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Day 329 – 2nd November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 2, 2009

Monday – Zacatecaluna, El Salvador

A new country and guess what, the bike wanted to lie down in a ditch!!! This is becoming old, and why always nearly upside down, what is wrong with just on its side for a change!! BTW, I am writing this in a bar 3 days ahead, excuse the eloquence 🙂

So, I woke up early as planned, as if I have a choice with my brain, and set about getting one more blog day done while I had a connection 🙂 I started packing the bike and while doing so, after breakfast supplied by the home, Juan Carlos and Olga came over to help and say goodbye etc. Juan sat on the bike with his son Brandon just to try it for size, then he nearly dropped the damm thing, it was a lot heavier than his old step through 😉 😉 Hahaha 😆

Once I was nearly packed, I moved the bike though the damm narrow tree lined pathway, around the tight corner, this is where I did the final packing and added the top heavy bags and tank bag, then I was confronted with the downhill goat track I dropped the bike on last week, on the way up! It did not look any better after 3 days of torrential rain, but it should be easier going down eh ! 😦

I managed to get down in one piece and still attached to the bike and then I just had some cobblestones to negotiate until I finally got away from town and onto normal paved road 🙂 After that I saw a final puff of smoke from El Fuego with another volcano in the mirror on my way south and away from the navigation problems of Guatemala City!

I actually ran into some road works, I think the first I saw in this country before I stopped at a scenic lookout over a lake view, very nice 🙂

So, about two hours later I get to the border of El Salvador where I was confronted by some people, some with uniforms some without. I tried to go do it myself as I had the details I needed, but there was one chap who kept on helping without me asking for help. I probably was not ready for this but he in the end was very useful as it was ring of roses to get the documents needed to exit Guatemala and have the right stamps. There was also no charge, so if I was a bit gruff, it was because I told him NO, many times, but he ignored me. He must just work there to help with a government pay, but no ID was shown, so I am unsure, but in any case, he did help, so all’s good 🙂

Of course, now I needed to enter El Salvador, this involved a long wait, maybe half an hour at an empty window, the chap in the other window said just wait 😦

It seems it is not a good time to turn up, between 11 and 12 because she was on lunch. When she did come back it all proceeded smoothly, she took the copies I had prepared of the needed documents and after checking the VIN gave me an entry permit, I then gave these to the lady at the original window(change of shift at midday, the guy had just gone home) who then processed the paperwork and gave me the completed form, or actually a copy of the form with the import sticker on it. When I queried it, she said, no that is what you get, she keeps the original 😕 :?:? Meanwhile, the bike had been sitting out there with no one to look after it, except a goat!! Lucky the windows were in the right place so I could see it if I twisted my neck and bent over the right way 🙂

So, eventually I get to ride away, as far as the customs exit point where I have to show the vehicle import permit, “no m8, not a copy, we want the original!!!” But, that is what she gave me, so he gets on the 2 way radio and has a chat! It was all fun and games for a short while, during which the silly lady from the desk came down and gave me the ORIGINAL document like she should have done in the first place, no harm done, they even posed for a photo 🙂

Now, I left the border just after midday and it had started to rain, it was not heavy, just annoying. I had asked about a bank as I had no cash, they had said about 10 mile or so down the road, so after a few minutes, I stopped on the kerb and got my music going, put in the ear plugs etc and basically got ready for a ride. I had the bike on the side stand and was sitting astride it when at one stage the bike moved, I have no idea how but it threw me into the cliff and decided to roll over and play dead!! 😦

No harm to me, and what is the Spanish word for lost pride anyway, because there was none of that either 🙂 A TukTuk driver pulled over while I was taking a photo and he and another chap helped me get it upright and back on the road, I gave them a dollar each(it is US currency here) but the TukTuk bloke said, no m8, she’s right(or the El Salvadorian equivalent) Good on em, cos I was soon on my way and upright 🙂 I only got as far as the next small town because I spotted a small cookery place with tables which looked busy, always a good sign and stopped for a great roast chook and rice lunch 🙂

The only sour note here was after lunch, a bedraggled looking chap asked me for some money or food. When I said I had none and needed a bank (I had just been to one) he asked where I was from, when I said Australia, he said, you and your bike are not wanted here in El Salvador, what an arsehole, but the look he gave me was evil. I left and was not in a happy frame of mind, but soon forgot him when I got back on the road because there were twisties and nice country to look at, especially when I hit the coast and had to go through a heap of tunnels 🙂

One thing I noticed here was that when they want you to slow down for a narrow bridge or something similar, no need to worry about plastic cones, let us use big concrete blocks instead, that will work, and it does, you just need to weave around them in between oncoming traffic!!!

I had been heading for the coast road, but as I no idea where to stay in this country, I was riding blind and just picked a town. From the map I was looking at, it looked like it was right on the coast, but I need to get my eyes tested as I ended up late in the afternoon in a dump of a town called Zacatecaluca, a long way from the coast. Here I managed to ride right through central market town and see no hotels except AUTO hotels which looked like dumps. I even asked a cop for a safe hotel, he claimed he did not know, but his English was quite good, it was really turning into a shit of a day. I eventually got back on the road I came in on, and saw a cheap looking hotel but it had a large fence gate and as it turns out 2 massive dogs 🙂 I ended up grabbing a room at $15.night and it was supposed to have internet, it did, but the WEP key they had was incorrect. 😦

I needed food, so I headed out and found a bar across the road 🙂 No food though 😦 But, they had beer 🙂 I had one beer before wandering down the road a ways and found a franchise chook place and had some basic chook and chips. On the way back to the hotel, I stopped at a corner stall which served beer and snacks and stopped for a beer. This was a major junction and great to watch. I met up with Gerado and Muises and chatted with them for a fair while, this little bar had music and was doing a roaring trade. There were a few other groups there as well as the owner and her son, I had a great night 🙂

Now, check this fish out, it is hardly bigger than my thumbnail and it is eaten whole I think, I never saw it consumed, but I saw it cooked and it was tiny, hardly worth taking out of the water!!!

Needless to say, I stayed until I got a bit pissed and felt very comfortable at all times, it was a great ending to a shitty day 🙂

Day – 233 miles and 375 km
Trip – 42,171 miles and 67,868 km



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4 Responses to “Day 329 – 2nd November 09”

  1. Christine said

    Hi again, might have been a sh**y day but there’s some good photos – love that bike underbelly 🙂

    • You reckon eh, that is a nice view only if you do not have to get the damm thing vertical 🙂

      It could have been worse, I may have been under it, so no biggee, we both survived 🙂

      In the end a shitty day was an experience, so yes, there can be a different interpretation on it, but at the time,well!!!

      Cheers TS

  2. ybg said

    That underbelly needed some sun on it, it was looking fish belly white. It probably had an itch under the saddle it was trying to scratch.

    Clever shot with the use of your mirror, very artsie. The pan handler sounds alot like he squeegie kids we have up here. Demanding and threatening, but not much else.

    feliz viaje


    • Hi

      Thanks, I try to do something different occasionally. This time when I saw the eruption, I was amongst the twisties and had no clear shot until the smoke had drifted away a bit, but that is life 🙂

      The panhandler was nothing like the windscreen boys, he was a grubby bugger and had a bowl and a handful of green leaves and was asking for extra stuff to make food. The girls at the diner thought he was loco, but were a bit scared to tell him to go away.


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