Saturday, September 25, 2010

Suchitoto, El Salvador Lele Kawa

While diving last week I overheard the Emer, the dive master, mention she was planing to do a waterfall jumping tour on Friday. I immediately said I'm going.

Friday morning I meet up with Emer and two other people, whom I had not meet before then. The person that knew where we were going had to cancel, so we were left to find the restaurant where the tour operated from on our own. This proved to be pretty easy, as it was in a town center, and the street signs were effective.

La Lupila del portal, where the tour is operated from in Suchitoto town center

We meet up with our guide and then jumped into his truck to drive to the trail head. A short walk down the road took us to the first and largest waterfall of the tour. This waterfall was about 25 meters tall. After a quick stop at the top for photos, we made our way to the pool at the bottom. The cool water of the pool was refreshing. With a little work you were able to wedge your body under the falls for a hydro-massage.

The first falls. Hydro-massage is on the left

After our quick dip, we made our way down stream along the river to the next falls. This falls was about 12 meters. The guide pointed out where to jump from and the rocks you need to clear at the bottom. Then wasting no time, I took the plunge, and repeated it three times. Rather than take the trail the long way back up, I climbed up the rocks to the side of the falls. The first time I was climbing up, near the top I slipped and almost fell. Luckily I escaped with only a few scratches on my side. Emer chickened out.

View from the bottom of the second falls

A short way down the river lead us to the third and smallest of the falls on the tour. It is about 7 meters tall, and it had a rope swing at the top. Again I was the first to jump, or rather swing. It took me longer to do this than the first jump. Rope swings are harder to judge than just jumping. The guide insisted it was safe, so I trusted him. All went well. Emer tried to follow me, but didn't let go of the rope. They pulled her onto the ledge on her back swing. After that she decided it was easier to just jump and Andrew followed her. While they were jumping, I explored the little pool at the top of the falls. It was about 10 feet across and five feet deep where there weren't rocks. I decided to jump off the six-foot ledge into this little pool. Emily joined me.

Rope swing at the third falls

Before we headed back to the truck, I wanted to jump from a different ledge at the third falls. The guide said the spot was ok. I made the jump, only to check the landing afterwards and find that there as a shallow shelf about three feet deep that extended out about ten feet out from the wall. Luckily I cleared this shelf but I told Emer not to follow me.

Coordinates +13.893286,-89.045327