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Published: January 8th 2018
An early 5am wake up was required to catch out 6am bus to El Salvador. This was expected to take longer than the previous bus trip taking us around 12 hours to reach Santa Ana in the north of El Salvador. The bus became very full very quickly with many people standing, unable to find a seat. It wasn’t as nice as our previous bus and lacked working air conditioning, legroom or reclining chairs. Despite our previous luxurious experience in the bus, it was fine.
After 11 hours of driving and stopping on the bus we arrived to the Guatemala -El Salvador border. The passengers queued up to get their exit stamps and later got entry stamps from El Salvador. Ben had told me about that despite there being an official stance suggesting there is no fee to cross the border, sometimes they would charge $10. Our friends had told us that they had all been charged, but we were fortunate to evade paying the pay-off money.
Shortly after sunset we arrived to our stop, the suburbs of Santa Anna. It was dark and we were dropped off on a roundabout west of the city, with no obvious taxi pick up
or bus. I asked another couple who also alighted for Santa Ana for directions. They very kindly called a ride for us from Christian, a local driver. They waited with us for around 20-30 minutes ensuring we could safely arrive at our hostel. It was really very kind of them. We arrived at the hostel, one of the nicest I have stayed in, showered and then took a short walk to a local street food stall selling pupusas, a local authentic Salvadoran dish. It was a bit like tacos but softer and with fillings including spinach, cheese, beans, meats and other vegetables. The dinner was delicious, and one of the cheapest meals of the trip. The locals were very kind to us, even catching up with us on a bike to return a map we had left on the table while eating. A very kind gesture indeed. The walk back treated us to the local bars, colonial Spanish style houses, with traditional hispanic music playing from the bars. It was different from the topical club music and very refreshing. Much of the equipment and furniture including a jukebox and arcade machine were very well kept from the 1970s/1980s and it
Pupuseria in Santa Ana. I’m sitting under the red sign
was a nice change from normal. We didn’t stop by in one as we had spent a long journey on the bus. We returned to the hostel for a long and comfortable sleep.
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