Seven buses, one police truck, and thirteen hours later...

Published: September 8th 2015
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Two Borders in One Day

Our time in Nicaragua was quickly coming to an end. Next stop: El Salvador. Leaving Nicaragua was rather simple. We got up at 0430hrs to catch the 0500hrs bus the 10km to the border for NOI10 each. There were plenty of locals on the way as well; but whether they were on the way to work, or their fields that were only accessible from the Honduras side, we're not sure.

At the border we spent USD2 each to leave Nicaragua at the El Espino border. We took longer than the locals and got left in their dust. We sauntered across the border and had no troubles on the Honduras side... until we went to catch the bus. We thought the border town would be a little bigger so we walked a little farther to a bus stop that was a little beyond the main concentration of buildings. After a half hour of thumb twiddling and a small snack, Dan got ants in his pants (figuratively) and thought that if we just went over the next hill we'd hit the main part of town and catch a bus there. Well, we walked, but we didn't find any more town. In fact
Play That MusicPlay That MusicPlay That Music

Dan's version of entertaining himself on one of our breaks.
less and less buildings were dotting the road side; but worse case the bus would stop along the road for us as we had witnessed so many times before. Eventually we saw a shuttle van go the opposite direction and took that as a good sign that he'd be coming back in the next half hour or maybe hour. We continued walking along the highway admiring the country side, strolling from what little shade we could find to the next bit of shade (it was still only about 0730hrs by this time and a comfortable temperature). The van eventually came back and cruised right by, honking in either apology or malice; we haven't fully figured out the Central American language of the honk yet. The same thing happened with subsequent public transportation so we gave up on getting a ride and kept walking taking short water/candy breaks every half hour or so. Along the way we met a friendly farmer in his field and had a little chat where he told us town was just another 8km down the road. Having an end point made the walk seem easier so we kept on keeping on. The only other people we
Made it to El SalvadorMade it to El SalvadorMade it to El Salvador

At the El Amatillo border crossing
passed road side were three youths playing football in a cleared out area along the road where one man seemed to be working (burning garbage maybe?); they shouted asking for money from across the road. Shortly after that a police truck turned on to the highway from a side road just as we passed. They smiled and waved, we smiled and waved, and once they were a little ways ahead of us they stopped. We both had (but wouldn't dare voice) a mild concern that they might be crooked. They offered us a ride to the bus in town, which we gratefully and cautiously accepted. We made as much Spanish small talk as we could and they dropped us off at the bus with enough time for us to grab a disgustingly greasy breakfast of fried chicken (available everywhere at every hour in CA) before the bus headed to Choluteca. Thank you to those kind police officers who took pity on the silly gringos walking along the highway and not ripping us off. We are extremely grateful.

In Choluteca we quickly found the bus to El Salvador border crossing of El Amatillo; we found him so early he wasn't even in the bus line up yet. The driver spoke English and was excited to chat with us. He told that he had visited Canada briefly and spent time in the U.S. but preferred Canada because of what sounded like racial issues. He was really helpful at the border, more than was needed but it was a great impression to get while we finding our way. We quickly got our exit stamp from Honduras and made the short walk over to El Salvador where they let us in after only a handful of questions. Then it was on to a series of buses trying to get to Alegria, a small colonial town in the mountains. Alegria doesn't look too far from the border so Ashley thought it would be easy to get there. Let's just say if we'd known how many buses it was going to take, we may have scrapped the plan altogether.

From the border we got on a bus to San Miguel (or so we thought). In some random town, we were told to change to another bus which was going to San Salvador. Eventually, and only because we'd already told the driver we wanted to go to Alegria, we were dropped off on the side of the road across from yet another bus stop. This of course was only after we thought we'd definitely missed our stop and were on our way to San Salvador. From our roadside drop off point, we caught another bus to Berlin and only from Berlin were we able to catch our final bus to Alegria. This was an exceptionally long day but it was made all the easier with the help of strangers who pointed us in the right direction along the way.

You can see more pictures here.


8th September 2015

Glad to hear from you guys again!

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