Santa Ana to El Tunco, El Salvador - Central America - CycleBlaze

December 28, 2022

Santa Ana to El Tunco, El Salvador

I have to admit, Santa Ana was unusual in one big way.  All the cities I've stayed in so far got progressively noisier as the night came - especially Biker Bar 666 in Cancun.  And usually the larger the cities were, the more pronounced this was.  Not the case with Santa Ana though, the second-largest city in El Salvador.  Both nights that I stayed there, as soon as dusk arrived, all the shops closed down and got covered up with their corrugated metal, or rolling metal doors or whatever.  It became a ghost town!  No music, no stores open whatsoever.  It was almost creepy.  Like, M. Night Shyamalan creepy.  Or else a curfew or something.  But it was nice and quiet at least.  Odd that with as many fireworks being sold that it was not more noisy at night.

Then, speaking of creepy, as I was packing up to go this morning, I noticed a large roach in one of my bags as I was half-way packing it (warning - skip past the first two pics below if this creeps you out).  I'm don't think I picked it up here though, but I'm not sure exactly where he came from. 

Today was a day of milestones though.  I climbed and went down the longest and tallest peak of the trip, although not the steepest (save that for Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula), or quite the highest (save that for western Panama).  It was also the first day I saw the Pacific Ocean.  And, it was the first time I linked up with the Panamerica Highway #1, a series of roads that stretches from Alaska to Argentina (about 19,000 miles).  I'm expecting to see more Touring cyclists now, although did not see any today.  I hugged the western edge of San Salvador and went through a town called San Tecula.  They had lots of the same stores in America that I have not seen yet here - Wendy's, Subway, etc. in nice shopping centers that looked straight out of any American city.  

The Panamerican highway near Santa Ana started off kind-of rough, with a lot of glass, but then quickly became very nice - with no "curb" between the road and shoulder (in most places anyway - in the rural areas at least).  It was not a high-mileage day, but the uphill was tough.  The downhill was glorious though, as the Pacific Ocean came into sight and became much more touristy with planted palm trees as I got closer to the water. 

I have to admit, I would have never put El Tunco on my list of stops, but I plagiarized a bit of the route from TDA Global Cycling and found it on their route.  I'll give them their due plug here - its a great site if you like organized bike rides, but unfortunately, that's just not for me.  The last town I saw like this was Bacalar, where you could sit outside and enjoy food and a drink.  But nicer than Bacalar, and more laid back and relaxing.  And, its the first time I saw a margarita since Bacalar as well!  Since I'm here for two nights, I searched for the best one, trying one each at a couple places!  Wow, the sunset was amazing.  What a great reward for a tough cycling day!

Wow over 1,500 views of this journal so far - thanks so much!  And it doesn't even have the popularity of CGOAB (not yet anyway!).  Say - and not that I car how many YouTube views I have, but I noticed only about a tenth of the views here see the videos.  I just want to mention that if you like the posts here, you'll love the videos too, as, a video is worth a thousand pictures.  When I have videos (more than half the time), they will show up as a link between this narrative here and the pictures below.  It may look like a spam link perhaps, and maybe that's why people don't click on it, but it is not spam.

Thanks again!

My Komoot route. The vertical line on the elevation profile below shows where I was at today (and the white/blue dot on the map). I stay relatively flat now - just a few hills, until Costa Rica.
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Hey, how'd you get in there (inside my pannier)?
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Sorry, no hitchhikers by the likes of you.
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Panamerica Highway in its prime!
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Volcanoes ahead
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Haven't seen one of these yet!
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Instead of rumble strips, there was a stretch of road here that just had these giant speed bumps. Super irritating on a bike, but would definitely wake you up if you veered off and drove over them.
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Woah - look at that shoulder curb
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A nice shopping center in Santa Tecula
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Fist sight of the Pacific Ocean this trip!
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I stopped for lunch at a roadside eatery and a friendly taxi driver from San Salvador joined me for a nice conversation.
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$5 lunch
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Where my hotel is (and a whole slew of)
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My hotel
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View outside my door.
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Waking into town (although, for a better feel, make sure to check out the video)
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My first margarita in two weeks - since Bacalar, MX!
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What a neat little beach town!
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My second margarita - a jalapeno infused one, as I was editing my video.
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Those were smashed bananas, deep-fried, then some avocado, red onion, and cheese on top. So delish!
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Today's ride: 59 miles (95 km)
Total: 791 miles (1,273 km)

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Bob DistelbergKen, really enjoying following along. On the YouTube videos, I notice this latest one is again marked private. That definitely will slow people down! Another suggestion is to put the link in as a video link. In the editor, that’s that icon that looks like a movie camera. That will make it show up as an image right in the post, and people can then play it without ever leaving your post.
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