Give The Paper To The People

Today we went for 2 border crossings in one day. As Honduras unfortunately is one of the most dangerous countries in the world (about 20 times the homicide rate of the US), we opted to drive through this country in one day and head straight for Nicaragua. Below you can find the full report. We have to be honest and say that Honduras is a beautiful country and we did not see anything out of the ordinary in the few hours that we were there. Still we wanted to be on the safe side and continue ahead. It was a long day with a lot of documents changing hands but in the end we reached our goal, the central market place in Leon, Nicaragua!

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6:00am – We are awoken by the sound of the refrigerator, the cold air from the air conditioning and sounds rising from the kitchen below

6:30am – Time for breakfast: coffee (two cups for Patrick), eggs, fried bananas and toast (for Marijke)

7:15am – All is packed and we are ready for the road

7:20am – Fill up Rodrigo on fuel, there is a lot of driving to do today

8:50am – Arrive at the border between El Salvador and Honduras

8:51am – Jumped on by 10 people willing to help us get through customs

8:52am – Even after refusing a million times, stuck with 2 people attached to our car (literally)

8:53am – Provide El Salvador vehicle permit to border officer for cancellation

8:55am – Receive stamp on the document showing that permit has been cancelled

9:00am – After a 3km drive we arrive at the immigration and aduana building

9:10am – We have our passports all checked by the officer and receive a very very tiny immigration receipt

9:12am – Cross the border bridge, provide immigration receipt to officer together with copy of cancelled permit

9:15am – Arrive at Honduras immigration building

9:20am – Provide all our original documents to border officer

9:25am – Fill in paperwork and received entry stamp from immigration office

9:30am – Officer returns with official documents and requests Patrick to come along, Marijke stays in the car

9:45am – Marijke is getting bored and being boiled inside the car. Today is a sunny day with 33°C

10:15am – Patrick returns with the vehicle permit (after visit to the bank and 4 stops at the copy shop), Marijke almost melted by this time

10:16am – Crossing border number 1 completed, welcome to Honduras

10:17am – Police checks our driving license, all okay, we can continue

10:20am – Turned on the spot check to send spots every 20 minutes

10:40am – Drive past police check, we are waived through

11:19am – Pulled over for police check, after 2 questions we can proceed

11:55am – Pulled over for police check, only saying hello is enough and we can proceed

12:20am – Crossed children selling iguanas held by their tail some as big as themselves (brrr… scary)

12:40pm – Arrive at the border between Honduras and Nicaragua

12:42pm – Lots of people approach our car but we remain firm and make it clear that we are not paying for help. This time, people leave us alone

12:40pm – Immigration checks passport and we are stamped out of Honduras

12:45pm – Wait for customs official to come back from his lunch break (should be back at 13:00)

1:20pm – Customs official returns from his lunch break and somehow Patrick manages to jump the queue and have all documents handed over first

1:21pm – Permit is cancelled without any problems

1:25pm – Police checks if we have all documentation and we are officially leaving Honduras

1:26pm – We buy vehicle insurance for Nicaragua before crossing the international border bridge

1:30pm – Arrive at other side of the bridge for very toxic fumigation. Paid fee of 3 USD and provided copy of driving licence

1:40pm – Arrive at immigration on Nicaraguan side of the border. Paid entrance fee of 12 USD per person and got receipt

1:45pm – Go to customs desk to request vehicle permit. Official scans our documents and enters all the information

1:50pm – Vehicle permit is printed and handed over. We go back to the car and get ready to drive into Nicaragua

2:00pm – Border official checks all documents and we can proceed to Nicaragua

2:05pm – Pulled over by police and requested bribe (…) we politely decline and after a handshake we are okay to drive through

3:03pm – Pulled over by police for checking vehicle documentation. Everything okay so we can proceed.

3:48pm – Pulled over by police for driving licence, insurance and vehicle ownership. Everything checks out and we can proceed.

5:00pm – Arrive at hostel in Leon and park on the street next to a lot of school children holding a musical instrument

5:05pm – Scared by the sudden sound of 100 drums starting to play

5:20pm – Have a little walk around town to check out the central plaza and neighbourhood

6:00pm – Have a hotdog, (big!) hamburger, slice of pizza, a Fanta and a beer to celebrate today’s success!

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Put the pencil to the paper

Give the paper to the people

Let the people read about the sello tape

Oh baby baby yeah!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86wcD9XmJ_k

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