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One day, 3 meals in 3 countries
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-07-08 19:57:42 | San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Keywords: funny, Itinerary
I was really looking forward for this day. Europeans won't find that as exotic because it's fairly easy to do in Europe with the short distances and the high-speed trains, but elsewhere on the planet it's quite hard to take your three meals of the day in as many countries, especially without flying. I had already did it in Europe, by train, involving three capital cities no less!: by breakfast in Luxembourg, lunch in Paris and supper in London. It was a nice experience I'm bound to repeat.

This time, I made it by bus. The distances covered aren't huge (about 400 km - 240 miles) but considering Central America transportation, it's still worth noting. I plan to do a similar thing again in South America, but by foot. Meanwhile, here's the breakdown of my day.

Mexico

06:15 I'm at the bus terminal, waiting to check in my luggage for my 7 o'clock departure, and I'm eating a little bread I had stuffed with peanut butter. That was usually my breakfast while in Mexico. I love their little breads (bolillos) very much.

My breakfast, bread stuffed with peanut butter, while in Mexico.


06:25 I hear weird noises followed by ground shaking. It's a big earthquake (6.9 and I'm very close to the epicentre). Mexicans are very well drilled for quakes and the bus terminal is emptied within 10 secs. I just followed the crowd. The quake lasts maybe 30 secs then everyone resumes its activities. That was the biggest quake I experienced in my life. I'm glad I was inside a solid structure. Today, I read there were 2-3 reads in Mexico and about the same in Guatemala.

07:00 bus departure as planned? To maximise my chances to make the 3 meals/countries a reality, I've opted for a semi-touristic bus (semi, because also used by locals) to move between countries.

07:30 arrival at the Mexican border with Guatemala. Simple formality and stamp in passport (since I was in Mexico for less than 7 days, I had no exit fee to pay). The hardest part was in fact fighting off the numerous currency exchangers harassing you from the moment you step off the bus until you reach the Guatemalan immigration office. To enter Guatemala, you have to pay 10 Quetzales (US$1,25). Since I already had Quetzales on me, I didn't have to deal with the currency exchangers.

Guatemala

06:55 (Central America time, 1h difference with Mexico) Departure from the Guatemala border side, heading to the capital.

11:45 Arrival in the capital, in zona 12. There's not much to do in that area of the city... and there's not many restaurants either. Yet, I find myself a fried chicken spot... and I go eat like Guatemalans eat. Then I have to wait for the bus to resume its journey.

Fried chicken for lunch, while in Guatemala.


14:00 Departure of the bus to head to the border at the other end of Guatemala. For the notes, Guatemala has borders with Belize, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador; I have crossed them all (that's a mini-challenge of mine during this journey, to add a little fun).

16:35 Arrival at the border point with El Salvador. We were the first of many buses to hit the location... so, it's packed... but since we were the first, it went fine and we left within 20 minutes (considering we had about 30 people to process, that was nice). The entrance in El Salvador wasn't so swift however. It took us about an hour to get the clearance to leave. The immigration agent went on board (no stamping of the passport) then it was the narcotics cop while his colleagues were sniffing our luggage under the bus. A few passengers were taken out of the bus for questioning.

El Salvador

17:55 That seemed like it would never end... but we finally left. We advanced about 200 metres (600 feet) and stopped at a bunch of food vendors on the roadside for 10 minutes to get food and drinks.

18:10 I got the icon food of El Salvador: the pupusas. So, I had my supper onboard the bus, eating the local specialty. I'll make a full blog entry about them later, but they're essentially stuffed tortillas. I'm glad the tortillas was more Mexican than Guatemalan!

My supper of pupusas, while in El Salvador.


20:00 Arrival at my terminal in San Salvador right on time, to conclude a 12-hour bus journey involving three countries.

20:20 I'm installed in my hotel room, two blocks away from the bus terminal.

I could have eaten my meals in two capitals, but I really didn't know what to expect in San Salvador in terms of location or food availability, so I went on for a bite at the border.

Have you ever eaten your three meals in three different countries in a single day?


Related posts:
100 different cities
Panama to Colombia, day 1
I'm back
Visa Run Guatemala Mexico
One year already

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