La Playa to Volcan San Salvador

As soon as I stepped out of my hotel room I quickly remembered I was in the tropics. Even at 7:30 in the morning it was already at least 90 degrees with possibly 98% humidity. I couldn’t wait to get on the bike and feel the wind. I kept my word about leaving early and was on the road by 7:30.

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I headed south on CA-2 which sticks along the coast through the mountains. The area was beautiful and the road was in pretty good condition. It seemed like the whole road was lined with big trees, creating a canopy over the road. With the morning sunlight it was a nice sight but made spotting potholes difficult with all the shadows from the trees above.

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Since I had to leave the hotel early I didn’t get breakfast. I was fine with that because I love finding the small out of the way restaurants anyway.
A few miles after CA-2 climbs into the mountains I found a small pupuseria on the side of the road. It was connected to the home so the kids were playing about as the mom cooked up my breakfast. For $1.25 my breakfast consisted of three pupusas and a cup for coffee. As soon as a took a sip of my coffee I remembered it was 90 degrees. I let the coffee sit while I had my breakfast. If you’ve never had a pupusa you’re missing out.

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When I reached the town of La Libertad I passed a motorcycle traveler heading the opposite direction. Turns out it was Moto Mikey; who I met in San Pedro last week. He turned around and we grabbed ice cream cones and talked about the nightmare of how slow yesterday’s border crossing was. Our bikes parked together gained a lot of attention. It seems that only when there’s more than 1 does anyone notice. Riding with Trevor and Kyle for a few days I noticed how many more people looked as we rode by. We asked a local to take a photo of us and this is what I got.

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Mike’s camera turned out better. Safe travels, Mike! See you at the boat dock in 3 weeks.

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Other than Day 1 of this trip when I rode into Baja California, I’ve been traveling inland away from the coast. When I saw the black sand beaches of El Salvador as I rode along CA-2 I had to stop. That and it was 94 degrees and I had all my riding gear on. I found a small dirt road just south of La Libertad that took me right to the sand. There was a small food stand there selling cold beers for $1.15. I spent a couple hours in the water and walking on the beach looking for coconuts.

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I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts. diddy lee dee.

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I met up with Mario, another ADVrider, in the afternoon. The legendary Mario of El Salvador met me at La Libertad and we rode up the to top of Volcan de San Salvador. He had just picked up his new KTM 1190 R. Not a bad looking bike!

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Winding up to the peak the road gets more narrow as it seems it was carved out from volcanic rock. I hiked to the top to see the crater and even though it was in the shadows, it was an amazing site.

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El Boqueron crater is 1.5km wide.

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I’m staying on Mario’s coffee plantation on the volcano and the road to get there is a fun climb straight up. Luckily it was dry.

This isn't the steepest section of the trail but it's mostly like this.

This isn’t the steepest section of the trail but it’s mostly like this.

That night we went out to his friend’s restaurant for dinner with a group of his friends. It was a fun night with great people who loved to laugh. The owner’s wife was there trying out new recipes for croquettes. She brought us 3 different kinds to test. All of the recipes were amazing but my favorite was the seafood one. His friend ordered a plate of raw conch and said I should try. As much as I wanted to try it, eating raw fish when I haven’t had that in my diet ever, let alone in El Salvador, would most likely end very badly for me.

The next day I hiked down to a cafe for breakfast and to get wifi but they weren’t serving food till 10 and their wifi wasn’t working. Sorry Mom, I tried to call on your birthday! In the afternoon I met up with Mario to go for a ride. His youngest daughter came along with him. We rode for a couple hours on some great quiet country and mountain roads. We rode to the top of this one road that overlooked Lake Coatepeque.

Looking out over Santa Tecla, the town just next to San Salvador.

Looking out over Santa Tecla, the town just next to San Salvador.

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Mario and I

By the time we got back near the coffee plantation it was dark and not only that, it started raining. Mario rode his daughter home and I picked up some snacks at the minimart before riding to the cabin. As I rode up the mountain, a thick fog covered the road and blocked my GPS signal which I was following to get back. I eventually found the dirt road that led to the cabin and started my ascent. With the heavy fog I could barely see more than 5 ft in front of me. So glad I unloaded all my gear before this ride.

I reached the cabin and sat on the patio as the the storm rolled in. That’s where I am now. Having a tasty dinner with a beer and watching the show of thunder, lighting, and heavy rain. After spending so many nights with people over the past couple weeks it’s weird being by myself and without any internet. If it weren’t for the amazing thunderstorm I wouldn’t know what to do. I wrote for a few hours this morning so I’m all caught up on that. I went to bed and the storm hit harder. The lighting and thunder sounded as though they were striking nearby. Storms on top of a volcano are intense. Can’t wait to ride down in the mud tomorrow!

Comments

  1. Garey W. Ford says

    It’s in the 20s here in NC. 90+ sounds great. Your mom is in the kitchen making green stuff and I’m watching Christmas vacation. I’m at the part where Eddie shows up with snot (the dog). I guess I should have split the comments up with what your moms making. Anyway have a good Thanksgiving Dan.
    I will miss seeing you at Christmas
    Gar

  2. Ken Ford says

    Just got off a 12 hour shift. Your e-mails are the first thing I read when I get home. They always take the edge off a bad day. Thanks

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