Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A New Country

Daryll writes:

It’s always a nervous feeling crossing into a new country so we try and have an early start and not have a big riding day after we into a new country.  We crossed into El Salvador on Sunday, November 14th and spent the night in Santa Ana, a non-descript town.  We arrived early afternoon to find that the entire town had lost it’s power and water supply.  Both came back on around 4pm to our satisfaction as we needed to get caught up on emails and the blog.  We stocked up on some groceries in one of the nicest supermarkets that we’ve come across since the Walmart in La Paz, Mexico.

During our initial planning stages, we thought about crossing from Guatemala into Honduras and visiting the Copan ruins.  After Teotihuacan in Mexico and more recently Tikal in Guatemala, we were all ruined out and as we had decided not to do the northern coastal towns of Honduras which are famous for it’s diving; decided to hit the coast of El Salvador for a few days before crossing into Honduras to make our way to Nicaragua.  The exit out of Guatemala was effortless as we had to cancel our import permits for the bikes, get stamped out and then proceed to the El Salvadorian side.  This process took longer than expected, as we were joking around with the Aduna official, but was painless and we had an interesting conversation nonetheless.  The El Salvadorian Migracion official said that it was not necessary to be stamped into the country; however after insisting as I didn’t want to have problems when we tried to exit, we now have a stamp in our passport that shows that we entered the country.

Aduna - El Salvador
El Salvador literally means "Republic of The Savior" is the smallest, and also the most densely populated country in Central America (Angela's edit: Thanks for the Wikipedia details Billy:). It borders the Pacific Ocean between Guatemala and Honduras.  The colón was the currency of El Salvador between 1892 and 2001, when El Salvador adopted the US Dollar. The Colón continues to still be legal tender though.  We spent about an hour on the Pan-American highway in rush hour traffic on Monday as we made our way to the coastal town of La Libertad and found a Hostel about 100 yards from the beach along Playa El Tunco.  A nice relaxing surf hangout, I spent the afternoon having a siesta on one of the several hammocks hung on the deck and wondered the beach in the evening to watch the sunset.

A Surfers Paradise - Play El Tunco
At last we are up to date with our blog posts. 

Photos added to the El Salvador photo album.
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  1. Did you get some peanut butter in that fancy grocery store?

  2. YES!! As a matter of fact we did:) And the jar is already half done.

  3. Hi Guys,

    We left for Cartagena out of El Porvenir, San Blas --great experience on the boat trip; no one should take the plane option. I'm looking forward to your experience in Colon on the way - if that's the route you take. We two dumb white guys got a police escort everywhere we went in Colon - not our idea at all; they even took us to a grocery store and stood guard outside while we wandered up and down the isles - than back to the hotel (big formerly fancy thing on the shore - forgot the name, but very nice and not too expensive). The next morning I went to find a bank to get some cash and left the bike on the street and wandered around waiting for the bank to open. Everyone very friendly, no hassles at all. Still wondering what the police were afraid was going to happen to us innocents in downtown Colon....

    You guys are great at blogging. I'm way too lazy to share when I'm at the end of the day. See you in South Africa -- soon - 4 months! - I hope.

  4. Hi Tom,
    How's the planning coming along.