I left San Pedro for San Marcos. I spent two nights there. Very quite town, but a great hostile, hostile de lago. Music one night with irie vibes. The owner built a sauna and got it going my first night. I spent the evening going back and forth between the sauna and the lake. The hostile had a dock to jump off. The water was also much cleaner and better for swimming in San Marcos. It was great swimming at night and seeing the large volcanoes as dark sillahuettes against the night sky. Lake Atitlan is definitely a magical place.
Lotta hippies and yoga going on in San Marcos. Nice place to spend a day or two. Lotta people totally out of it though. One guy asked me where Wyoming was, which I thought was weird since he seemed American. I asked him where he was from and he said New York. Man, some people. Others exhibited similar obliviousness throughout my time there.
Great nature reserve with trails and a 10 meter platform to jump from. As always, great views of the volcano. A bunch of Guatemalans were there heckling each other. I’m not sure what they were saying but I’m sure it was not so different from the way my friends and I heckle each other.
The next day I hiked a volcano with some people. Very pretty.
Spent one more night in Antigua. Rode some dirt rides back, which worked me. Would have been nothing on a smaller bike, but the KLR is heavy. These trails must have been ancient Mayan footpaths or something. Also went to my first McDonald’s outside the country on this trip. It was awesome. Best restaurant in Antigua. Clean, great mod options, excellent service.
First stop was el zonte, a cool surf town. I went to get some Papusas–el salvadorian food, basically pancakes but with chicken or whatever the hell you want–and the first person I asked about a place to say said “wait,” ran out, and 30 seconds later came back with a guy who owns a hostile. He welcomed me to come camp and even let me follow him back so I could figure out how to enter with my bike. This dude turned out to be the best surfer on the beach. The homie didn’t even use a surfboard, prefering a boogie board instead! The hostile was not really a hostile, more like a frat house on the beach, but filled with a worldly cast of surf bums. The point break was visible from the front yard and the vibes were all time. Two French dudes, a Sanierd on a biciclce, a couple driving a VW van all the way south. Super sweet.
Has some work done on my bike in La Libertad. Had my luggage frame welded since I had cracked it with a few falls of the bike. I also had them clean my throttle, as it was starting to stick. In total, $8. The kid who did it was watching cartoons and trueing tired when I got there. He has a cot in the back of his little shop.
One massive day with two border crossing, Honduras and Nicaragua. I ended up paying some guys to bypass he line, which looked like it was going to take hours. It was a little unnerving letting a bunch of guys run off with all my documents, but sure enough 5 minutes later they rolled back with a temporary impert permit and my passport with a fresh stamp in it. About three guys divided and conquered to accomplish the task for me. One making photo copies, one bribing a guy to get a ticket that said my bike was fumigated, and another getting my passport stamped. A Swiss dude on a bmw got the same treatment. They even called their friends at the next border and told them to expect me, so when I got the Nicaragua I was greeted by name. Ha!
I stopped in Leon for lunch and the. Kept driving to Granada. Met a wierd German kid and got drinks with two gals from the Netherlands. Didn’t think much of Grenada so drove to San Juan Del sur the next day. I found playa Madeiras a little bit north and it was perfect. Small, great surf, cheap camping. Everything you could need. Incredible surf and fun people around. I woke up at 5 each morning and surged for 3-4 hours with only a handful of others. By 10 crowds would show up. Sunsets were bananas. Maybe the best I’ve ever seen while I was out on the water surfing with the last shreds of light.
I am now in Costa Rica. The road from Liberia around lago Arenal to la fortunate was one of the best of the trip so far. Unfortunately it started to dump rain as it got dark. Pulled into a hostile absolutely drenched. This place is touristy, but I’m sure it’s for good reason.