The road to Perquin

Perquin Travel Blog

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What a brutal travel day.. We woke up at 5AM today to catch our first bus to the town of La Esperanza.  There was only one bus a day so we were there early to catch it.. but we could have slept in.  The bus arrived at 5AM but didn't depart until after 5:30.  The bus was a newer one, Japanese microbus and nice as I finally had enough legroom.

The road turned out to be good for most of the way as well; it is paved almost all the way to San Juan now and for a good distance to La Esperanza.  There was evil fog as we climbed the hills east of Gracias but this soon burned off as the sun rose.  Great scenery, lots of pine forests and medium sized hills.  We arrived in La Esperanza in great time, around 8AM.

Our next step was to get to the town of Marcala, on the way to the El Salvador border.
  We got conflicting info about where the bus was to depart, the streets were torn up as they were replacing the sewers.  Most people directed us to an empty lot near a hotel.  The people at the hotel said it left from the bus terminal where we had arrived.  After walking back and forth between the hotel and bus terminal a few times we found out the bus wasn't leaving until 11 anyway.. not giving us enough time to catch the bus in Marcala at noon.

Dillema.. we had seen some taxis back at the bus terminal, so we decided to see how much it would be to hire a taxi to Marcala, figuring if it was <$40 it would be a good deal.  Turns out the driver only wanted $35 so soon we were off and on our way.  The road here to Marcala was horrendous, dirt road all the way over the mountain.
  The car kept overheating, we had to stop occasionally to pour more water into the radiator.  There were great views down into the valley along the road.  The 36km drive took us about an hour and a half and we arrived at the town of Marcala around 10.

The bus to Perquin had just pulled up but wasn't leaving until 12.  It didn't look promising when we saw the driver climb into the engine and start banging away at something.  We schlepped about town with our bags a bit, checking out the plaza and tourist info.  Marcala is one end of the Lenca Trail, a string of villages stretching to Santa Rosa de Copan and including Gracias and La Esperanza.  Lots of local churches, handicrafts, etc.
  We grabbed some fried chicken for lunch at a local shop then headed to the bus.

The bus to Perquin left on time at noon; as we left town we saw a sign saying 48 kms to Perquin, so we thought how bad could it be?  What turned out was 3.5hrs of bumpy, dusty, twisty turny roads that seemed like it would never end.  This road was the route used to supply the rebels during the El Salvador civil war.  There was a former border dispute between El Salvador and Honduras in this region, for that reason there isn't an El Salvador border post; there is only one on the Honduran side.  The bus kept overheating and must have had a leaky radiator as we stopped several times to load up with water.

Finally we arrived in Perquin around 3:30.  Perquin is a former base of the FMLN rebels and is home to a museum about the war.
  We found a hotel here, but very basic.  Just some bunk beds, toilets were in an outhouse with no lights and the shower was freezing.  Well not bad for $6 a night, there wasn't much choice in this town.

We walked around town a bit, checking out some of the murals that were painted after the war.  We walked up to the museum only to find out it was closing in a few minutes, we would have to come back the next day.  My friend wasn't feeling too well, so he wasn't too hungry for dinner.   I was famished though and had some pupusas, flat corn cakes filled with cheese and beans, then fried/grilled.  Delicious!
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Murals, Perquin, El Salvador
Murals, Perquin, El Salvador
photo by: hauteboy