I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite things to do in a new place is to find a local bakery and sample the sweet stuff. Normally, to find these bakeries, I will simply type “bakery” into my Google Maps app and see what comes up near me.
This is the exact protocol I followed when looking to kill some downtime in Santa Ana, El Salvador. There were a couple that popped up around me, but one particularly flashy one caught my eye. Pasteleria Ban Ban looked incredible! It had good info listed on the app, and they even had a facebook page and a legit-looking website! It captured my heart and my sweet tooth.
But there was one problem.
Getting there would mean walking 16 blocks in the El Salvador heat. Not only that, but I’d be making the trek alone since my travel buddy was out of commission that day.
But those delicious little morsels had gotten to me and I was determined to make it. I studied my Google Maps app and made a mental note of all my turns and blocks to pass. I took a quick screen shot and was on my way.
The walk took about 30 minutes and by the time I got to Pasteleria Ban Ban, I was pretty sweaty. I found myself disappointed as I arrived. The shop was quite small. There was nobody else there besides me, the security guard, and the two bakery employees. And the selection of pastries was nowhere near what I was expecting there to be.
Still, I hadn’t walked all that way for nothing. I walked up to the counter and asked the cashier for a recommendation on what to have. He suggested a caramel eclair, and I ordered one, plus a bottle of cold water.
At my table, I took a bite of my hard-earned eclair. The pastry was delicious and the caramel topping was quite good as well- but I wasn’t quite sure it was worth the hike. After I finished my pastry and guzzled down my whole water bottle, I was off to make the trek back to my hostel.
It was closer to midday now, and the sun was beating down even hotter. About halfway back, I looked up to find a very familiar looking sign on a large building with huge front windows – Pasteleria Ban Ban.
That’s right. I walked double the amount that I needed to, just because this location of the bakery didn’t show up on my Google Maps.
Slightly annoyed and very sweaty, I continued on my journey. I decided to make a stop near Parque Central to try and scout out some souvenir shops. After no luck, I was thirsty again and ready to get off my feet. I turned the corner from the park back towards my hostel and what did I see?
That’s right another Pasteleria Ban Ban. This one less than 10 minutes from my hostel.
Image taken from Facebook
So thanks, Google Maps for deceiving me and making me walk WAY further than I ever needed to for a three-inch pastry.
Now I’ve learned when you’re using Google Maps as you travel, don’t believe everything it tells you…