Monday, 22 April 2013

Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador & now Guatemala

As you can see from the title we have been busy suffering Central America's notorious border crossings, first let me say that technically they aren't difficult but the standing around in full bike gear sweating more than in a sauna in 40 Degree heat and high humidity makes it all a little more trying, however no point in moaning because these guys only have one gear, first and they never change into second! We left Granada after saying goodbye to Chris who had looked after our bikes and given us a cold beer the night before, cheers mate!
Chris saying goodbye

Heading towards Managua we got stopped by the police, pretty sure they were looking for a bung but I denied crossing the solid line I'd just crossed and I think the fact I had the helmet cam on spooked him a bit, after handing over the the paperwork and our fake licences  he said he wanted the originals as these were fake photocopy's, we refused and kept saying they were the originals, after some talk with his mate who kept well out of range of the camera (which wasn't on) he let us go. We stayed our last night in Nicaragua in a nice hotel in La Cruz, a town remarkable for its lark of anything remarkable, our little oasis in the hotel was a welcome place to spend our last night in Nicaragua complete with a salad from the supermarket and plenty beer! Even though we are not camping here the cooking gear still comes in handy!
Early start to the border and the escape from Nicaragua wasn't too bad but then the notorious Honduras crossing, we got a fixer $6 but to be honest he did little and with a bit of scurrying around you could do it yourself, only problem is the fixers control the windows where the aduana are. That said on this particular day after a long sweaty wait the girl had lost the key for the cabinet where the temporary import papers are kept!! Three hours we took at this crossing!
 Common sight, Ox driven carts

The luxury waiting room for Honduran Aduana

Mr wet T shirt (sweat...lovely)

Entertainment as you wait

El Salvador , why do all borders have to be dirty?
I was asking this guy why he needed to guard a truck with groceries on it, it is really neccessary, he said it was!

Army guys, one said OK to the photo, his mate however said no and looked on nervously

 The ride across Honduras was ok and it certainly didn't seem like the dangerous place we had been warned about, poor but thats OK, I didn't though spot anywhere we would have fancied staying for the night so after a two hour dash it was Customs time again, out of Honduras double quick, friendly helpful & no problems, into El Salvador, immigration was quick enough, some confusion amongst the staff where I could get my import papers done, the staff don't know so its no shame that the fixers don't know either, eventually we arrived at the Aduana (4KM from the immigration) a large queue awaited. A canadian came over to speak, he had a bike in his trailer and had spotted us in Nicaragua, he had been there an hour and a half already! I will spare you the boring details but we left there at 6pm, darkness falling and still 25 miles to go to La Union, 8 hours of my life wasted at Aduana in one day, not wasted completely though as we met Miguel Garcia and his family who is a Mexican  Mariache band leader,  new friendships at Aduana!
Into our Hotel, shattered only to find the bike club "Los Implacables"  from San Salvador were having a meeting here and we got invited to join in, at one point we were asked to tell about our trip which we did in poor Spanish until the English speaking guys amongst them asked us questions in English to save us!   A great night, thanks guys! Funnily enough our club were having a weekend at Rogart in Scotland the same weekend, big difference guys, after eating and drinking most people got into the pool to finish off the evening!

Gatecrashing the party

With el presedente about to confuse all with our bad Spanish

Me & the girls

Me & the boys

Fiona & Layla

After the meal & the band, its time for the pool!

The girls

Boys toys

This guy & his pal had been guarding the hotel (and our bikes all night so another photo with a guy with a gun!)

Yesterday we headed to just before the Guatemala border, we started with plans to spend more time in El Salvador but then we were at the border, we stayed at a beach hostel last night, entertained by the crabs which started appearing just before bed.
Fi drinking coconut, fresh from the trees!

 Mr Crab & his buddies appeared just before bed!!
 Suef's up, this morning!
Our beach hostel


 The road out, sand & ripio & dirty!
 Heading to work
The 8 am bus!!

Today we entered Guatemala (3 Hours, no fixer required) and are now in Antigua where we'll stay a while!

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