Posted by: Douglas Bailey | November 10, 2010

Road Travel in El Salvador

Forgiving the sun glare in this picture you’ll notice something much more worthy of your attention; you can’t really see the centre line on this two lane road! Oh, and the volcano. El Salvador is not a flat country and there are plenty of great photo opportunities.


But you certainly can’t capture them from the back seat.


Taking photos from the back of a bike could be an option, but I think I had the wrong coloured shoes to ride pillion passenger.


You could try snapping pictures out the window of one of many many multicoloured buses.


If you weren’t too busy waving down the next bus.


Or just hanging on for dear life.


Can you see the guy who is outside the backdoor and holding on to the ladder to the roof luggage rack? He’s not trying to use his camera.

So I think I’ll take the front seat just watch the people who ride the back of pickup trucks.


And I’ll try to remember to take blue reflective pamphlets off the dash so they don’t reflect on the window.

Then I can get better pictures of weird and wonderful things like people hanging of the back of this pickup truck attachment. Although ‘attachment’ seemed to me like it might be only a temporary description.


Thankfully the leaves on these trees are pretty permanent.


Because I love tree canopies but you don’t want to have to battle leaves in the Fall/Autumn.


Salvadorans drive on the right hand side of the road… generally. One thing you’ll certainly want to be aware of in El Salvador is that the road’s center line is just a guideline. The guideline should not limit you from avoiding potholes on your side of the road.


And, if it’s too busy to pass on the left, did you consider the shoulder lane?


Now it’s our turn to pass. And don’t worry about that guideline in the middle, that truck two ahead of us will soon alert us to any oncoming traffic.


In Australia, different colour centre lines mean different things. Passing ok, Passing about to be not ok. And, Passing not ok. I couldn’t find any distinguishable pattern to these lines in El Salvador.

This is why you want to start trusting your driver at soon as possible.


Thanks Alex (on the left) for all your driving and hospitality.
Thanks Carlos (on the right) for giving directions when need be.



  1. we have some similar leaf canopy pictures — pretty cool — and I find it best to not pay too much attention to what is going on with the driving — I remember how it felt in Tanzania where they drive on the left — it’s rather different to start with!!

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