Tuesday, February 17, 2009

drive thru

Look at this, Im back at the blog and its only been a couple of days. But in this trip a lot of crazy things happens in a couple of days. El Salvador was great, the surf set up there is dreamlike....its basically like trestles or rincon, like 20 of them, but minus the crowds. The swells aren{t really hitting right now though, its not the time of year but still we caught really fun surf. Stayed at these cabaƱas on the beach with good waves out the back. so we explored around el salvador, which is a really small country, for a few days. Back to the road after the swell forecast is small and we cant wait everywhere forever for waves, even though I want to. Driving in central america is pretty crazy, constantly avoiding cows, lots of cows, horses, dogs, more dogs, goats, pigs and people. I nearly hit a pig today, it was realllly close. So driving through el salvador you see a lot of women, similar to guatemala, balancing things on their heads as they walk. Whats crazy is a lot of them are carrying huge bundles of wood and its like 100 degrees out. Im in my car with AC crying about being hot. anyways we drive through el salvador without much problems and then its another border crossing, this time without Ricardo who was handling it at the others. We get mobbed again and these guys are really pushy, they make it hard to say no because when the official is telling us what they need they just start saying come over here for copies, etc etc etc. So this guy is running around with me, we havent agreed a payment, Im low on actual cash in my pocket and dont have any honduras money. El Salvador actually adopted the US dollar as their money so that was strange but easy, no conversions all the time. Anyway we run all over and then the guy tells estaban that he wants 20 dollars and that we agreed to it. They argue, fish isnt the nicest guy in the world, the guy is telling him he knows his people are nice and blah blah and one thing leads to another and the guy leaves with nothing and we are not done getting through the border. So now we are on our own, the girl who is filling out my car info is talking on her cell phone the entire time and she stamps my passport and papers as all done which we find out later is not true. So now we just have to drive about 2 hours in honduras to get to nicaragua and again we are fighting against the sun and dont want to be out at night. We get stopped by police about 5 mins later, at a check point and they say I need triangles and an extinguisher in my car or its a ticket. I have triangles from the emergency road side kit Stephen gave me but no extinguisher. I had just bought this quick fix flat tire thing and told them it was an extinguisher, I didnt really know what they wanted so I just picked it up and said "esta¿" (this) and they tried to read it but it was in english so they let me pass. Then they said they wanted to take everything out of the truck and when we said sure no problem they said, nevermind but how about you just give us money for some drinks. 3 dollars later we are gone. Next police checkpoint pull us over, fish is driving, and they say he was speeding then they say we didnt do everything at the border and someone called them. Well come to find out the girl that wrote on my papers left out a number on my VIN, left a number out on my passport number and so he said fish needed to pay a fine. We are both a little short on actual cash. A lot of arguiing and we get out of there 30 dollars later and its getting dark, we both want out of Honduras. Next police checkpoint, same thing...we didnt do our papers properly so they say and they want money. Its getting really old. We pass them with no money and get to the border, finally some people that are decent and nice and the guy tells us we missed a step at the other border but since the girl stamped my papers it was her fault, because they checked us when we started driving and they saw the stamp and said move on...plus I had paid all the enormous fees which were way way higher for honduras than any other country. basically 50 bucks to get in with my car, plus 33 more in bribes. These guys get us all straight, making phone calls and sort out the papers, we are so happy they werent also going to be corrupt because we were both done with that business and so ready to leave Honduras, most expensive country yet and only for 2 hours. They get us straight and we are off to the nicaragua border. I got to import my car in nicaragua while fish is getting our passports stamped by aduana and I dont have all the right papers, honduras kept them. Soooo now we have to start explaining ourselves, who we are, what are we doing, whats in the truck, etc etc etc. FINALLY we get approved to enter, we have almost no money and its dark. We ask if its safe to drive to the town we wanted to go, about an hour away and the guy at the border said " maybe if you drive real fast". I didnt want to do it, fish did and I made us stop this tiny town on the other side of the border. Hotels are full except one, which has to be the worst place ever...well about equal to the cheap place fish brought us to in Manzanillo that rented rooms by the hour and I threw up all night on KFC. Anyway, its only 10 dollars which we have and we chose to stay in this dump with pigs running around and sketchy people. This night I need some beer to be able to sleep here. Anyway no we left that spot, stopped at an internet cafe to look at surf reports and maps. Hope all is well with everyone and make sure you appreciate having a nice bathroom with a flushable toilet, hot water showers, roads without potholes, cows, chickens, goats, pigs, dogs, etc to dodge and all the other luxuries we live with on a day to day basis.

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