Day 99 – Rio Dulce, GU to Acajutla, ES

Day 99 – Rio Dulce, GU to Acajutla, ES     11/28/10     Mileage: 129

Brian I were on the bikes by 9:30 for the run from Rio Dulce to the El Salvador border. We wanted to get there well before nightfall to leave ourselves plenty of time to do the notorious border paper shuffle. Despite a fair amount of rain, the ride to the border was uneventful and we were there by 1:30pm. The first step was to cancel our Guatemala import permits for the bikes, followed by getting ourselves stamped out of Guatemala by immigration.

The El Salvador border crossing.

It was all very straight forward and they even made copies of documents for the El Salvador side of the border for free without us even asking! That was a far cry from some of the horror stories I’ve read on ADV Rider (website). As we were crossing, a fellow started talking to us and “helping” to steer us in the right direction. Sometimes unsolicited help is good, and sometimes it’s not…and I couldn’t figure which bucket to put this guy in. He pointed us to the right office to start the El Salvador border process, yet wanted a copy of our canceled Guatemala bike import permit…which we were told he definitely did not need by the people in the office. We’ll never know in the end, because as soon as we had our El Salvador bike importation permits and stamps in our passports, we split. All in all, it took an hour and half of paperwork, but was easy and didn’t cost a dime. Bienvenudos a El Slavador…country number 6 on my trip so far! Even though it looked much like Guatemala, it felt in some ways different…it’s funny how a line on the map does that. Our goal was to reach the coastal town of Acajutla and perhaps find a decent hotel on the beach. The ride down to the coast was good and had a real nice twisty section that went on for 30 or so miles. We arrived in Acajutla around 5pm and it was kind of a shithole. Undeterred, we headed towards the beach in search of a hotel. We pulled into the first prospect which Brian went to look at while I watched the bikes. His face said it all when he came back, to which he added…”Call me old fashioned, but I do prefer a toilet seat on my toilet.” It was only $10, but a man has to have his standards. The next stop looked more promising, as it was 50% more expensive at $15 and the outside looked clean enough. It was getting dark and our expectations, while already very low by US standards, were minimal. It was just not meant to be however. We looked at the first room and it was a complete sespool…the sheets looked like they haven’t been changed…ever. The toilet, while fitted with a seat, wasn’t worthy of a stall in the men’s room at the old Veterans Stadium during an Eagles game just after halftime. This is quite a feat, given that the shower head (cold only of course) comes out of the ceiling directly above the toilet…yes folks…no shower stall…you have to straddle the toilet while showering. Then there is of course the floor, which defies explanation as to how a shower stall sized room with what is in effect an overhead sprinkler could accumulate such filth. Brian and I at least had a good laugh before we declined and opted to press on with the search in the dark. Fortunately, I remembered passing a hotel next to a truck repair shop a few miles back, so we pointed the bikes back to the highway. We arrived and although it was expensive ($31) for what it was, we were tired and there were quite literally no other options… So we took two rooms and called it a night.

PS: Sorry for the lack of pictures today! I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of the hotel rooms…damn!

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4 Responses to Day 99 – Rio Dulce, GU to Acajutla, ES

  1. Lynn Hilliard says:

    Lenny, that is just too gross to even contemplate. You’re are a brave man.

  2. Tracy says:

    Damn, I can’t believe you didn’t take any pictures!

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