Tag Archives: overlander

Where to next: El Salvador and a drive through Honduras, visa deadline coming in hot.

We spent over two months in Guatemala most of that time was spent in Antigua where we were taking spanish classes and I was catching up with good ol’ buddy.  When we entered Guatemala we were given a 90 day visa for four countries called the CA-4, which includes Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.  We had to do some trimming and quick moving to get to Costa Rica in three weeks.  I had a list of to do’s that I wanted to check out in Nicaragua and two weeks was barely enough time.  The plan was to spend about four nights on some beaches in El Salvador and drive through Honduras in one day in order to get to Nicaragua in five days.

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El Tunco, El Salvador.   A black sand beach.
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Sunset at El Tunco
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The night Christian wanted a van-kitten

When looking at the map and our route we had to stay on the Pacific side in order to make this timeline.  After a little bit of research it looked like all of the cool places and things to do in Honduras were all on the Carribbean side.  Unfortunalely we spent only four hours in Honduras and stopping once for gas.  Most of our time in Honduras was spent driving to and through the two borders or waiting in lines.

We arrived in Leon, Nicaragua after a nine hour drive from El Cuco, El Salvador driving through Honduras while crossing two borders and three countries in one day.  Here in Leon, Nicaragua we found one of the hottest and most humid places on Earth.  Let’s find a parking spot and a very cold drink, like one that has ice in it!

Oaxaca City, Mexico…mucho culture

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Oaxaca City, Central Park

A walk through the park on a Wednesday afternoon looking for our friends and we stumble upon this lovely orchestra performing.  This city was beautiful and full of handicrafts of all kind.  However, by the time Christian and I arrived we were over crowded cities.  We just didn’t have the energy to explore more while we were here, so we looked for a camp spot nearby.

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Wednesday afternoon in the park in Oaxaca.

We had two choices here in this area for camping.  We could park in a gated gravel lot in the middle of the lively city with no shower or bathroom.   The other option was a campground twelve miles outside the city that had WiFi and a bathroom however it was located between abandon buildings and in the middle of nowhere.  We chose the latter.  The next morning with our WiFi we found out there was a small public water park within walking distance.   PERRRRRFECT it was 100 degrees with no wind, and we were in the dessert.

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On top of Monte Albán, alone!

Now that we are seasoned tourist of Ruins, we got to the top of a small mountain range where we found Monte Albán before it opened.  Monte Albán sits 1,300 feet above the valley of Oaxaca and it’s City at an elevation of 6,400 ft.  This humdinger was inhabited for over 1,500 years by at least three different civilizations who literally chopped off the top of the mountain, almost as it stands today.  This site contained tombs, temples, inscriptions and it even had a ball court!

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friends buying crickets-snacks at the market

This is Josh and Jenna (from Travel Amateurs) they are our overlanding friends that we met along the way.  So glad we did.  While in spanish classes in Guanajuato they heard that crickets are a greeeeaaat protein (as Tony the Tiger would say).  Some really took this info to heart, like Josh and Jenna.  On the other hand Christian and I decided that if chicken or any other food was more accessible that we would choose everything else.

The next day six of us overlanders went up a 10,000 ft mountain for the Oaxacan experience.  The six of us hiked for four days and did 35 miles at 10,000 to 8,000 feet depending on the next town’s destination.  I wish that I could say that hike was glorious and maybe for some of the other five it was. My experience was…”Stay alive, don’t fall it will hurt, eventually this will end!”  One day for about 1,000 ft we slid down a “trail” with 40lb packs on our backs.  Tons of Fun.  This hike wore us all out so much that we never had the energy to check out the waterfalls, caves, and view points.  Pro-tip: Drive to the small Eco-towns and hike to the cool stuff.  Ex-pro Tip: Anything tastes better than crickets, like CHIPS or peanut butter or real trail mix.

Cheers to Hector, we have a new fridge!

Researching for a week we found that there’s a man name Hector in La Paz, who works on marine refrigeration.  Christian called every marine store, or refrigeration repairman within all of Baja California Sur.  He called the other two shops owned by Americans and they laughed at him, told us to go back to San Diego to get what we needed.  Hector said he was in Cabo working and that he would been in at the end of the week and he would figure out a way to help.  Yesterday we showed up to his hard-to-find shop, explained our issue and he said he would call us later to see if he could make something.  A few hours later he custom built us a mini fridge that fit our cabinet with a Dan Frost compressor, flipped the door, converted it to a two-way AC/DC  and installed it.  Within the five hours of meeting Hector and his crew we were on our way with a much more efficient and real refrigerator this time.  Amazing, Thank god for Hector and Mexican engineering.  My only regret is that I didn’t get a picture of the magic that happened yesterday.

La Paz, update

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We are in La Paz hoping that Hector(local refrigerator repairman) who we met today will be able to help us with our inefficient “cooler.”  He said he will try to build us a new one that will have a compressor in hopes that it will cut the energy it takes by half or more. We will find out if he can help us tomorrow, keep your fingers-crossed for us. After that we need good calm weather to get on the ferry to mainland, apparently women are not allowed to board during swells. If everything goes well; a magician named Hector will build a fabulous fridge that fits and works properly, the wind will die down, the Sea of Cortez remains calm and this woman can board the ferry in theglobetrol.  We will head to the ferry terminal on Sunday to ask to be put on the TMC to Mazatlan for Monday.
Inner thoughts that I have today, when will I get my next warmish shower in a place that has a drain?  Tonight we will take a PVC-shower on the beach in our bathing suits which is exciting because it has been a few days, but I will still dream about a warm one.  I don’t see real shower in our future for at five or six days.  On the upside after almost a month of irregular showering my hair doesn’t really get grimy as fast.
In the meantime its Carnaval La Paz until Tuesday.