Sunday, February 15, 2009

and then there were two....

well once again it's been a while since I've written in this blog and soooo many things have happened since the last entry. I have passed thru an entire country since the last post. Crossing the border from mexico into guatemala was a crazy experience. When we drive near the border, we get mobbed by people and I mean mobbed. All people that want to "help" us cross the border since the process is confusing and you have to go to different places for immigration and for importation of my car. But in general people mob me everywhere and stare at me everywhere. I don't know if it is because of my good looks, bald head, white skin or big black truck with cali plates but I guess it's probably a combination of all. So when these "helpers" see my rig pulling up, they all fight for our attention by surrounding the car and yelling things. This is when it's great to have ricardo because he takes over but because it's my car, I have to do everything with him with my title, passport, license, etc. Anyway we run around here and there with all this madness and in the end the lady that approves the imporatation of my car wants like 180 US dollars to approve it. This, of course, isn't documented anywhere and we are fighting back and forth and offered 20 dollars to which we were denied. Finally Ricardo being fed up with all the back and forth tells the guy he's going to tell everyone in the building what they are doing to us if he doesn't get us in sooooo we slip a 20 dollar bill in my passport, hand it back to the lady and viola we are approved to enter with my vehicle for 90 days. That sort of rattles our start to guatemala, leary of sketchy people after that. We get in much later than we wanted and end up trying to find a beach with no luck so we head for a pay phone to call estefans cousin who lives in guatemala city, which is like 2 hours from the beach. We end up going to his house which was an adventure driving into that city, which is nestled between 3 volcano peaks. The next morning we leave at 4 am to head to surf and can see lava exploding from one of the volcanoes which was amazing, I had never seen anything like it. The beach was empty of anything remotely related to surfers or surfing except the fact that the waves were firing. Possible the best waves of the trip have been in guatemala. beach break barrels, just us & the dolphins surfing....really really fun. After that we head back up to antigua which is outside of gautemala city, it's an old coblestone city also nestled between volcano peaks with markets and mayan decendent people that reminded me of peru. Felt like another planet with lady's carrying things balanced on their head, markets like you'd never see in the states and madness in general. Driving is crazy in these countries too, speed limits are merely a suggestion as well as all driving rules really. Estefan was telling me his cousin or her friend took a driving test and there was a question of how many people can you put in the back of a truck and she answered zero which was wrong, the correct answer is 10...and I saw much more than 10 crammed in a lot of truck beds. We had a crazy adventure there trying to get to the volcano, always an issue trying to go places with my truck which everyone loves...and that is not a good thing. I was ready to kill everyone in my car because they're all yelling different things in spanish and english because we're in sketchy neighborhoods heading to the volcano which we couldn't visit because in the end it was too dangerous to leave the car. The next day Ricardo & I go to surf, estefan goes to the embassy to take care of his visa for nicaragua. Another day of firing surf, just 2 of us. We get back, pick up estefan and head for the border. We mistakenly cancel my temp car import in guatemala since I don't think I'll be driving back thru within the next 90 days and we are in know mans land trying to get into el salvador....and they don't let Ricardo in. Apparently venezuela started requiring salvadorians to get visas to come there so they returned the favor. so we have to go back to guatemala and we drive 100 yards back and they won't let me and my car back in since we canceled the permit 30 mins ago. They want ricardo to go in alone to guatemala city which is 3 hours away in my car, the embassy is closed for the day so it'd be a day or 2 before he could return. We beg and plead and finally they let us back in, we drive all the way back and get back to estefans familys house. They're really nice to me, give me their bed, feed me, and talk to me in english even though I ask to be talked to in spanish. Ricardo calls home and Kalani, his son, is sick and they don't know whats wrong. He starts feeling really bad being away having fun. The next day we go get his visa, which was a hassle for him...I went for a run in guatemala city while he's doing that and when he's done he decided he was going to fly home. So we find him a flight for the following morning. That evening estefans cousin, Tomas, took us all skateboarding in guatemala city which was really fun. I have my long board, he rides long boards and has these gloves that make it really fun to do slides and we go shred the town. Fun experience for me, I can remember saying how cool is it that I'm bombing hills in guatemala city? So the following morning he goes to the airport, estefan and I head for the beach for one last surf in good surf again and then we head for el salvador. And then there were two. I wish it was ricardo and I, rather than estefan and I but I don't blame him for leaving...fatherhood. Things change constantly and you just have to roll with it. We leave guatemala and I cancel my permit for my vehicle again and this time they tell me I can't return before may 9th so I'm for sure not driving back before then. El salvador is so close but so different, the people, the beaches, everything. We get stuck at the border for a really long time doing the paperwork and we already have conflicting views of where we want to go so some how or another we broke all of our rules and got caught driving at dark, camping in a country we said we wouldn't camp in. We stopped at some ladys casa to eat dinner and she let us camp there....among the chickens, roosters, dogs, goats and other animals. It was night a good night for sleep for me, being a sketchy place andbeing 90 degrees at night. We survived though but it was a reminder that I wished Ricardo was still with us to keep estefan and his cheap ideas in line, he doesn't want to spend any money and Ricardo is more concerned with safety than anything. So I now have to take on that role and just make him go where I want, which is what I did yesterday. We landed at El Zonte and arrived to great trestles like waves with zero people out. Salvador has right pointers everywhere, rock reefs like trestles or rincon that just form great great waves. There isn't much swell, if there was a south this place would be a dream. So we're staying another night in an airconditioned room there and not sure when we'll head out. I'm not looking forward to more border crossing and we have to cross into honduras to get to nicaragua. Well this has gotten way to long, I'll stop now...there is always more to type but I'm sure nobody wants to read more. mas tarde, salud.

1 comment:

  1. Hola! Como estas? I'm at Cheryl & Rob's and finally read your blogs. I love your adventures! Happy trip! - Ranee