First impressions of Nicaragua, driving to León from the border are that it is more arid than the lush El Salvador we left behind. More cattle grazing in wide open spaces. More farming, oxen plowing and trotting their owners in carts down main street. Bicycles. Lots and lots of bicycles as a means of transportation. Kids of various ages are all in school uniforms. From teenagers to cute little ones with reading glasses. It’s quite uplifting to see.
Well, we didn’t get to visit Guatemala City, but it seemed like a happening place from what little we saw from the freeway. Some familiar shopping: Forever 21, Zara, and Avon ladies on parade… Here are our stats from country #2!
Another border post for those overlanding from Guatemala to El Salvador. Here’s our happily uneventful experience at the Valle Nuevo-Las Chinamas border crossing. Note that this is not the Pan-American highway crossing.
Some will say that we’ve done Guatemala all wrong. Staying less than 2 weeks, keeping to the major cities and tourist centers in the country’s south west, feasting on pizza and french crepes… You would be right.
Guatemala was the place our health was beat down, and it was also the place we healed and repaired. Our spirits were lifted, waking up to volcanoes out our bedroom window. Meeting friendly locals and people who have relocated from elsewhere on the globe, all eager to show us why they’ve chosen Guatemala as their home.
This is a post for other overlanders. We’ve done a lot of border crossing research in order to be the prepared boy and girl scouts that we strive to be. You read enough to be prepared for the worst and then are pleasantly surprised when all goes well. Here’s our experience crossing the Mexico-Guatemala Border at Ciudad Cuauhtémoc-La Mesilla.
After 30 days in Mexico, we’ve capped off our trip south through the country with a 4-day stay in San Cristóbal De Las Casas. Narrow cobblestone streets, a handful pedestrian only, make for nice strolls through town at any time of day or night. Set up in pine forest mountains, the climate is sunny and warm during the day and cool at night. A welcome respite from the heat and humidity of the coast.
We pretty much hid out in Puebla (just outside Mexico City) during Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Most things in our quiet residential downtown neighborhood (we love airbnb) were closed, but that suited us just fine. We took lots of silent walks, hand in hand, enjoying the cool mountain valley air.
Ever since we left Puerto Vallarta on the west coast, we’ve been struggling to know what time it is where we are. Daylight savings, plus constantly traveling east every couple of days has really messed us up. Sure, we ask Google what time it is whenever we have WiFi, but thankfully, we have nowhere to be at any specified time.
We left home! Marking the date: March 14, 2015. Bruno puts on his first few hundred miles traveling through the Sonoran Desert in southeast California and into Arizona. Lunch was had on the road, wherever we could find a nice place to stop.
Costa Rica has been on Travis’ bucket list of places to travel to for some time now. The allure of incredible weather, surf beaches and rain forests is hard to resist. It didn’t take much to convince me! We’ll spend the next 3 months driving from Oakland, CA to the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, camping and sleeping in our 4Runner Bruno along the way.
Here is roughly what the route will look like: