• El Salvador

    Posted by Loren on February 23, 2011

    Comment of the Day – “Everyone just wishes Honduras would go away”. Tom – Green Turtle

    A suggestion to anyone that is thinking of starting their own country, spend money on your border crossings and bring them to a standard above a garbage dump. It is very hard to get excited about entering a country when the border looks like a toxic waste dump that went bankrupt. About the only thing to be thankful for at the Guatemala/El Salvador border crossing, was that we weren’t truck drivers. Hats off to these guys, as after spending up to a day attempting to cross the border, they still laugh and joke. Maybe I would too if I was being paid, but I’m not, and I want to get to the beach!

    The borders in this end of the world aren’t right next to each other, rather there is a good length of no-mans-land between them. In this case, it was 2km’s, lined with trucks and police checks. We managed to miss one of the 6 exit stamps from Guatemala, costing us 2 hours of crossing time as we chased our tails. It also cost us two hours of daylight, something we really did want coming into El Salvador. After the requisite road tax rip off, not 5 minutes after the border official told us to watch for corruption, we wiped the layer of diesel off our visors, set our headlights at an angle to annoy oncoming traffic, put a fresh set of batteries in our radios, and headed into El Salvador.

    Riding in the dark makes everything ominous. Riding in the dark through the border areas of El Salvador wasn’t high on our list of must-do’s for the trip. I am not sure what it is saying about a place that doesn’t have hotels which we were badly in need of, as it got darker and the pot holes got worse. Muz pulled in for some fuel, and I noticed a car pull up across the street, stop, and pay too much attention to us. We got going again, and the car pulled in behind us. Still in town, we stopped to ask about the possibility of lodging nearby (none it would seem), and the car pulled over and turned off its lights. Now we were stuck with no hotels behind us, the possibility of a hotel somewhere in El Salvador in front of us, and a car that was playing leap frog with us. A couple laps of town and we decided our bikes would be quicker, I still hadn’t got a chance to use my pepper spray, so in a hail of gravel and stray dogs, we made a run for it. One of the potholes must have consumed the lowered Civic or bounced them so much the shooter shot himself, as the BMW’s lived to ride another day.

    The rays of the sun erased all memories of baddies in 1990′s cruising mobiles, and revealed a picture perfect morning ready to be ridden. The pot holes of the night before were a thing of the past as we opened up, the rumble of the twin engines bouncing off palm trees, echoing up valleys and reverberating through tunnels. Managing to refrain from stopping to buy one of the many iguana’s the local boys were holding by the tail for our viewing pleasure as we motored by at 100 km/h, we eased off the throttle at a cafe that promised espresso and wifi.  A spot of false advertising perhaps as they had neither, but did have pancakes and an unbeatable view over a point break. Being from Australia, hard black sand didn’t hold much appeal, so we fuelled up with petrol and Gatoraide, and continued south to the promise of secluded beaches of El Cuco, slowly melting in our gear.

    A 2km ride south of El Cuco, found an excavator where a bridge should have been. A sleepy eyed gentleman in a high vis vest rose from his kip under a palm tree to inform us the road was closed. Upon asserting that the bridge is definitely no more, we were told of the detour through soft sand, along the beach, through a river, back up soft sand, and back on the track to the Green Turtle, and our own private resort for a rest day. The hammock to tree ratio was at an all time high which should be a new star rating for resorts. $20/night does not get any better than this. A good rest and we should be ready for anything – like a crossing of Honduras.

    (a note – if you hoover over the photos, a description pops up)

3 Comments | Leave a Reply

  1. Dave on March 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Beard keeps the ladies away right?? You windswept travellers you……

    • Loren on March 4, 2011 at 3:23 am

      I think it is more just being so handsome, the girls are intimidated. Yea, that’s it!

      • Donna on March 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

        I think all the travel is giving you a fuzzy brain!