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I’d been planning on spending a couple of days in San Salvador, but ended up there for a week. I got to eat a ridiculous number of pupusas, they seem to be eaten even more frequently than tacos in Mexico, hang out at a beach house and scuba dive for the first time through a friend of Lovo and Baiza, my host and his close friend. I also got to work through some of my Spanish self-study materials which although not a challenge had some new vocab for me, I now know the words fregar (to scrub) and barrer (to sweep), how useful, no?

It seems that the most common route across El Salvador is the Pan-American, but that idea got nixed for a few reasons – nothing really jumped out at me, terrible weather and a busy road. Some research and talking with Lovo and Baiza turned up a route through the mountains of southern Honduras and it was easy to decide. Even though there’d be lots of climbing, there’d also be time spent at elevations up to 2000m (6500ft) which would mean cooler weather, it sounded like there would be minimal traffic and, the show-stopper, I would get to go to a town called Gracias. I know very little about Gracias, other than it’s a colonial town, but I just love that a town with that name exists. This kind of thing happens frequently, and is why I don’t do much by the way of pre-planning my route. I decided to change my front tyre which had been on since maybe Los Angeles and was showing it’s age. I was concerned that if I didn’t, it might blow out on one of the descents in the next few days of heavy climbing.

One ridiculous thing about El Salvador is the bike lanes. They’re not that common, but when they are there they have giant bollards every 20 metres or so. I thought they’d decided to replace the bike lanes, but apparently it’s because drivers didn’t respect them and just used them as an extra lane, especially when it was busy. It’s sad that they have to do that as it makes the bike lane really only the narrow space to the right of the bollard.

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