T – I was up and ready to rock at 4 am this morning. Chantelle was neither awake nor ready and was very unhappy when I made any noise.
Eventually the hours ticked by and we were packing up and making our plans to hit the border which was around 20kms away. But first we needed breakfast. With both of our tummies seemingly finally on the mend we went in search of food. And went straight back to where we had dinner last night. The food was fresh, tasty and cheap, win win win! I had pancakes, again, and Chantelle opted for a huge bowl of oatmeal.
C – I have been so impressed with the oatmeal in Guatemala. Everyone makes it just how I like it, with the perfect amount of vanilla and cinnamon! I was super excited to cross into El Salvador, but as you can imagine, I did not exude this enthusiasm at 4am.
T – Bellies full we, and by we I mean me, started our bikes and headed off. Chantelles clutch is again playing up and the clutch seems to be sticking on when in neutral, making it very hard to start. We have a new set of plates here and it is about time to put them in.
We cruised down a very battered and broken stretch of highway and soon we could see the bridge that spanned the border between Guatemala and El Salvador. The moment we were in sight of the Guatemalan border control a heap of men came running out trying to get us to park and engage them in some work. But I blipped Mabels throttle and her nasty growl soon had them scampering for the verge in panic, well that and I didn’t even bother to wipe off any speed.
We had researched this crossing and knew that the ‘helpers’ would come thick and fast and before they could even ask us if we needed help Chantelle and I said no thanks, no help necessary.
We were soon processed through immigration and after making a heap of copies of our documents we then checked the bikes out of Guatemala. At this time we decided to change the remainder of our Guatemalan money for some US dollars. Chantelle argued and fought the money changer and I watched as he folded like a piece of paper and gave her the rate she wanted. I am very proud of her because this man was clearly trying to rip us off, but knowing a decent amount of Spanish now meant that Chantelle was able to argue the exchange rate until we got a good rate and the changer got a small commission. Needless to say he wasn’t too happy but grudgingly passed over the money.
C – The exit was nice and easy and it felt good to have a win in Guatemala – so much of the time here was spent checking change and arguing to pay the advertised price, not what some person just randomly made up on the spot. Everyone here is obviously just trying to make money, but it gets difficult having to be on guard all the time.
T – From there we were free to head over the temporary bridge and into El Salvador. Immediately things were different. The border was quiet and ordered and the officials came up to us, took our copies, filled out our forms, took us to the next step and made sure everything was easy and pain free. It was a great border crossing, cost us nothing at all, and left us sitting in the shade for the majority of it.
C – The difference as we crossed the river was amazing. Neat and ordered with a very ‘unchaotic’ feel. Not what I expected at all.
T – Finally, two hours later, we were free!
We had decided to take the Ruta de Flores through some mountains and then follow the CA2 highway which ran along the coast. Most people coming through just stick to the main highway CA1, but we wanted to see more than just that.
What a road it was too! Curving back and forth, smooth bitumen with just a few potholes. There was way less rubbish on the roads here than in Guatemala and the whole place had a relaxed friendly attitude about it. People waved and said hello as we rolled past and gave us big smiles. It was so nice. I even managed to buy a bag of coke for less than a dollar. Yep a whole bag of coke!
We zipped along the coast road, catching glimpses of the sun bouncing off the ocean as we raced, at 65km/hr, through the curves and roared down hills, through tunnels, and then crawled up the next hill until finally we rolled into El Tunco, our stop for the night. Today was a great days ride, a proper ride, and we were loving it. Though on the sad side we managed to cover a third of the country in just a few hours. Not too worry, we can come back.
C – The Ruta de Las Flores was a lovely ride, and then the turn onto the CA2 proved to be a good choice as well. We were ‘whooping’ and ‘yahooing’ as it felt like a lifetime since we have had a good run of roads and little traffic.
My boots are now heading to Nicaragua, and the tracking proves this!! So we are keen to make our way there and enjoy our the riding in El Salvador.
T – After a nice stroll along the beach and a few beers while we watched the surfers, cheap food and beer again, we chowed down on some dinner before retiring for the night. El Salvador is already proving to be very beautiful. Tomorrow we head further south.