December 31, 2009
I had been in touch with another motorcyclist, Carlos, from el Salvador, and he had given me a lot of travel / route advice via email. He also invited me to spend the New Year holiday with his family, as it is a bad time to be on the road.
I left Antigua Guatemala early and rode to the Guatemala / El Salvador Border. Carlos and two friends rode there to meet me, and Carlos helped me do all the paperwork on both sides –leaving Guatemala and entering El Salvador.
Following Carlos from Guatemala Aduana (customs) to El Salvador side
After 1. 5 hours — I am legal to drive in El Salvador and I have the paperwork to prove it!!!
oops, though we were through with the BS…I get stopped one last time and have to pay a “municipal” tax. This has nothing todo with entering the country–and everything to do with entering the little town the border happens to be in. The fee is $5 and arlos is outraged. He asks the official to show him the ordinance that says I have to pay it ( I myself would not have thought of this…) We see the ordinance, I pay up, and get to go.
Border town mayhem
Riding down the main road … all sorts of obstacles on the road. It pays to stay alert!
The sweet ride one of my escorts is riding this day (he also has a KTM 990)
Carlos stops roadside, and asks for my camera…how thoughtful! One of the first MR-pics. Behind me is one of the omnipresent El Salvadorian volcanos.
Chicken bus. Chicken bus. Pass the Chicken bus.
Traffic grinding to a halt in San Salvador.
We got to Carlos’ house, had lunch, and Carlos left to do some things. I fell asleep on their sofa at 7:00 pm and they tried FOUR times to wake me, and I did not wake up. I completely missed the New years festivities they had invited me to. I woke up when the came home at 4 am…
The next morning I was having breakfast with Carlos and his daughter, and his friend Mario called to ask if I would like to go for a ride with. Sure! Mario comes over an picks me up, and we go pick up another motorcyclist, Igor, who is also on his way to Tierra del Fuego.
Igor on his KLR650.
we stopped for gas…and I took a picture of the nice sticker on the front of Mario’s bike. Where can I get one for MY bike?
Note that Mario is also a Twisted Throttle fan…
We rode up to the volcano
On nice tight streets
Igor, Alisa and Mario in the sunglasses. Igor is from Bosnia.
Tourist pic of me at the crater…
Action shot of Igor while riding down the other side of the mountain
We rode through the outskirts of San Salvador
And to Suchitoto
Igor decided to stay in Suchitoto, and so Mario led us to a hotel with a nice view of the lake
I rode back to San Salvador with Mario.
No one was home at Carlos’ house, so I went to eat papusas with Mario and his family
The next day Carlos helped me adjust my chain
And I added a couple of more wires to the frankenstein job holding my Oxford heated ggrip in place (it is sliding around on the throttle body–nothing wrong with the grip, just the glue let loose)
Nest day I packed up and headed out. I wanted to ride the coast road–the locals call it “riding the tunnels” because there are 5 tunnels which run through the mountains on the road.
So I rode south to the coastal town of la Libertad
the coast! Fishermen repairing their nets
I decided to take a picture of my bike at the Pacific Ocean…and proceeded to get tuck in the sand…
Oh happy day
A lifeguard cam running up the beach to help, as did this fellow, also named Carlos. Carlos helped me get the bike unstuck, and stayed with me while I got all the gear back on the bike. He told me it was not safe for me to be alone there. He rides motorcycles (SV650) and used to race a KTM 4++ enduro. he invited me to his private community–I thought he was hitting on me–maybe–not sure–but I was HUNGRY and I thought there would be not harm if in a public place. I give him a ride, two-up, to this place.
So we get there, and he introduced me to his wife. YEAH! wife. I chatted with them while I ate–they are just lovely. Then he insists of bringing me back to their house, showing it off, and washing the sand out of my chain.
I say goodbye, exchange email addresses, and ride on.
Through some farming land
And then where the road gets confusing, at a gas station I pull out the map Carlos drew for me, and ultimately this fellow, with his two kids int he truck, chats me up and then offers to lead me to the right road.
I finally enter the mountain region of El Salvador
And to my destination town, Concepcion del Ataco, which is full of these lovely murals.
The next day I hear from Carlos: he was able to locate a chain that will fit my bike, and so I ride back to San Salvador.
I’d seen these wooden carts and could not figure out their use…ha! I was surprised at the use
Hello again Mr. Volcano