August 30, 2009 GMT
To El Salvador

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A wave goodbye from Guatemala

Our ride into El Salvador has to have been one of the most memorable rides to date. We took the coastal road, and followed the contours of the mountains, riding the winding route overlooking the Pacific to our right, with the lush mountains in turn looking over us from our left. We rode through tunnels, and on each corner were rewarded with some spectacular views.
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We stopped at a restaurant overlooking the sea, and were joined by a group of a dozen or so bikers from San Salvador who were out on a weekend jaunt.
We were asked where we had come from and where we were going to, and all the usual questions; how much was the bike? how fast did it go? And how big was the engine?
We drank fresh lemonade and ate some beautiful Ceviche before getting back on the bikes and riding to El Tunco, a small surf town 40miles further down the road.
The vibe at El Tunco was so chilled and relaxing, a nice change form the city, and it being the weekend, many of the city folk from El Salvador were down to lie on the beach, surf and relax.
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arriving in El Tunco
just in time for the sunset

We met a group of guys in the beach bar who were down for exactly this reason, to chill for the weekend, and they asked us to join them.
We sat around the table, drinking, talking, and getting to know the locals. The people in El Salvador were much less used to visitors than in Guatemala, or any of the places we had visited so far, but were without doubt the most welcoming and friendly.
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Who needs a TV!

We were shown around the city by another biker we had met on Horizons Unlimited, went to the Harley store-an obligatory stop in every country-and had dinner in one of the new American style malls.
We left El Tunco after a few days, and went up into the mountains, to see the coffee growing regions ,more waterfalls and some more El Salvadorian towns and villages.
The Lake in the Crater

Jacquie really wanted us to ride the Ruta de Flores, a road that in the right season, has amazing flowers bordering its side, but, we weren’t in season, and, although the road and the scenery were both beautiful, there were hardly any flowers to be seen. A couple of local cops stopped as we were looking on our map by the side of the road, we told them we were looking for the Ruta de Flores, and they said they would lead us to the start of the road.
We followed the cops in their pickup for 25 minutes til they pulled over and pointed us in the right direction.
We had been warned about corrupt police in Mexico and in Central America, but apart from the one time in Mexico, al our run ins with the Police had been really harmless, with the Police being friendly, helpful, and quite charming!
This time was no exception, the police had their photos taken with us, told us to be careful if riding at night, and wished us the best for our trip.
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Some of the spectacular scenery on the Routa de Flores

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We arrived in Juaya, up in the mountains, and spent a quiet night in, before getting another one of those early nights in this sleepy mountain town.

We woke early walked through a coffee plantation to the waterfall, and in the afternoon we chilled back at the hostel with some other guests as the rain came

The next day we rode back down the mountain, stopping off at the spectacular crater , before resting up for the night before our marathon ride planned for the next day.

Posted by Dan Shell at August 30, 2009 02:08 AM GMT

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