Can we please not stop anymore?!? Hot bus to San Salvador

San Salvador Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 37 › view all entries
Hello all,
Today was the day I took the bus to San Salvador.  I got to the travel agent's office at 10:30am, and waited for about 15 minutes for them to get me a taxi out to the bus stop.  The taxi driver spoke some English, which made me feel a bit better because I had arranged all of this in my crappy Spanish.  The bus picked me up at 11am and we were off.  There were no seats directly next to an open window so I sat a row behind one towards the back.  My worries of standing for 10 hours seemed unfounded..  Thank goodness!

Our first stop was in Chinandega to pick up some more passengers.  We picked up maybe 10 more people, and at this point there were about five people that had to sit in the aisle.  I was seemingly the only gringo willing to undertake this trek, and the only person getting off in San Salvador.  After about 30 minutes in Chinandega we were back on the road.  The road itself was awful, and it made me understand why Tica Bus abandoned the idea of taking this it.  After a while we hit the border and, as is the procedure, I had surrendered my passport to the conductor a bit before getting there.

The border at Gausale involved a long stop on the Nicaragua side to get everybody stamped out, then a bus reloading, and another long wait on the Honduras side to get everybody stamped in.  My part happened very quickly, but that didn't stop the whole thing from taking about two hours.  On the bright side there was plenty of shade and snacks to be had.  I had a cola, ice cream bar, and some mango slices with vinegar.

The drive through Honduras was mostly uneventful other than a horrific looking traffic incident near Nacaome.  The way pedestrians, bicycles, motorbikes, and all sort of vehicles interact with car and trucks, I would guess that type of thing happens alot.  We only had a thin sliver of Honduras to pass through before reaching the El Salvador border and more fun.

This time things went just about the same, about two hours combined for each side's border activities and we were on our way...  Or so I thought.  After I thought we were done we took a left and all had to unload for a third time.  This time for another passport check, and to run out the drug-sniffing dogs again.  Another 30 minutes later we were loaded back on the bus, and away we went...  Or so I thought.  Less then ten minutes later we stopped at a gas station for dinner.  This was despite the fact that I was sure that everybody had eaten at the border.  At least the gas station had air conditioning.  The bus was pretty comfy when we were moving, but we hadn't been up to speed in about three hours so it really felt good.  I grabbed some yucca chips and a Salva Cola.

At this point we were on the road again...  Really this time.  Before leaving we had made my bag easy to find under the bus, and they moved me to the front row so they could just slow down and throw me out in San Salvador.  We pulled off of the highway at about 9:30pm, and it was well after dark.  I was left by the side of the road and pointed towards a nearby Shell station and told that it would be safe there to get a taxi.

I managed to not get attacked on the 200 metre walk there, and was sucessful in getting a taxi within about 10 minutes.  The taxi was a bit pricey because we were on the far east edge of town, it was dark, and I was a desperate gringo that didn't even bother to bargain this time.  The taxi driver seemed to know exactly where we were going, and the ride certainly was a fun one.  San Salvador has pretty good roads, and alot of elevation changes that made for a wonderful high-speed after dark speedway.

The Hotel Happy House was waiting for me, and the room was nice and cheap.  In a first for the trip, the wireless internet actually has enough signal to reach my room as well.  Sweet.

Tomorrow I investigate San Salvador and decide what to do next.

Later, Phil
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San Salvador
photo by: Biedjee