Day 56: La Palma – Nuevo Ocotepeque – La Entrada -Copán Ruinas (2)
Citla Travel Blog› entry 76 of 120 › view all entries
Of course three days had been way too short to properly experience El Salvador. This country had been a little bonus. Basically I'd taken the long route from Guatemala to the ruins of Copán in Honduras.
And it had been a surprisingly nice bonus. Most people that travel Central America bypass this country entirely, or they travel through it as quickly as possible. The country doesn't have that much to offer to tourists; the Mayan ruins aren't particularly impressive, the national parks are nothing compared to those in Costa Rica, the surf beaches are deserted since the civil war, and on the whole El Salvador still has the image of being a very scary, dangerous country. Probably as a result of this the local people are all the more friendly, and the atmosphere all the more special. Of all the countries I visited on this trip, this is the one where I had the most contact with locals. Everywhere I went I was approached by people, all too willing to show me the way, or just for a little small talk.
The border crossing with Honduras went as smoothly as the one getting into the country, which surprised me a bit as unlike with Guatemala the relationship between El Salvador and Honduras isn't all that good. 35 years ago these two countries had a nasty war (following a dispute over a football match, no less!) and even today they are still quarrelling over the exact border line at three different places.
To enter Honduras I had to pay 2 dollars 'tax', however, there was no sign or anything in the entire customs building, nor was it written in my guidebook, so I decided to call the official's bluff by asking for a receipt. The guy got really angry with me and refused to return my passport. As there were about 40 people queueing up behind me, I decided it was not worth the argument, and I paid. Ah, the joys of corruption.