El Cuco to León

Y El Cuco to Leon
I feel naked.

As I was biking through El Cuco this morning, a bunch of guys said “nice bike!” and I took the opportunity to ask if they wanted to buy it.

I suggested $70 USD, as I actually really wanted to get rid of it. I also wanted to include my pump, padlock, spare tire and repair tools in the deal, since I’d have no use for it anymore. But they were a tough crowd (probably more experienced businessmen than I), and my bus was about to leave, so after a bit of haggling, I accepted $50 for the bike but kept the rest of the stuff.
rip bike
I hope to get at least $10 dollars for my remaining bike stuff later somewhere. Throwing it away seems dumb, and no way I’d give it to those guys, even though they tried to get their hands on them for free after the deal was done.

I think I could have done better with the haggling, but getting back half of what I paid for the bike still seems okay. With this, I should have enough cash for my final week in Central America! No more Western Union! \o/

Bus from El CucoAt 8:30, I took the bus from El Cuco to San Miguel, arrived at 10:00 and immediately left with the next bus to Santa Rosa. Got there an hour later, and once again switched bus very quickly to reach the Honduran border. Three hours of travel time, $3 in total.

To be fair, El Salvador seems very bikeable. Flat roads, not very far between cities. Would have been nice if I were not already tired of this biking thing!

pupusa
The goal of the day was to reach as far as possible towards my final destination, which is Managua, Nicaragua. It was not yet noon, and I took a break at an eatery by the border to have my first and only authentic El Salvadorian pupusa for $1. It was okay I guess.

imigration honduras
So far on my trip, there has barely been any lines at all when crossing borders, but now they felt endless. Definitely another advantage of biking and not arriving at the same time as a lot of buses. Had to pay $3 once again to enter Honduras.

I got through the customs at 12:20, and this time I wasn’t to lucky with the timing: The next minivan leaving for Guasaule by the Nicaraguan border didn’t leave for another hour! I was not in a hurry though, and sat down in the shade to read.

Amatillo - Guasaule
The trip in the van was $6 USD, was long and uncomfortable. My leg particularly was hurting more and more, as we made no stops and I couldn’t stretch it once during the 2.5 hour drive.

Endless line of trucks
This does not seem to be a touristic border crossing. Mostly tons of trucks that we could luckily pass.

It was very nice to finally get off! Then I was attacked by loads of people wanting to drive me to the supposedly impossible distance to the border, but it’s just 400 meters and a nice little walk. Don’t get fooled!

Exiting Honduras was fast, but entering Nicaragua is a little more complicated. Lots of forms and receipts I need to keep, and there’s also a $12 USD fee! I didn’t have smaller bills than a ten and a five, and he told me he only had $2 to change. Hard to believe that the entire office was out of one dollar bills, but I didn’t want to make a fuzz, and agreed to pay $13 instead.

wild west
The small town on the other side of the border was like coming to the wild west! Ducks and chickens running around, people getting around by horse. An old lady had her boobs hanging out.
wild west horses
So many horses! Felt like a big contrast compared to other places I’ve been recently.

I got on the bus, but it didn’t depart until an hour later, at 6pm. And when I arrived in León two hours later, it was already dark outside. Also, the terminal was four kilometers from the hostel I had looked up online.  If only I had a bike, it would have been no problem, but now, I had to catch a taxi, another $2 spent.

All in all probably my most expensive day on my trip:
– Buses from El Cuco to the border, $3
– Enter Honduras, $3
– Minivan to next border, $6
– Enter Nicaragua, $13
– Bus to León, $2
– Taxi to hostel, $2
$29 US dollars excluding food!!

That’s what happens when being in three countries the same day, I guess.

At least the hostel, Punche de Oro, is really cheap. $5.5 per night, including breakfast! The guy working tonight was really friendly as well.
We’ll see tomorrow if it’s a good breakfast or not.

laundry
Before going to bed, I did manual laundry. I’m new at this, so I hope the clothes won’t stink tomorrow.

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