After cycling towards the el salvadorian border for the second time, i also passed that point where the freewheel hub body stopped working some weeks earlier. A little bit later i found myself in the pleasant little town of Jalpatagua, where i spent the night before crossing the border to El Salvador the next day. From the border the road slowly winds its way up into the highlands, the so called “ruta de las flores”.
Along the way a picturesque little villages and cafes, where one can taste the local coffee, i camped the night at the Portezuelo Finca together with two busloads of schoolkids which turned the place rather lively. I enjoyed a rest day and in the afternoon wandered around the coffee plantations, which this year were infected by some disease which reduced the yield drastically. I still got a chance to taste the coffee when i had a longer conversation with the people working there. Which also proofed an excellent way to keep praticing that spanish which i always feel eluding me after a couple of days with only brief use of the language.
The downhill to Sonsonate was a nice reward after the climbing coming from the border and the last repose before i had to face the heat of the lower coastal plains. My body rather reluctantly adjusted to this, after i spent this year almost entirely in the highlands. The “Ruta litoral” along the coast is by no means flat and only by devouering a whole watermelon could i keep my fluid balance, before i arrived in El Sunzal in the evening where one can pitch a tent for three dollars a night. It was still mango season and three huge mango trees covered the camping area which proofed almost fatal. After it rained heavily during the night, one of the branches which was already weakened by some fungus, finally broke off because of the additional weight of the water and landed in between the tent of my neighbour and mine. Luckily nobody got hurt and otherwise the trees were a blessing and only delicious fruit kept on falling from it after that. We enjoyed a nice evening with a couple of drinks and talked about our wishes and concerns about the world, that seemed to occupy our minds in a similar way.