I couldn’t leave Guatemala sick and without visiting the capital city. So I combined a healing cure of medicine, coffee, pancakes and a lot of rest at Jennifer’s place in Mixco (a small satellite city close to Guatemala city). Thanks to her, I discovered a place in Guatemala in such a ‘European’ style that I didn’t believe it exists. A small village with nice shops and some apartments or even houses. Also, she took her time to drive us to Hobbitenango – an amazing place on top of a nearby mountain. Google says it’s a restaurant, but it’s more of an all-in-one with not many rooms for rent (at least not yet).
However, it was the time to leave Guatemala and head to El Salvador. I wanted to move faster South, therefore I left. My plan was to spend two days in Santa Ana, climb the volcano, see the lake and head on to the beach for a day (El Tunco), before Honduras. And as every good plan changes, I met Alice at the most fabulous hostel in the whole El Salvador – Casa Verde, and we decided to go together on this “must see” route – Ruta de las Flores. We were told it’s “the season” (I guess for the coffee flowers) but I saw pretty much no flowers at all on the route, except for the painted ones in Ataco. We liked the route for the small villages and the hike to the waterfall in Juyula, but also enjoyed the winding mountain road, smooth and even perfect at times. We reserved the next day for the hike of Volcano Santa Ana in Cerro Verde National Park.
The weather was nice and we left the hostel at 10am. And we got out of the city, started cruising on two lanes highway, but shortly the accident happened. In a very short distance, the police restricted the traffic to one lane, and they would stop cars randomly. On the highway! So the pick-up truck in front of me stopped, I pulled the brake pretty hard, but managed to stop too within a reasonable distance from the car. Maybe 1 min later we hear the screeching tires of a car behind. With no other way to go, I moved the bike as close as possible to the car in front, but that still didn’t make enough room for the car behind to stop. In an instant, Alice flew over me flipping over into the flatbed of the truck in front while I fell with the bike and got my left foot trapped under, with this minivan resting on top, wheels in the air. A bunch of policemen lifted the car to release my leg (happily not broken). Alice took a powerful hit, and got a lot more contusions and muscle aches than me. We were driven to the (very poor and bad looking) emergency hospital in a haste by a private car stopped by the police. Everyone moved very quickly, skipping the line of people, to take X-rays of Alice’s neck and of my leg. Their equipment and knowledge were far beyond what we expected but at least they did what they could given the situation. We were both lucky that nothing worse (fractures/internal bleeding) happened.
We spent the next days recovering from the shock, healing our wounds, and telling the story countless times to everyone listening. And while Alice was still slowly recovering, Tinkerbell in service with the promise from the guilty car’s owner that he will pay for the repairs, I left to Honduras. It takes “only” three weeks to have it ready and running so I can use this time for a little backpacking and scuba diving. And no, nobody has car insurance in El Salvador, as it’s not compulsory and expensive.