October 10, 2014
...that left a bad taste in my mouth. Was it the unfriendlyness of those mega stiff officials, the people who seem to just hang around there, seemingly having nothing better to than to "attack" you in numbers as soon as you pull up or the senseless chaos this process creates with submitting copies after copies at a labyrinth of windows. Maybe, it was a combination of those things that ticked me off. What about going "green", what about "streamlining" what about "efficiency", "customer service"? None of that existed. Who is filing all this paper? And where? Anyways, I'll complain less from now on about the US postal service, DMV, or IRS again. Well, at least not right way. Maybe later, when this bitter taste has faded. Really a walk in the park compared to border crossings in Central America.
George, my friendly helper at the border to El Sal, had told me "Crossing in to Honduras will be even worth". So, with those words, he set me up with another guy, Ronny, who would assist me at the border crossing in to Honduras.
Ronny popped up out of nowhere. I had made a quick stop before the border to get my bearings., and there he was. I had told him on the phone, I would be on a big black bike and would arrive around 8 am. Well, I got there at 10.00, and he had waited for me. What a nice guy. Guess, I wasn't hard to miss, and he didn't seem to have any other "customers" that day. Extremely personalized service.
He "took me by the hand" so to speak , we bypassed all the waiting trucks, he on his 125cc Honda, me following. Straight to the front of the line. Then, he asked me to park across from Aduana (Customs), and 2 other guys showed up. "Cousins", he explained to me. Anyways, they did help me through the process. At keast, I'd like to think so. It went faster. Yes, it was! Still took about close to 2 hours. And, they spoke English and Spanish, that helped. Only difference, at the end, I had to tip 3 guys. But, at least, I had made it to Honduras. Load off!
While I was rushing through Honduras, it's only a 2 hour ride to reach the border to Nicaragua dodging live stock and crazy drivers, I was thinking, "I should have saved that money for the tips and done it all myself"...hehe. Am I crazy? What was I thinking.
I had two more borders to cross before reaching Costa Rica. So, there was my chance to do it yourself.
I don't want to drag this story out for much longer. But, the crossings were not pretty. It's like, when you go to work, and you know damn well, you should've stayed home that day, because everything just goes wrong...kind of far fetched, but that's how I felt.
Simply put, I had to work very very hard to keep my cool. It was, of course, raining, when I arrived at each border. All my stuff, including myself and the bike were sokaing wet. By the time, I had pulled off all my electronics from the bike, secured the wheel with my chain and collected the folder with all the docs, I felt like had just taken a complete shower. I was bombarded immediately by multiple touts, kids, women who wanted to sell me random shit and none of the officials really were in the "Aloha" spirit. Surprise there!!I
t took me about 3 hours at each border to get through the whole wet mess. On top of that, it's impossible to keep an eye on the bike while taking care of business, because I was inside different buildings for lengthy amount of times, and unable to chain the bike to my leg. So much for my "early morning starts". Straight out the window.
I neglected to remove a small carabiner hook with several wristband which was attached to the outside of my tankbag. Hey, I had more important things to pay attention to in this weather, not some stupid colored wristbands. I had returned to my bike, only to find the wristbands and carabiner gone. Not fallen off. Taken. Removed.
Boy, was I glad, I had taken the time to remove everything of value from my bike before leaving it to its own devices. Guess, the engine was too heavy for those youngsters...