Borders can suck
Trip Start May 12, 2005
79Trip End May 14, 2006
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Trying Travel Day One
The trip from Lago Atilan to the Mexican border was interesting.... started off with a vicious hangover (this only applied to mark)...picked up a goods boat to Panahachel, then a chicken bus up the hill to Solala, then on to Los Escuentos where we changed to another chicken bus bound for Xela (and scoffed some hot 'papas fritas' (chips) and downed a fresh orange juice...) Crazy driver with gloves cranking some great tunes, arrived at Terminal Minerva in Xela in no time....used some bad spanish to thank him and compliment his choice of music, he replied in fluent english and helped us work out which border crossing to head for (there are three to choose from)...
tasty lunch at terminal (chicken soup with pasta for mark and fried chook for clare)... just missed getting on the same bus (he was heading where we needed to go, but mark couldn't flag him down!!) this proved to be a major miss.... got on another bus that was bound for our final destination but took a wierd route....
Great scenary coming over the "pacific slope", lots of farming communities right up in the misty hills and then a descent into lush tropical jungle...only problem with this route was that we were held for over an hour up by a washed out piece of road..... got to the border town of Tecun Uman (really seedy place, didn't feel safe at all), the border closed 5 minutes before we got there!!! Got another bus north towards El Carmen (a 24 hour border) but it dropped us off in a random town.....It was about 8pm by now and we'd had enough, especially after getting a bit shaken up by tecun uman, so we found a place to stay, ate some tasty tacos and called it a night....
Trying Travel Day Two
up early, a hassle just getting to the border....searched for a collectivo with our packs on for a while (got an offer of a lift in a private car, decided against it, finally scored a ride, cruised through the border, picked up a collectivo on the mexican side to the city of tapachula, hoping to connect with a bus going all the way to one of the beaches in Oaxaca state....
One bus a day, leaves at 10pm tonight....bugger. Checked in our packs, explored a market and decided we deserved a room for the day to chill out in (soft!!!)... Ended up having a decent rest day, ate some great tucker, had dinner with the hotel owners and their kids, really nice people... jumped on the bus at last and then got grilled by three seperate Mexican police, they didn't like Mark's passport for some reason, had to say, "look is their a problem or can i have my passport back?"...never a fun experience...
both got quite a bit of sleep on our 16 hour bus trip, got off the express bus in Pachutla, took a collectivo to San Agustinillo and finally we were at the beach!!!!