So,….as mentioned we left Perquin to go to the Honduras border. Now, we have some basic principles to make our trip as pleasant as possible. One of them is not to cross borders at the main bordercrossings and always in the mornings. So we have less hassle and all the time….Well, we think the heat did us forget about our own principles, so there we were on a friday (april 23) afternoon at the Panamerican bordercrossing. A hell! It was the hottest day ever, but not a surprise because this area seems to be the hottest in Central America.The fixers (the people who say they will arrange everything) started running after our bikes already a few hundred metres before the border. We were prey for them….Yammie, three bikes with stupid foreigners we can rip off!
The shitty thing is that with only a few hours to go to border-closing-time and corrupt officials we were forced to work with these fixers. So there we went: office in, getting some stamps, office out, getting photocopies, office in, getting more stamps, office out, getting more copies, more stamps, paying at the bank, etc etc. And last but not least we had to pay money (read: bribes) to ¨the guy who puts everything into the computer¨. Masternegociator Roel had to use his Dutch profession to put some pressure on them, by telling that he knew some people who know some people, who know some people….. Well, end of the story is that we got into Honduras by paying the minumum amount of bribes. We ended our day totally exhausted in the first hotel we saw.
Lucky us that it had a pool as well. (not good for the budget though….)
Based on the Hondurian highlights (which were quite similar as many we’ve seen already) we decided to go to Nicaragua the next day. After a good night sleep we were prepared for another borderfest! But this time less hassle on a saturday and we even felt welcome in Nicaragua.
We spent two nights in colonial city Leon to have a saturday night out and to relax in hostel Lazy bones.
On monday (april 26) we took the boat to isla de Ometepe, an island formed by two volcanoes. Also spent two nights here.
This morning we headed for Costa Rica. A short ride, but the crossing took us hours again.
No hassle, but all the paperwork and waiting took hours. We wanted to reach the pacific beach, but the rain stopped us in Liberia. We’ll see what’s next: Checking the pacific or partycrash a Queensday reception at the embassy?
PS: The hondurian people obviously are also sick and tired of corruption. We found this in next mornings news paper.