And the day came when we had to leave Guatemala. We love the country, its people, the weather. Was hard. We agreed that we were going to leave very early because we wanted to cross 3 borders in one day. We weren't going to stop in El Salvador or Honduras because of the news and warnings from friends about how dangerous it is. In fact, we hadn't seen anything we really wanted to visit in these countries either and Nicaragua was calling for us.
In Antigua we stayed at Hostal Antigueno, we slept in the Mammoth but used the hotel's facilities and were entitled to breakfast. The kitchen was great and we even had dinner there twice. we made some Portuguese friends with whom we climbed the Acatenango volcano. They were going to stay for a few more days, and the day before we left, the couple from the project It's not a Slow car it's a fast house arrived at the hostel, which we've already talked about . We felt at home, with friends.
On the day of departure we woke up early to have breakfast, but we were among friends and it was 11:00 am when we finally managed to say goodbye to everyone and say goodbye. It took a while but there we went. Before, we had already changed the route, we were even going to stop in El Salvador despite everything they said. El Tunco had amazing beaches where you could surf.
We drove an hour to reach the first border. Roads ok, with some trucks. We passed the line of trucks in the opposite direction and arrived. The process was easy. We went with copies. But when leaving Guatemala we forgot to cancel the import of the car and had to go back. So it took us another hour at the border.
In El Salvador you don't need insurance and once you have the car paper you just have to go.
Central American countries give everyone a 90-day visa, so they don't stamp the passport when we enter a new one. They just verify that it is still valid.
We read that El Salvador had some of the best roads in Central and South America. We were not disappointed. We were going along a road along the coast and although we were moving slowly because of the curves, we managed to advance at a regular pace. It was 4 pm when we arrived at El Tunco, just before dark. We booked a surf lesson for the next morning, cooked and slept to the sound of the sea.
We stayed in El Salvador two nights. After the surf, it was too late to go on, we had the mission to leave El Salvador, pass Honduras and enter Nicaragua.
The next day it was not yet 7 am and we were already on the road. We were stopped by the police just over 50km away. Just police control. These roads are used for drug trafficking, hence they are constantly monitored. It took us 4 hours to the border. It was 11:00 am when we arrived in Honduras. We had been stopped again, this time by soldiers who loved what we were doing and didn't stop asking questions.
In these borders it is common to see guides who try to help foreigners, as we speak Spanish we refuse, they insist and we refuse again and again. We asked them to take copies of a document leaving the car from El Salvador, we paid €5 for 4 copies.
We advance to Honduras, nobody cares about Duna. They fill in the papers for us, we pay €30, plus one copy and we can go. In Honduras, according to the GPS, it should take about 3 hours. But roadworks and traffic jams begin to appear. We just want to get to Nicaragua. After passing the most inhabited areas, we entered a road in the middle of the forest in very bad conditions. It took us 2 hours to cover 30 kilometers. In the meantime, children and teenagers try to get us to stop the car. We always follow. We had read to never, ever stop the car. We know that we are going to arrive in Nicaragua at sunset and the worst thing is that we read that this was one of the worst borders because as they are trying to control crime and drug trafficking, they ask a lot of questions. We knew of cases of people who took 4 hours.
We arrived without incident, we have to fumigate the car once more, and pay. Dune has to be seen by a vet, and we have to pay. We stamp our passports, no more than 3 questions and we go to have the vehicle searched for us. They say we have to take off our clothes and everything we have inside to pass the X-ray machines. Impossible, because we don't have a suitcase. Forget the matter. We drive in the car, and it's already night. We asked if we can drive at night. All proud: they say yes, that the roads are good and that there is no crime. We took a chance and arrived in León at 9 pm. The roads are good, but without light and with little signage, we always go a little slower.
But we did it, two borders in one day. We are becoming experts in these processes.