, steep at some places, and we entered dense dry forest. At some points we got great views over the tops in El Impossible. Then we descended into a dry river valley and then there was another steep ascent. At this point the rain started to pour down very heavy. It continued raining for a while but stopped after half an hour. We walked past the hamlet El Naranjito and on to El Puente Imposible.
The bridge El Puente Imposible was built at a dangerous passage over a gorge in 1968. Before that the journey had been dangerous for the coffee growers on the way to sell their crop. Several mules and men had fallen to their death when they had tried to cross the tree trunk bridges. Well, as the sign at the bridge says “Mayo 1968 - dejó de der imposible“, it is no longer impossible to cross the gorge. It is from this impossible passage that the National Park El Imposible has got its name.
From El Puente Imposible we walked back past Naranjito and then followed a dirt road downhill. We walked on to a small coffee finca where we were picked up and driven back to Tacuba.
The trek took seven hours and I enjoyed it very much. At some points it could be quite hard and there was not a well defined path at some points along the trek. The nature and views were beautiful and during the trek Miguel pointed out plants and I even tasted a few things (chaparon, platanio, pepeto). Part of this trek is done within the National Park El Imposible.
The Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota supercilious), in El Salvador called the Torogoz, is the national bird of the country. I saw it during both my hikes in Tacuba. Unfortunately you can’t see in my picture how colourful it is, but you can see the characteristic tail feather. The Torogoz is about 34 centimetres long and weigh about 65 grams. It can be found in Central America, from south-eastern Mexico to Costa Rica. It lives in quite open habitats where it can be seen sitting on a branch, wire or fence looking for insects or small reptiles. The nests are long tunnels often made in an earth bank (see photo 2).
Saritas is a chain of ice-cream places which can be found in many El Salvadorian towns. In Tacuba there is one along the main street, a few blocks from the main square. I came back here a few times and tasted a few different flavours and it was yummy! A cup (or a cone) with two flavours was 1.20 dollars (June 2009).
Restaurante Miraflores is situated in one corner of the main plaza, just opposite the church. I ate here twice. The first time I saw the sign outside saying they had breakfast, lunch and dinner and the door was open. The second timeI came here to eat there was no sign outside and there were bars over the entrance. I went over and asked as it is not uncommon in El Salvador that there are closed bars covering an entrance even if it is open. It was open.
The first time I had a soup with meat and vegetables and I also got some tortillas by the side. It was 1.50 dollars. And the second time I had chicken, French fries and salad, and a beer to drink. It was 3 dollars (June 2009).
It was empty in the restaurant but from the table where I sat I could watch the people going in and out of the church.
In the back there is a green courtyard and around it there are a few rooms to rent.
The buses between Tacuba and Ahuachapán leave quite frequently. They leave from the main street, a few blocks up from the main plaza. When I was leaving a bus was standing there and I didn’t have to wait long before it left. To Ahuchapán it took about 40 minutes and it was 0.60 dollars (June 2009). The bus drove through Ahuchapán and then dropped the last passengers between the market and the Sonsonate highway turnoff. I crossed the roads and waited by the side of the road for the first bus to Juayúa. Other people were waiting there as well and we didn’t have to wait long for the bus. For Juayúa it took less than an hour and the price was 0.75 dollars.
When I earlier, during the week, had passed Juayúa the bus had stopped at Parque Central, but as I now arrived during the weekend and the area around the park was full of food stalls the bus stopped three blocks west of the park (opposite the bank).
All buses leave Ataco from the corner of 2a Calle Pte with 4a Av Norte. Buses are frequent and one was just leaving for Ahuachapán as I arrived. It took 20 minutes and the fare was 0.40 dollars. In Ahuachapán the bus stopped near the market and I walked about two blocks through the market to get to the bus to Tacuba. I sat on the bus for 20 minutes before it took off. During that time there was a constant flow of sellers walking through the bus selling snacks, drinks, torches etc. The bus left on time at 12.00. To Tacuba it took 40 minutes and the fare was 0.65 dollars (June 2009). In Tacuba the bus stops along the main street, a few blocks up from the main square. It was not far to walk to Hostal de Mamá y Papá where I was going.