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Day 11 on to San Salvador (finally)

Written on: Friday August 3rd, 2007

A journal entry from: Central America Road Trip 2007

Arose early and headed off to the Tica Bus Terminal for the long 11hr bus ride to San Salvador. I had thought of breaking up the trip but there wasnīt really a good central place to stop and I had lost too many days in Managua as it was and need to catch up with my schedule. It was possible to head to Esteli 3hrs NW of Managua the night before to avoid the early start or to get off the bus early in San Miguel 3 hrs east of San Salvador, but neither appeared too interesting either, the time savings not that great and as I said time to make up. The clientele were similar similar to my last Tica Bus ride with perhaps a few more gringo travelers on this stretch. I sat next to a nice guy named Thomas from London for part of the way before he found a row with 2 empty seats that opened up further back. I didnīt blame him as I was happy to have more space to stretch out myself (plus it was the front row) I mostly slept, enjoyed the scenery and watched the movie (originally it was supposed to be Training Day until a gringa traveling with a child handed the conductor an animated feature to show instead because she didnīt want her kid seeing too much gore) Still I enjoyed the movie (something about a french rat that cooks). Got into San Salvador around 4 with no hotel reservation but knowing I didnīt want to stay at the hotel at the Tica Bus Station downtown. After waiting for everyone to check in and finally buy a phone card, i call one place i had in mind and then get no answer. i decide to hop in a cab anyway and head over to that area knowing that it was in a nice area and that other cheap places existed in the same area. I get there and get out and start to walk to where I think the posada was located but could not find it nor could I find any of the other places on my admittedly somewhat outdated list. Its starting to get later than I want to be wandering around town with my pack on my back so I head back to the main road and stop into a gas station to see what i could find in the yellow pages. There i meet a nice taxista who calls into his dispatcher to help me find a nice cheap place nearby. Relieved i buy him and me a drink and we head off. The place turned out to be about half a block beyond wher eI had turned around thinking I was in the wrong place and there were like 3 likely places in the same area. I picked the International Guest House for $17/nt, though i have no idea which place was best. At that point I was just happy to have a room. Spent some time on-line and went out nearby for some dinner and then a fairly early night.

Back on my budget tracking other costs for the day were $15 for food, $10 for cabs (not cheap here either), $8 for border fees (isnīt there supposed to be some sort of free movement agreement between the 4 central american countries? gringo tax or part of the cost of convenience of using Tica Bus). Total cost $79 for the day way above my $50/day goal but that is because of it being a major travel day. If I werenīt in such a rush I could have taken various chicken buses for much less with much more inconvenience and less comfort. And if Iīm going to do this Iīll have to learn to use local intracity buses for congested foreign capitals rather than depending on expensive cabs or else stick around smaller towns that are easier to navigate.