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Escuintla, Guatemala - Tonala, Mex (Border crossing)

October 23, 2014


 ...Heavy rain slowing me down, as I am riding through a stretch of mountain in to Guatemala City. Why are there so many trucks on this road? The headlights of oncoming traffic, rain and onsetting darkness making it challenging to navigate the slippery roads. I manage to get through the city quickly and then a long stretch of windy downhill road to Escuintla.

Yeah! I check in to a one of my favorite places for the night, a "Love Motel". Quick, cheap, easy.

The following morning, I make it Tecum Uman. Dry, for a change. Didn't know, there is a "Tecum I" and a "Tecum II". I ride to Tecum II initially, because it is first up on my way. A dude in uniform explains to me that this Aduana is for Big Trucks only. I need to go to the other Aduana at Tecum I, about 2 miles away.

No problem. I arrive at Tecum I. Park the bike and walk up to the Customs window. The SAT clerk looks at my "TO", looks at me, and says "You have to go to the other Aduana Administration at Tecum II". Here we go again.

We dance around a bit, he gives me back my "TO" paper, and off I ride to where I just have come from, Tecum II.

The guard there has an issue with letting me through, because I am on a bike, not in a truck. I show him my paper, telling him, I need to go to the SAT Admin building. He lets me pass.

The lady, who is processing my "TO" is actually very friendly. Another SAT employee inputs the data in the computer and hands the form back to the lady. The lady hands the now stamped form to yet another uniformed SAT employee. He tells me, he will drive the form over to Tecum I.

Ok, must be a REALLY important piece of paper that it has to be hand carried by a SAT employee.

After, what seems like forever, he finally arrives at Tecum I. He hands it to the first SAT guy, who has me sign the form, makes a copy and hands it back to me. That's it. Wow!

I know, it's all confusing. I have close to no idea, what the entire process was about. But, I was glad to finally hold the stamped "TO" in my hand, that allowed me to take MY bike out of Guatemala. Boy, am I exhausted.

I drive a few feet, walk in to a small building, Immigration and get my exit stamp.

I am ready to face the Entry formalities in to Mexico. Nope...not really.

Crossing into Mexico on a motorcycle is a two step process.

First, getting a stamp in your passport at Immigration and getting your entire luggage searched (everything) by Customs at the same facility.

Then riding to outside a town called Huixtla about 20 miles away and get a permit at Banjercito, which basically puts a bond on your bike to make sure, you take it out of Mexico as you exit. The bond will be refunded, once the permit is canceled at another Banjercito office.

Luckily, I am not searched again, as there is a second Aduana check point. Maybe, because it is pouring rain, and I am soaking wet...Nee, don't think so... 

Tired and wet, I am arriving at Tonala. This street side Love Motel just gotta do it for tonight...