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Day 330 – 3rd November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 3, 2009

Tuesday – San Miguel, El Salvador

A lazy sort of day, but I still ended up walking a lot!

I woke up to all sorts of noise, including the Rotties going off in the back yard, but it seemed to be people going up to the top floor. When I went down to the servo to buy some biscuits for breakfast, I found out they had rented that space for a birthday party or something. What I did notice across the road was a lubitarium or what seemed to be a place to buy lubricants and a workshop. They did not have oil that I wanted, but one of the workshop guys said come back after 8am and his nephew would take me to a place for motorcycle oil, cool 🙂

I finally managed to get internet, mainly by using a direct cable in the office, they still did not have a useable WEP key, and managed to do a post and upload some pictures, before I was told to leave the hotel, it was only 9am, crap joint anyway, I even had been bitten by bedbugs last night!!! 😦

So, I packed and left and went across the road and after buying some oil, not motorcycle specific, but it is clean and will do the job, I did a much wanted oil change 🙂 I could probably have gone a few more thousand miles, but it is not ideal imho to run a dirty motor where I am going.

So, after performing this deed I was soaked in sweat, but then again, just standing around caused a sweat, near 100% humidity! The chaps here were great, a couple spoke good English so that was great and they did not charge me for the space or the oil disposal, but I slipped them $10 to buy some beer, it only cost $15 for the oil, so I am out of pocket about the same as home for an oil change. I could not get my rear tool tube open, it was steamed shut so I did not replace the filter this time, but I did drain it before filling with new oil. I headed through the traffic snarl and found a highway that sort of led somewhere, I stopped for a leak and while looking at a map, spotted a green direction sign, pointing the other way behind me, to where I wanted to go, San Miguel, how fortunate 🙂

It was a pretty straight forward ride through the countryside to start with and quite enjoyable 🙂

Then I hit Usulutan, this was a major traffic jam as the main road I followed went straight through market central and the town centre, to be avoided if possible, but not really much choice! The chaps in the ute in front of me were intrigued by the size of my motor, but laughed when I explained that I only had 2 cylinders and one exhaust, the other 3 are storage tubes 🙂 😆

After getting through this it was another freely moving ride to San Miguel, past more volcano looking hills and of course passing all the other cars and trucks on the road as they were slow and had stinky exhausts and or smelly animals on board!

I got into San Miguel just after midday and was prepared to spend some time looking for a decent motel/hotel, but I just happened to pass a Comfort Inn and went in to check out prices. A bit steep at $53 but it included breakfast, had two shotgun wielding security guards and was air-conditioned with internet, you got me 🙂 I had been in rough lodgings for a while now, so I needed a bit of luxury 🙂

The bonus part about this place was when I asked about getting a sticker of El Salvador for my bike, they said across the road at the Central Plaza, so that was great. I headed over the footbridge for my first of many trips here today.

First on the menu was lunch and after wandering around, I chose the franchise chook place again, quite tasty. I then looked and looked for some stickers, but also I needed Lithium batteries for the SPOT. Over the next few hours I managed to find what I needed, also some more muesli bars to replenish the stocks and spotted a nice Chinese joint for tonight’s dinner, in the same location. In between walking over there and back a number of times, I installed my new sticker, but this time I put it on the other side as all the others on the other side were making the bike unbalanced and it keeps falling over that way 😉

The rest of the time during the afternoon was spent chasing up a lot of detail on the border crossing between El Salvador and Honduras. I had been emailed by Willi the German a few times, he was in Granada in Nicuragua and had been ripped at the ES/Honduras border by $200US. This seemed a large amount to me so I needed to be sure in my own mind what was needed, so I could argue effectively when I needed to. Another couple on the HUBB mentioned it had cost them $80US, so I kept that in mind as well. The actual costs seemed to be high, but there also seemed no getting away from the fact that at least $50 was needed for the paperwork, plus a heap of copies of everything, plus I will be hounded by hawkers, pros, beggers and the ‘helpers’

I would like to do the crossing without the ‘helpers’ if possible, but I am also aware that I need to plan on at least 4 hours for the crossing and it will rain after lunch, so that means an early start as I am an hour away from the border. Willi had also mentioned he had been stopped by police quite a few times and at one stop had to pay a $20 fine for not having a warning triangle. I think he got ripped, but I made another trek over to the shopping centre before dinner to go find one and buy one. The shop I had seen was closed, so maybe I would do that tomorrow morning. After anice Chinese dinner I had a few beers in the hotel bar and was intending to watch the baseball, game six of the finals, but it was not on, it turned out that was tomorrow night. I had a normal night after this, doing the rounds of the forums, and reading a book, trying to relax before the possible nightmare tomorrow 😕

Day – 66 miles and 106 km
Trip – 42,237 miles and 67,934 km



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