Something wicked, this way comes...
Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
35Trip End Sep 03, 2008
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It only took about 90 minutes, but it cost us $112 to cross!!!..it should have been about 30 bucks!!...and it's Sunday and the bank is closed where you have to pay the mandatory fees...there were semi-trucks a mile long on either side of the border...with drivers sleeping in hammocks under their trailers...I took that as a bad sign.
Ok, the good part, immigration was a breeze...6 bucks for Malin and I and we were in...but now we have to temporarily import the bike, and the helper I hired for this process was both good and evil...the entire Honduran system is rigged, first off we had to hide Malin and the bike in a small courtyard of a border-town restaurant...smells fishy from the get go doesn't it?...then my helper had to pay off just about everyone at each stop to bypass the fact that the bank was closed today...11 bucks for the import form, another 26 bucks for government fees, another 15 bucks for cutting lines to "save me time", and then 65 bucks that just got lost in the process...I tried to follow him to all of the official offices, but he wanted to go alone...I did accompany him for about 45 minutes, and of course, we made no progress
So long story short, I've lost much more money on one hand of black jack at the Hard Rock and had a good time doing it, but this just soured the Honduran experience from the get go. Now, as I type, we're in a nice hotel with a pool and wireless about an hour drive from the border in Choluteca, Honduras, and after a few beers...the sting of getting ripped off is ebbing a bit....I hope we don't have to go through the same pain on the way up!...my new attitude for such corrupt places...forget it...time is money...pay it and be happy...circumventing the system here is a time consuming process with little reward.
By the way...at the police checkpoints after the border...they waived us down to stop to check our paperwork and of course, to solicit additional bribes, but I was fed-up, we waived and smiled at them, and kept on going
Our way north through Honduras will be along the Caribbean coast, and I'm sure we'll have better experiences, but today was pretty bad...knowing that you're getting ripped off, even before it happens, and dealing with such corrupt officials, there is no recourse, only frustration...all of this just to transit through the country!! Well, Mom never said this trip would be easy!
Time to chew a stick of Juicy Fruit and wash away the day...it can only be upward from here!