Day 33: Hangover.
2 gennaio 2022

The first writing of 2022, one who writes things in life, would like it to be memorable. Instead, nothing. The head still foggy from last night’s liquor won’t allow it. 

It was a great party. A large center table, full of food. A cool, starry night. A big cigar, Latin music and some great Guatemalan rum. About 30 people total. The family of our host Carlos, with smiling faces. Middle class, polite, well dressed. Very curious and open-minded towards us. 

Out of the kitchen came enough to feed an army. Fried bananas, much better than chips, roasted chicken with jalapeno sauce, rice and cheese cake, mashed tuna with indecipherable spices, potato tortilla, even an incredible sweet and sour mix of soft cheese and caramelized nuts. To wash it all down all-you-can-drink sangria and hard liquor. Nothing to complain about.

We watch the stroke of midnight on the rooftop of Casa Verde, our favorite spot in the entire city, and watch it explode with color. This fascination of Latin peoples with fireworks, I’d like to know what its origins are. The Santanecos don’t want to miss out. At the twelfth chime, a storm breaks out. A thousand shades of gunpowder fill the night. A beautiful spectacle indeed. A moment we will remember.

Back at the table, we talk and drink until dawn approaches. Only to collapse tired and wake up at almost noon with a vague headache. This is called sanctifying the holidays.

We can’t indulge in lazing around any longer though. There is the northern part of the country to visit and the days at our disposal are starting to run out. Today we leave, towards Metapan. Back to the mountains.

We take down the curtains and fill our backpacks, as they say. Once our room is free we go to the desk to check out. Carlos is already waiting for us, with Strike open and the Lightning bill already set. The transaction is a flash. I ask him to tell me what he does with his satoshi. If he converts them to dollars or prefers to keep them. He is a curious and intelligent man. Maybe he doesn’t have a passion for technology, maybe he doesn’t want to delve into it, but he senses the potential. As an entrepreneur, he has smelled an opportunity and wants to see what happens. So he hodl. Bravo Carlos.

We leave our backpacks at the hostel for a few hours. We are hungry and before we leave we need to eat something and find lodging for the evening. We walk through the streets of Santa Ana. They are deserted. I’ve never seen it like this these days. Everything is closed and the sense of emptiness is unreal. The sidewalks are covered with the remains of firecrackers and barrels. Who knows how long it will take to clean everything up. 

We find a hostel that accepts bitcoin almost immediately and sit down for a leisurely meal at a nice place right in the central square, with a great view of the cathedral. How beautiful Santa Ana is.

Waiting for us on the street corner, trusty and faithful, the Bitcoin Car. Time to throw the backpacks in the trunk and we’re driving north. There’s no traffic, it seems that the whole state is in hangover after New Year’s Eve. The road is beautiful. It climbs past lakes and wooded hills. There is beautiful light and it’s the perfect way to spend the afternoon. We let the car do all the work.

We arrive at the hostel, it’s a brick house, with wooden beams, surrounded by vegetation. The owner is not there and the staff tries to make us pay with the usual phone number or with the code of Chivo. When we answer that we can’ do anything with it but that we need a Bitcoin address they give us the usual doubtful looks. We wait for an hour. When the boss arrives we show him how to use Lightning. By now we’re used to it. The didactics in Spanish runs well.

We are using the evening to work a bit on the logistics of the next eleven days, our last in El Salvador. We need to work them in well, because we still have a few stories up our sleeve that we’d like to try to tell you.