Ok, so I will be the first to admit that I have denied the blog (and our faithful readers) for way too long. I wish I had a fabulous excuse to why I haven't been writing but to be honest I don't. After Ode and I had our mutual split in early December and she returned to Utila to obtain her dive masters it was time for me to make decisions about where I would go.
As promised I spent Christmas and New Years in Utila with Ode. Our brief reunion was wonderful and we both had missed each other dearly (even though it had only been 3 weeks since we separated). We anxiously welcomed the arrival of Lionel in late December. The trio was complete, but only for a week as Lionel and I set out on our own in early January. First we visited Copan Ruins (Honduras), the most southern ruins of the Mayan empire, which is very beautiful but somewhat touristy. At this point in time I was feeling homesick for Nicaragua in particular the city of León (where I had spent the entire month of December). Lionel didn't care where we went since as he mentioned many times ¨I wasn't even planning on visiting Central America so whatever we do is fine with me.¨ We had a one night stop over in Tegucigalpa the sketchy capital of Honduras and the next day entered Nicaragua.
Staying at hostel after hostel and meeting tourist after tourist can be tiring so we decided to rent some rooms from a dear friend, Don Raúl. During the month of January Lionel, Leonardo and I were la pequina familia siempre juntos (the small family always together). They were good times filled with many trips to the beach, delicious meals, Flor de Caña Rum Thursdays and discoteca crazed Fridays. Leonardo and I knew we would be flying to Argentina in early February but Lionel had not decided exactly how he was going to get down to South America. He tried to leave a couple times but the reality of our comfortable life in León was too strong for him to actually make a break…plus Leonardo and I were pretty good convincers. Finally Lionel decided that he would fly to Buenos Aires on February 10th, 5 days after Leonardo and me.
Since the cheapest flight to Buenos Aires out of Central America was out of El Salvador la pequina familia loaded the bus and headed to San Salvador.Leonardo and I only had 1 night there and Lionel decided he would spend his time seeing some sights. Up to this point I had heard 2 completely opposite things about El Salvador. The first being it is really dangerous and don't go. While the other being that people are very friendly with an amazing culture. Not knowing what to believe we all had our guard up, but in truth it seemed to be ok… San Salvador, the capital was sketchy but all large cities and especially capitals in Latin America aren't exactly the nicest places.The airport is about a 1 hour ride outside of the city so you have 2 options: take a bus for less than US$1 or a taxi for US$27.The choice was obvious; take the bus…seemed safe enough, WRONG.Up to this point neither Ode nor I had any troubles travelling.When I and Leonardo were on the bus everything was fine for the first 30 minutes, then the guy in front of us turned around without a knife demanding money, cell phone jewelry, etc. When Leonardo responded ¨no tenemos nada¨ (we don't have anything) the guy came at us with the knife.It all happened so fast but what seemed like 5 minutes (I'm sure it was less time) Leonardo was fighting off the guy with the knife. The visual was basically Leonardo standing in front of me as I stood in front of out backpacks yelling broken spanish.Eventually they left and robbed somebody else on the bus that didn't put up a fight.Unbelievably nobody did anything; they just sat there and watched the whole thing.Even the guy that got robbed in the end acted as if it was normal.Looking back on probably one of the scariest moments of my life I realize that what we had more than anything that day was luck.But I know one thing for sure I will NEVER return to El Salvador nor will I recommend it to anybody.
Now la pequina familia is in Argentina.Lionel arrived safely, as soon as I had internet access I made sure that he didn't take the bus to the airport.Now once again I am wondering where to go next.Already I am somewhere that I never planned on visiting.I admit that Argentina is a lot better than what I imagined.Besides the fact that they eat dinner at 11pm and love dulce de leche with everything it is an alright country.I often think back to the adventure of Ode & Tina and wonder where we will end up next.The chance of finding each other on a deserted island is very likely.We will continue to update the blog but only from different places in the world.If you would like to take a look at Lionel's blog the address is www.offexploring.com/lionel