OCTOBER 2016

CYCLING TOURING El Salvador, Nicaragua

Rolling through the El Salvadoran border was a breeze, however we had overlooked the visa requirements, unbeknown to us, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador share the same three month visa. This was a little problem for us as we had been in Guatemala for over two months, so this meant we had just over three weeks to get to Nicaragua before our Visa expired. Luckily the countries that stood in our way were some of the smallest in Central America so we were pretty confident that we would get to Nicaragua in plenty of time.

70 miles into El Salvador and the heat and humidity is so strong it feels like someone is slowly pulling my skin off my body, it was tough and very unforgiving. The ride to the coast was mainly flat and rather uninteresting as the route took us passed vast acres of sugarcane plantations, which happens to be one of El Salvador’s biggest exports. Reaching the coast however things got more interesting as the coast road started to climb rapidly, hugging the side of cliffs with the pounding surf hammering hundreds of feet below us. We had countless exciting descents through the lush jungle canopy which opened up to reveal unspoiled black sand beaches and a constant roll of white surf coming off the Pacific, this route fondly reminded me of cycling down the Big Sur highway in California.

We spent a few days off the bike in the two road town of El Tunco, which is one of El Salvador’s premier surf spots. At 37 years old I took my first surf lesson, and loved it. I’m hooked and if I could jump into a time-machine and go back in time, i’d tell my 10 year old self to take this sport up. It’s so much fun, but man was I aching after a few days.

We skipped Honduras, not because we were lazy, but because I heard it was a flat, hot and dull ride, not to mention the road conditions were meant to be terrible with a lack of shoulder and potholes galore. Instead we opted to take the more picturesque boat crossing into Nicaragua by the Gulf of Fonseca.

Once in Nicaragua it was full steam ahead to the city of Leon, here I wanted to do a spot of Volcano boarding but alas the weather was so bad we were stuck inside for 3 days straight. On to the next town, the pretty colonial town of Granada. The big pull for tourism is the nearby Volcano Masaya. This volcano is one of the most active volcanoes and one of the biggest natural green house gas contributors in the region. It’s quite an unbelievable sight to see looking down into the belly of the beast, watching the molten lava bubble up from the earth’s core.

It was closing in on the final week of October and we were still chilling out in Granada. We were waiting for El Aquizote, a halloween style street carnival in the town of Masaya. Halloween it’s not, but an indigenous tradition to frighten away ghosts and dark souls by dressing up as scary monsters. Being Central America, health and safety isn’t a big concern as young kids and teens ignite bottles of spray cans to see who can make the biggest flame.

The island of Ometepe was our final destination of the month, situated in Lago Nicaragua where we made a figure of eight loop around it’s two prominent volcanoes of Concepción and Maderas before catching the ferry back to the main land and on to our next country, Costa Rica.

Total so far: 4975 miles. El Salvador, Nicaragua.
Current Location: 8.948611, -79.552882

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Punta Remedios

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Playa Mizata

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Washed up Plastic on Playa Mizata

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La Pearla, El Salvador

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El Tunco, El Salvador

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El Tunco, El Salvador

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El Tunco, El Salvador

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El Tunco, El Salvador

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Thunderstorm over Usulutan, El Salvador

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Volcano Masaya

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Volcano Masaya

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El Aguizote

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Volcano Concepción

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The Island of Ometepe

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