San Salvador to Mexico via Guatemala 28 Aug –
At the end of August, I left San Salvador (the capital of El Salvador), and reached Guatemala in one day. I crossed Guatemala in two days, to reach Mexico.
For all the photos, and videos, please check out my Facebook page, and just with words, here’s the full account:
I had been staying with my friend, Michael, who I had worked with in Barcelona for Vistaprint. That morning, Michael’s lovely wife made me a packed lunch before he drove me to the edge of the city to save me some time getting lost in San Salvador again. A huge and extremely relaxing downhill all the way back to the coast took just 30 mins, dropping about 750m. Mostly flat, but with some small ups and downs, the coastal road was lined with signs for resorts and surfing. I started to find some hills, and left the tourist area behind, where I saw a path between houses to a beach. It was empty and I sat on a lump of concrete, and ate my delicious sandwiches while the waves of the Pacific crashed in front of me. I breathed in the air for a while before heading back to the road. I was climbing a hill when I saw two female cyclists approaching and stopped to say hi. One nwas very upset because she had just been robbed. Two local teenagers had approached her just 300m away as she slowly climbed the hill. She thought they had come to say hello but found a machete pointed at her stomach and her back. They took a phone and a pocketknife but they were nervous and ran off before stealing her money or her camera. She was very shaken up and I offered to buy them a drink. We sat and she calmed down and cheered up. It had been a scare but she was better after a drink, and we chatted for a while. Her friend was Marika, who was Latvian, and her name was Cristina, and she was Spanish. They had teamed up while cycling down from the U.S. It was great to hear two girls travelling and enjoying life on two wheels. I was a little jealous that they were going at a much more relaxed pace. They had spent 4 months in Mexico, and I was planning to cross it in a few weeks. I was a bit embarrassed when the guys at the bar didn’t have change for my 20 dollar note and the girls had to pay for the drinks. Poor Cristina. Robbed twice in one day!
I ended the day at a small truck-stop called Cara Sucia (which means dirty face) where the girls had told me I would be able to find a room in a hostel. I was still in El Salvador but very close to the border with Guatemala.
I woke up early to cross the border into Guatemala. It was insanely hot all morning. Rain all afternoon. Torrential. Woman with leg stuck in metal grid. Rain continued. Felt cold for the first time in Central America. Good fast roads out of Escuitla. But got dark before Cocales. Hit a hole so hard that my tools jumped out of their cage. Can’t believe it didn’t puncture. Made it to Cocales. Hotel reminds me of Africa. Smells of pee. Terribly boring lager called Gallo. Will leave early.
I made it to Mexico. I had crossed Guatemala in 2 days. Mentally I was at a low. Very hot to the top of 750m climb, then torrential rain, a puncture and my front light stopped working just before it got dark. I was incredibly tired, emotionally drained, but I was in Mexico. I crossed the border into Ciudad Hidalgo, and hunted for food, but everything was chicken or beef. Cheese and crackers were just not good enough. I consoled myself with a bottle of Modelo.