We had a hard time leaving Lake Atitlan again, but our sail date is looming in the distance. We really liked Guatemala and their people. Again when you believe the media, Guatemala has one of the highest crime rates in the world and so has El Salvador and Honduras. Now we passed all of those countries and we never felt threatened and people were more than helpful.
And you can see that most of them are living in poor conditions and struggle to make a living. Grains are dried right on the road, a section is just blocked off and then the grain is spread over a certain area and collected at night again. The pavement does all the drying. Cattle and horses are everywhere, so you have to be careful not to run into them.
And then there is the beauty of border crossings. Hours and Hours of paper work for the bikes and ourselves. Yesterday it took us three hours of driving and nine hours of hassle at the borders to get from El Salvador through Honduras into Nicaragua.
El Salvador was nice but unfortunately we did not have too much time to take it in. After a stay at a dumpy place in Guatemala at Taxisco we did choose a luxury “Comfort Inn” at San Miguel in El Salvador with air condition, clean rooms and a nice breakfast the next morning all for $50. We had “pupusas” ( traditional Salvadorian food) on the streets of San Miguel the night before. And as you can see the bikes were protected by armed guards in the parking lot.
The armed guards are very common here at all the stores, gas stations, banks and hotels.
After a stressful day at the border crossings we arrived a the Trail Winds Hostel in Leon (Nicaragua) which is operated by a guy from Poland and his girlfriend from Sri Lanka. It is right down town in this beautiful old colonial town.
Today we explored the historic old town and even visited the Museum of the Revolution. People here are very proud of those times and their rich history.
Leon is intensely political, buzzing with energy and, at times, drop-dead gorgeous (in a crumbling, colonial kind of way), León is what Managua should be – a city of awe-inspiring churches, fabulous art collections, stunning streetscapes, cosmopolitan eateries, fiery intellectualism, and all-week, walk-everywhere, happening nightlife. Many people fall in love with Granada, but most of them leave their heart in León.
Tomorrow we will be on the road again heading South towards the Pacific Ocean. It is suppose to be the rainy season right now but so far we have not seen any sufficient rain. I guess with climate change everything is messed up.
I got quite a lesson in history from our tour guide Ricardo about the Sandinistas and General Somosa. He took us through the old Presidential palace up on the roof and showed us the volcanos and in what direction G. Somosa retreated. Very passionate!