After being stationary for almost two months in Guatemala it is good to be traveling again. As long as we are heading south it feels like we are making progress. The border crossing was uneventful except for the fat, grumpy, little man doing our vehicle import papers. He had a lot of questions for us but insisted on asking them one at a time. Between each question he pointed across the room to an empty bench and forced us to sit. As soon as we would be seated he would look up, point, and wave us back to the window for another single question. He held all the power so we smiled and ate shit.
Finally, we made it into El Salvador and what we thought would be a fairly straight-forward, 20-mile drive to our first campsite became a roundabout, GPS routing through smaller and smaller dirt, rough roads. Each time we asked directions we got a different answer and people looked confused as to why we were even there. Eventually, we ran into some local hikers with two armed security guards that said we should turn around. We did. That night we stayed in a “love motel” that piped loud Latin American rock through a speaker in the ceiling at 7am. Clearly, we got going early that morning. We did find the campground in the mountains on a much easier paved road, however the wind howled non-stop forcing us to hide in our tent for an entire day. The wind sounded like ocean waves crashing over the tent and brought a fine layer of dust into the tent through the seams and zippers. Although we paid for two nights we left after one.
Leaving the mountain top we decided to drop down in elevation to find shelter from the wind. Lucky for us, only a short drive away was thermal springs with camping.
Taking a break from the hot springs we took a hike through the area that included an armed escort we picked up along the way. While it didn’t feel unsafe our security escort felt his services were needed and was happy to play tour guide pointing out interesting sights with the barrel of his shot gun.
Camped with us in the parking lot were our friends from HOBOTrail. The evening sky was clear with a stunning moon and more stars than we had seen in a long time.
We decided to check out the surfing and black sand beaches of El Tunco. As we dropped out of the hills the temperature increased and the lush green gave way to dusty and brown scrub brush. It was very hot.
Our next stop was El Cuco with wider beaches and far fewer people. For this stop we left the tent on the bike and got a room with a porch.
Traveling with us for the next few weeks is Cisco Prahl (Bring my Wheelchair). The C4 countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua) only provide 90-days to visit so we are cutting short Honduras in order to spend more time in Nicaragua.