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