El Sal

Crossing the border into El Salvador, we were helped by a guy who wanted me to hook up with his sister. Alex was 23yrs old from Houston TX with 4 kids and a wife back home. He told me he was in Guatemala for the first time in his life to meet his mom and two brothers. It was unclear why he was hustling gringos for tips at the border if he had a good job back in the states, but he was a nice guy and wanted to show me sexy photos of his sister on his phone.IMG_1698

We played it safe and stayed at a hotel near Acajutla when it got dark instead of driving to El Tunco at night. We sort of got our moneys worth out of the overpriced hotel we stayed at by indulging in their coconuts and with the beers they didn’t charge us for, but I still felt ripped off when I could have slept in my van for free. We felt cozy when we entered the gated community of El Tunco. We sat down for some food at Jaguar, where I had the tastiest smoothie ever: Banana chai. After some hostel shopping, we settled on El Tunquito at 5$pp with a pool, kitchen, private parking and only a few min walk from the beach.IMG_1683     Paul rented a board and I tried to give him a lesson but I can hardly teach myself how to surf. Later that night, Negro, the guy we rented the board from, punched me in the stomach for dancing with a local girl. When a bunch of guys with tarps off showed up at the bar, Paul and I got paranoid and left. Somewhere along the way we met Dylan and Sam from BC and Maja fell in love. That was the last we saw of her. Dylan and Sam had driven down from BC in a minivan as well and got help from the same guy at the border, where they were told about another Canadian in a minivan with a sunburned face. I guess that was me.IMG_1703

The beginner break is El Sunzal, and that’s where we hung out most times. I had some fun sunset sessions with the BC boys and Chris Van Dine. Cat showed up and we got a nice sunrise session in together. The gang did a couple hikes up to the waterfalls north of town and I got to try setting up my hammock in some precarious situations. Our last day in El Tunco, Chris came by just as we were leaving and suggested we might be able to organize a bike ride. We were intrigued to say the least. Trying to put all of the pieces together, we drove up into the mountains and met a guy that runs moto tours. I got to bomb around on a dirtbike for a few minutes, but we didn’t find any pedal bikes to play on. After lunch, we said our goodbyes to CVD and plugged on down the road to Honduras. I was not excited about crossing two borders in one day, and I was also not excited about dealing with corrupt Honduran police.DCIM100GOPRO

At the border crossing I got talking to a Costa Rican dude that was driving to CR in one go. He said we could convoy with him and he would help us through any road blocks. That lasted about 20 mins before I grew tired of driving 60 km/h in Honduras. Then the roads got really bad. I hit a pot hole and dented my rim. The tire wouldn’t sit on the bead any more and we lost all of our air immediately. With some local ingenuity, we banged the rim more or less back into shape, and the tire would now hold air for about a day before needing a recharge.  I got a ticket in Honduras at a road block for not having shoes on while driving. I knew it was the law but it had become so normal for me to be barefoot down here that I wasn’t thinking about it as we approached the roadblock. After stepping out of the vehicle to negotiate I got off with a 10$ bribe/fine. But we eventually got into Nicaragua.

Having not done our homework, and with Cat needing to get on a bus to meet her friend farther South, we settled on going to Leon. We pulled into an old saloon/casino in the heart of Leon and cheersed tall Tonas over a successful day on the road.DCIM100GOPRO


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