Perquin to Leon
Leon Travel Blog› entry 6 of 14 › view all entries
December 9th, 2008 – by: hauteboy
We planned on visiting the Perquin museum this morning, then catching the bus towards the El Salvador/Honduras border. Our plan was to make Leon in Nicaragua today, but would be fine with just making it to the Nicaraguan border.
The museum opened at 8AM, admission was $1.25. Our guide, Jose was a veteran of the civil war. He walked with a limp due to his fake leg he'd received from the Red Cross. The museum has 5 different rooms, showing the causes of the civil war, also showing photos of people who had been assassinated. Another room displays Solidarity posters from the US (Stop Bombing El Salvador), Germany and other countries. One room has lots of different weapons used during the conflict. One Chinese gun had been used in Vietnam, then Nicaragua, then finally El Salvador. It was quite a sobering place. Other rooms showed the communications equipment used by the rebels. Outside the museum was the remains of a government helicopter bombed by the guerillas.
The tour took about an hour. There is a hill outside the museum you can climb for a view out over the valley, the walk is about 15 minutes. We thought the bus was leaving at 9:50 so decided not to go to the mirador. We should have asked the bus times before as we found out it was leaving at 11! That would possibly pose a problem for getting to Leon the same day.
The bus to San Miguel left on time though and the road was paved all the way so we made good time to Km18, the junction of the road from Perquin and the road to the border. Just as we got off the bus from Perquin, a bus was arriving headed to Santa Rosa de Lima. When we arrived in Santa Rosa, there was a bus waiting to go to the border!
With those excellent connections we arrived at the border at 1:45 where we were mobbed by moto taxi drivers. For $1 each they offered to take us across the border into Honduras. Seemed like a good deal. We were a bit worried about getting out of El Salvador since we didn't have an entry stamp. We said we'd come in at Perquin and they seemed ok with it. I think the new CA-4 regs as long as you have an entry stamp in one of the countries it counts for the others. We had to re-pay the $3 Honduran tax though.
The bridge to the Honduran side was quite long so we were glad we'd hired the moto. It dropped us off at the minibus depot. There were minivans that went directly to the Nicaraguan border in 2 hrs ($5). It was getting late in the day so we had to wait around 45 minutes before one filled up and piled high with imports. We set off finally at 2:30 zipping across the flat, dry Pacific coastal region of Honduras.
We arrived at the border about 4:30 and were swarmed, this time by pedicabs. They said there was a direct bus to Leon leaving at 5:00.. we thought we could make it. However immigration was just processing a busload of passports, then the officer left for a break, so it was after 5 by the time we arrived at the bus station. There was a bus going to Leon at 6.. so either there hadn't been one at 5, or it had already left. So that gave an hour to kill sitting around and taking a few pictures.
The bus to Leon was another schoolbus. Its odd to think that maybe one of these buses that I'm riding on may have been one I rode on nearly 25 yrs ago.. It was already dark as we set off for the 2 hr ride but we made good time, the land here again was flat and the road a straight line. When we arrived in Leon we caught a cab to the Lazybones hostel. This was a great place, neat rooms with mosquito nets ($19/nt for a double), free internet and a swiming pool! They also offered breakfast. I had a shower to wash off the road grime then hit the sack.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!