A “transportation day” is a day where I am transporting my self from one city/town to the next. Sometimes it’s a short few hour bus ride and others it’s several buses and an entire day of transportation. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you will have noticed that every few days (sometimes weeks) I post “TRANSPORTATION DAY – I am moving from ABC to XYZ”.
For the record I hate transportation days they are the most boring and tedious part of travel. You are always on full alert because you are constantly in a different environment. You are also most likely travelling in a over crowded chicken bus and if that is the case you are left with a very uncomfortable seat or end up standing up half the trip. By the end of the day you are left exhausted and ready to have a beer and relax.
The reason I am writing about this is because one night while chatting with one of my best friends through Skype she asked me if I could please write a detailed account of one of my “transportation days”. I asked her “why would I do that, they are long, boring and so tiring?” She answered, “For someone who has never done what you are doing I would love to know how it is”. So I thought why not document a fun long one with not one but TWO border crossings.
I had spent a few days in Leon and loved it. On my last day I went Volcano boarding and made plans to go to El Salvador with SuperXicana and Mark. They were two friends I made with similar itineraries, so we decided to travel together for the next few days through El Salvador. So here you have it a detail account of how I got from Leon, Nicaragua to Perquin, El Salvador.
6:15am – BEEP BEEP BEEP my thoughts “ahhh nooo it’s to early I don’t want to get up. Okay I will get up in 5 minutes.”
6:25am – “Okay okay I am up let me get ready I know we need to be out of the hostel by 7am.” (Get everything ready make sure I am not leaving anything behind. I also make sure SuperXicana & Mark are getting ready)
7:01am – We are walking out of the hostel. Time to find a taxi to take us to where we need to be to catch a bus that goes from Leon directly to the border town. We were told it passes by at 7:20am.
7:12am – Yay we are at the bus stop with time to spare.
7:25am – Hmm lets ask to make sure a direct bus to the border is going to come by. We ask and find out it has already passed so instead we get on the bus that is in front of us to the town of Chinandega. From Chinandega we will have to then catch a bus to the border.
7:26am – We are on the bus and its crowded with no where to sit. We are at the back of the bus standing up for a bit. Finally some seats become available. I ask to see how long of a ride it is to Chinandega find out it’s only an hour. Sometime before we get to Chinandega I see 3 people come on and off the bus with chickens (I always get so excited when I see them. I think it’s so cool they get to ride along with us).
8:30am – Make it to Chinandega wait a while to change buses and make our way to the border.
10:30am – We arrive to the border. My mind goes in worry-overload mode. I hate borders… they scare me and I feel like the people behind the window have way too much power.
11:00pm – We are done getting our exit stamps from Nicaragua and are now entering Honduras. It is just a short walk to get to the Honduran immigration office and so many touts are asking us to takes us by pedi-cab.
11:43pm– We officially are in Honduras. Now I need to find a restroom, I have really got to go.
11:50pm – I found a restroom cost 3 lempiras to use (anywhere in Central America it cost to use a public bathroom). I pay go in & do my business. I am done an realize shit it deosn’t flush because there is no water. I go outside and tell the lady she tells me I need to poor water down it manually for it to flush. I have no clue what she is talking about so SuperXicana explains it to me. I do this with the door open and am “EEEeeee-ing” all over the place because I am scared to get shit on me. The 1st attempt failed, but the 2nd was successful. All the while Mark was taking pictures of me doing this.
12:15pm – We are on a direct bus to the border of El Salvador.
2:15pm – Yay we made it to the border. Getting an exit stamp from Honduras was a breeze.
2:25pm – We get in line to enter El Salvador. In my head I say “fuck this line is long & its hot”.
3:10pm – Finally my turn in line.
3:12pm – That was a breeze Mark and I got our stamp and our ready to go. We look back and we see they have asked SuperXicana to go inside the office.
3:20pm – SuperXicana is free. We find out because she is traveling with a Mexican passport she was screened with a few extra questions.
3:30pm – We are on the bus heading to “La 18”. Its not a town its just a intersection where we need to be dropped off to catch the next bus to Gotera.
4:00pm – I realized I have not ate all day.
4:35pm – Arrived at “La 18”, I see street food I don’t even ask the others and make my way down there to get something. Turns out to be a pupusas stand 3 for $1. We each get 3.
4:55pm – Bus to Gotera arrives & we do not know if we will make it to Perquin tonight because we are told buses don’t go up there this late.
5:25pm – We arrive to Gotera & are told we need to catch a “Pick Up” to Perquin. A “Pick Up” is pick up truck bult with rails for everyone to stand up on the back.
5:35pm – We get on the “Pick Up” and are heading to Perquin.
7:00pm – YAY we made it Perquin, but now have no clue where we are staying.
7:22pm – After talking to the tourism police we find a Hostel to stay at for $6/person. We are relieved we had a very long successful “transportation day”.
Sometime later that night we go to a Pupuseria down the street and have a few pupusas along with some beer. In the end between the 3 of us we finished 5 liters of beer. Hell yes after 2 border crossings 5 bus rides and 1 pick up ride this is how you celebrate a successful “transportation day”. So for those of you who have never done anything like this what do you think now…lol??? For those who have tell me about your longest, worst or funnest “transportation day”. I know I am Central America so my longest ones are normally 12hrs like this one.