We all made an effort to be far more considerate with our 5-something wake ups and 6am departure than the uni kids had been the night before. Guy was very apologetic to hear that Dave had been sleeping through all the drunken festivities by the pool until he head Guy yelling at them. Oops!
I stuck to a banana for breakfast, and was watching to see how that went. The long horrible ride to the border with El Salvador wasn't much fun, but we got through the border process more quickly than Lou said it usually takes. On the other side we stopped for a more proper breakfast (only bread & Gatorade for me though). By lunch I was feeling a little bit better and managed papaya & jello.
We made it to Ilobasco for a one hour stop of craft shopping. They have an interesting tradition here in El Salvador of making ceramic eggs with a top that lifts off the base, and has a scene inside. Some of the ones we saw were a church which revealed either a bride & groom or a nativity scene, plus the ones Lou had described featuring a baby being delivered (had a hospital table, scrubs & all!), then there are ones with various versions of "babies being made" etc. The thing is that these aren't made for tourists - they're for the domestic market. I'm still not clear if they're bought as a wish, to mark an occasion or what exactly. I'll have to ask for more info. (One of the locals later explained that they're just for decoration. Nothing more.)
We finally arrived in Suchitoto, and it's lovely. It reminds me a bit of Colonia, Uruguay with all of the colonial buildings and cobbled streets. It definitely has a charm that Leon seemed to be lacking, but I have a feeling it's a bit sleepy. We all got checked in to our really beautiful hotel and made plans to go out for dinner. Guy, Mike, Dawn & I went to La Lupita, because Lou had recommended some traditional dishes they have there.
We all started with traditional papusas for dinner. Usually they're made with cornmeal, and have both cheese & something else inside. We had a choice of either corn or rice, so I figured rice was my best option, with only mushrooms & no cheese. The others had corn with cheese & spinach. When we ordered dinner, I just had another rice mushroom papusa, but Dawn tried chillies relleno, Guy tried Gallo en chicha (might be misspelled, but it's basically chicken stewed in beer, which they said was good), and Mike went for chicken with the "usual accompaniments", which was good as well. Guy was giving us his full array of the different accents he could imitate, and it was darned impressive. He gave us a few from around England, then we started making requests and he ran through South African, Kiwi, Aussie, American, Mexican, Canadian, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, French, German, Spanish, Italian & Russian. He's REALLY good at this. I kept teasing that we need to post him on YouTube.
Part way into our meal, Bob & Gilda joined us at the next table, so we were all chatting about a number of things, and when Lou wandered by, she sat down as well.
At one point we were laughing about how loud the people had been in the hotel the night before, and Bob asked had we never tried to sleep while our child wailed at 4am. I just looked at him and said "You're asking US this??", because he was the only one in the place who'd had children. We all just laughed.
Lou had sworn that a big shot of rum would cure whatever was ailing me, so when we got back to the hotel, Guy pulled out his duty-free bottle he was determined to finish before leaving for home. Between Guy, Dave, Jill, Tom, Bob, & I, there was a serious dent made in the bottle, but I kept it under 2 shots for me since I was a little skeptical about this cure-all. We'll see.