Day 06: On the volcano
Thursday 10 November 2022

We often repeat this when we travel. We are not driving, Satoshi is.

This motto of ours means that living by chronicling Bitcoin exposes us to an amount of contingencies and odds. You can make all the plans you want, but something will always happen anyway that will end up messing them all up. 

Today was a case in point. We were contacted on Twitter by a local bitcoiner who, after complimenting us on our work, pointed us to a super bitcoin friendly hotel located in a wonderful location, in the mountains around the city of Santa Ana, right in front of the volcano of the same name. An opportunity too good to waste. We pack up our backpacks, throw them in the trunk of the car, and set off again.

The road to the hotel is wonderful. A snake of curves surrounded by vegetation. Along the way we pass through a series of small rural villages. Poor houses, tin roofs overflowing with life. Before our eyes is the everyday life of the people of El Salvador, made up of fruits and vegetables sold on street corners and displayed on roughly assembled wooden stalls, made up of dirty, fatigue-worn work clothes, of animals grazing in the backyard.

A hard but genuine life.

The closer we get to our destination the steeper the climb becomes and the air cools. Above our heads the dark, ominous silhouette of the volcano.

As often happens to us we struggle to find the mouth of the dirt road leading to the hotel. We are in the middle of nowhere, the signs are practically nonexistent, and Google Maps swerves as if we were on Mars. When we find it, the adventure becomes more complicated. To call the terrain over which we are driving rough is putting it mildly. Between the boulders, potholes, depressions and concrete pours on either side of the mule track we fear we are about to leave the Nissan Lambo behind on its second day in our company. 

But when we finally arrive the structure takes our breath away. The hotel is actually a cluster of small bungalows popping up among lush gardens. We check in, and the staff is most gracious and escorts us to our casupole. We leave our backpacks on the ground and immediately step outside, totally intoxicated by the view before us. We are on a high mountain in the center of Cerro Verde National Park, The volcano of Santa Ana towers before us, right in the center of the large windows of our room, it feels like we can touch it. Below us is a bed of very white clouds, they look like whipped cream, still below is the large valley that is home to most of the population centers. The sun is setting and the sight, believe me, is breathtaking. It doesn’t seem real to us.

This is a place that really bitcoiners traveling in El Salvador should mark on their map. In the past it has also hosted, we are told, several meet-ups.

In the evening there is not much to do. The food is simple and tasty, and moving the car is out of the question. We enjoy the brisk evening air surrounded by an almost unreal peace and tranquility. As night falls, the clouds clear and the valley transforms into a swarm of bright dots. The lights of the sleeping cities below us.

As we once again enjoy the view we get some work done, I write this journal page and we get into bed.

We look forward to dawn to see the sun rise from this perspective.