British solo traveller in El Salvador who was locked out of her hostel after night out with friends tells how she was forced to run through jungle in the dark in desperate bid to find a way in
- Lucy Josephs, 23, got locked out of her jungle hostel in El Salvador
- Her phone was dying, it was pitch black and the middle of a lightening storm
- She was forced to run through the jungle to find the back entrance
A British woman who was travelling alone in El Salvador was forced to run through the jungle in the dark to find a way into her hostel after it locked its front doors when she returned from a night out with friends.
Travel content creator Lucy Josephs, 23, was terrified when she reached her hostel to find it’s door had been chained shut and there was no way in.
She was staying just outside of El Tunco, which is a popular destination for backpackers.
However, the entrance to Lucy’s hostel was a 20 minute drive from the main town, down a dark road through the jungle.
She had planned to get a taxi to the front gate, which is then followed by a short walk through the jungle to the entrance to the hostel itself.
This comes shortly after El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele, boasted over his soaring approval ratings on social media following his government’s strict crime crackdown.
Before he was elected, the country experienced one of the worst crime waves in recent history.
Lucy shared her experience on TikTok – the videos have over 970,000 views combined
Lucy said: ‘I got there at about 10pm and it was bolted shut, the bamboo doors were tied shut with chains’ (pictured)
Lucy told MailOnline: ‘My friends made sure I got in the cab which dropped me off at the gate where road starts.
‘I thought it was weird that the first gate looked really shut. I had to squeeze through a gap to get in.
‘Though, I didn’t think too much of it. My phone was dying and I just wanted to get in.
‘I felt uneasy walking back to hostel as I was alone, there was lightening everywhere and my phone running out of battery quickly.’
When she arrived at the entrance to the hostel, she was shocked to find it was chained shut and there was no one in sight.
Lucy said: ‘I got there at about 10pm and it was bolted shut, the bamboo doors were tied shut with chains.
‘I looked at it and was like oh my God, I looked for a bell but there was nothing – that’s when I started yelling ‘Can anybody hear me?”
Lucy documented the terrifying experience on TikTok
Though Lucy (pictured) is not deterred, she does believe it is ‘is something to be aware of’
She was staying just outside of El Tunco, which is a popular destination for backpackers
‘I stood there for so long and was desperate for someone to hear me, even if someone in the hostel could wake up.
‘If my friends were there, I reckon we could have boosted one person over but I was alone and there was barbed wire and a dog barking.’
When Lucy first checked into the hostel the day before, there had been a security guard who checked her name, however, she says that nobody told her the door would be locked.
She expected the same security guard to be there again, but despite shouting, no one came to her rescue.
The solo traveller had been in hostels where they lock the doors before as it’s actually quite common, however she had always been made aware of it beforehand.
‘I was trying to find security guard, shining my torch, yelling, knocking, seeing if I could sneak in – I even went next door to see if I could sneak in that way,’ she continued.
The entrance to Lucy’s hostel (pictured) was a 20 minute drive from the main town, down a dark road through the jungle
Lucy (pictured) said: ‘I felt uneasy walking back to hostel as I was alone, there was lightening everywhere and my phone running out of battery quickly’
Lucy tried calling the hostel’s phone number ‘so many times but no one was answering’
‘I started panicking more and more. I was by myself in jungle in dark and in the middle of nowhere.
‘I couldn’t even get a taxi as the hostel is so far from everything. There’s no chance I would stand in the middle of the road to get a car, so I didn’t know what to do.
‘I even tried calling the hostel’s phone number so many times but no one was answering.’
Lucy then knew she only had two choices: find some way to get inside the hostel, or sleep outside in the jungle.
‘I weighed up the option of the back entrance and decided I had no choice so I had to walk all the way down the dark path I came from and back to the beach.
‘It was a lightening storm, my phone was dying and I just had to start legging it through the jungle.’
She finally made it to the back entrance which was a ‘tiny bamboo door’ that she thought would be shut.
Lucy knew she only had two choices: find some way to get inside the hostel, or sleep outside in the jungle
She said: ‘It was a lightening storm, my phone was dying and I just had to start legging it through the jungle’
The solo traveller had been in hostels where they lock the doors before as it’s actually quite common, however she had always been made aware of it beforehand
‘Luckily it was open – I tried to find a staff member and there was not a single one, not a single person around.
‘I was really stressed and as soon as I made it to safety, I called my mum in tears.’
Despite having such a scary experience, it has not put Lucy off solo travelling and she even shared her experience on TikTok – the videos have over 970,000 views combined.
One comment reads ‘I would never walk around El Salvador at night by myself. Yes, I’ve been there and I was also warned by locals. Thank God you’re safe.’
Another follower said ‘I’m so glad you’re safe and unharmed, that must have been so scary.’
Though Lucy is not deterred, she does believe it ‘is something to be aware of.’
‘If I’m ever in the middle of nowhere like that I will definitely double check they don’t lock the doors – It has made me more aware of being somewhere rural by myself.’
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