Monday, 18 May 2015

Travelling to El Salvador!

If I thought the travelling day when we entered into Nicaragua was long, that was nothing compared to today. We were on the road for 9 hours and on the water for almost 3. The day started at 6:30am with our 15 minute walk to the boat, 10 minutes across the water and then we waited 20 minutes for our bus to arrive. It was 4 hours to the border and we broke the journey up as usual for snacks and a toilet stop. At the border on the Nicaraguan side, we filled out our paperwork and handed our passports over. They got stamped and then we had to walk down to the water's edge and line up with our bags. Security searched the boy's bags (luckily there were only 4 of them) and they wanted to search two of the girl's bags as well (thanks Dani and Abs!) Satisfied, we were allowed to board the boat. We were the only tourists and the boat was a private one just for our group. I have to say it was the easiest and most relaxed border crossing I think I've ever done, except for when we got stopped by a border crossing patrol boat about two thirds of the way over the water and they looked a little scary with their guns. We were eventually waved through, though.

We landed on El Salvador soil in time for a late lunch. At the harbour, there wasn't any Security and we were greeted with a restaurant. I hadn't had any breakfast, so my banana milkshake and chicken quesadilla never tasted so good! We ate whilst our passports were taxied to Immigration and stamped. It all happened without us being there. And we didn't even have to worry about currency conversions because El Salvador adopted the American dollar as their own some time ago. Win!

Finally on El Salvador soil just in time for a late lunch, whilst our passports get taxied to Immigration
Let's get the whole family in the truck!
After lunch, we got our passports back and hopped into another van for the last leg of our journey (5 hours) to our hotel in Suchitoto. We drove and drove as the sun set and by the time we pulled into a gas station and convenience store to grab some supplies for dinner on the move, it was dark. We were in El Salvador and it was night time ooooooooh exciting... and all the men in and out of uniform had guns! Never seen so many guns in such a small space in all my life. By the time we arrived at the hotel, we were dead tired and most of us settled down for the night. I think it was knocking on for 9pm by then.

Our hotel just for this evening was the Altavista. Olivia and I were sharing with Rach and Sara this time so we had a quad with AC and a fan. It was clean and tidy. The bathroom was small and the door was made of slats so there was very little privacy. WiFi worked all over. The hotel itself was very nice, again with the central courtyard we'd come to expect of Central American hotels. Only 5 minutes walk from the main town square.