In order to get to Nicaragua from El Salvador you have go through Honduras.
From Ataco (western El Salvador) several chicken busses painfully transported me through Sonsonate, San Salvador and eventually to San Miguel, a big dirty city in eastern El Salvador.
San Miguel was noticeably hotter than western or central El Salvador. I spent a boring Sunday evening here with only fast food restaurants and a dingy, but expensive, hotel to keep me entertained. At least the AC worked!
The following day required more buses than I care to mention to get me from El Salvador, through Honduras, and into Nicaragua.
The border crossing from El Salvador into Honduras was a breeze. However, crossing the border from Honduras into Nicaragua was a slow and chaotic process. As well as having to cough up a 13 US dollar bribe to enter Nicaragua, I also had to pass a medical, which involved an odd series of questions with a video camera pointing at me!
Of all the places! It was also at this border crossing that I met two young ladies who were Jeohvah Witnesses. They offered me a pile of leaflets to take with me and ‘digest’. I declined and told them that I didn’t do religion.
By the time I had made it across the border into Nicaragua and found my final bus of the day, my clothes were ringing wet – it was so unbelievably hot and humid. Whilst waiting for the bus to depart I got talking to a small group of people who were curios about where I came from. The conversation quickly turned to family, as it always does. My usual response is to say that I don’t have a family, which normally causes people in Latin America to look at you in disbelief. On this occasion I decided to say that I had three wives and six children. 1 family in the UK, 1 family in Guatemala and 1 family in Colombia. This response brought huge applause.
The bus took two and a half hours to get to the city of León where I checked into a dorm room at an awesome hostel called Via Via. Having enjoyed a couple of G&T’s I decided to take on some of the locals at pool. I managed to thrash four of them but the last guy was way too good for me.
It was then time for food. I sat at a table along with two locals. We got talking and they explained that they were medical students and offered me a tour of their university and the city. Never one to turn down an offer of a free guided tour I agreed and set a time to meet them the next morning. If nothing else it would be good for my Spanish!
Next stage: Exploring the colonial city of León.