El Salvador: watch out for hungry money-changers and ATMs

Getting across the border took a little bit of time, but luckily was straightforward.

Before then, I’d already been fleeced by the money-changers. My fault; my maths calculations took a nosedive when I was surrounded by four sweaty blokes shouting and waving in front of my face. But at least I didn’t pay them for the ‘passport stamp’.

On to Ahuachapan though. And after arriving there I needed some new currency ($US, strangely enough). I couldn’t figure out why but a few unsuccessful attempts to withdraw money at the ATM and my card was gone. A wee problem. Next morning, with some help from an English-speaking customer I figured out it’d be more than a week before they could fish it out. Luckily I had a backup and the card hasn’t been cancelled so I should be fine once I get it back. Assuming all goes to plan when I go back there to pick it up…

The upside is that it doesn’t change my plans too much and doesn’t leave me stuck in a one-horse town for several days. This area of western El Salvador is a large coffee-growing region and so there’s opportunities to visit a finca or two in the next few days.