This was meant to be our first official day in El Salvador. Slightly bitter, sitting in a dismantled van and not surfing those breaks, we tried to make the most of the day. I re-arranged the whole itinerary for the next few months and cleaned the van, whilst Gwyn went with a local at 6am to his favourite city to date: Guatemala City. Grim.
He arrived back 10 hours later, having paid $400USD for a new gearbox and fuel for the person who took him there. The chauffeur also demanded a further $50USD for his service, or they wouldn't fit the gearbox. The 'mechanics' themselves wanted $250USD. Out of the requested collective $300USD, we gave in $100USD as a deposit, so they'd actually commence work before it was dark.
I was yet again pestered for over 4 hours, practically forced to entertain all the children in the village. By this point, I just wanted to read my book, so I hid in pews in the church service going on. It didn't work; they all followed me. Normally, this would attract looks, but everyone was in some trance, with a women painful trying to sing on the altar. X factor she is not. The kids continued asking me a billion questions, I taught them some English and 2 of them insisted they give me massages. It was weird, but the massages were good to be fair. Meanwhile, Gwyn and his working men's club where figuring out how to put Dougal back together again.
I later found out that the wailing, chanting and trance like state of the preacher and the attendees was due to some freaky exorcism. I wish I had filmed it!
At 9pm, the guys threw in the towel and said they'd continue tomorrow. It was pitch black and the wind was ridiculously strong, so much so, that a tree broke in half and went into the roof of a house, metres away from where Dougal was parked.