Hva kan vi si om denne dagen da tro? Våknet tidlig og ventet en stund på at John skulle tørne ut også. Vi bestemte oss for å fylle opp bensintankene her i Santa Rosa de Lima siden vi ikke helt viste hva dagen ville bringe. John ønsket å komme seg over grensen, kjøre gjennom Honduras og inn i Nicaragua i løpet av dagen.
Jeg hadde brukt kvelden på å lese litt gjennom prosessen med å komme oss over grensen. Steppene skal være som følger:
1. At least a kilometer before the actual border crossing stop at the white shack on the right, it’s just after the speedbump. The official will cancel your El Salvador vehicle permit. Make sure you have a copy that he can stamp, you will need that later because he keeps the original.
2. Drive ahead about a kilometer. Take a left at the fork in the road, away from the pretty new bridge.
3. Park on the right side of the immigration/customs building. Under the awning is fine, but try not to block traffic.
4. Go to the immigration counter and present your passports. The official will look over your passports and give you a small white piece of paper with the number of passports written on it. Keep the paper. Your passport will not be stamped (just as it wasn’t stamped on entry).
5. Make copies of your cancelled vehicle permit. You will need one to exit El Salvador and three on the Honduran side.
6. Get back to your bike and drive to the start of the next bridge. An official will likely stop to collect your white slip of paper saying you went through immigration.
7. At the start of the bridge, another El Salvadorian official will collect a copy of your cancelled El Salvadorian permit. Drive over the bridge.
8. Just over the bridge you will be stopped by a Honduran official. He will ask for your title and the passport and license of the person driving. If you have any doubt that this guy is an official (and not a tout) ask to see his ID.
9. He will instruct you where to park, about 150 meters ahead on the right at the aduana (customs) building.
10. The official will return the driver’s passport and send you to immigration.
11. Walk over to immigration, pay a $3 entry fee per person, fill out your tourist card. Don’t leave immigration without a passport stamp, a receipt and a tourist card.
12. Go to the copy shop. You will need three copies of: vehicle title, vehicle registration, driver’s passport (photo page), drivers license, driver’s passport page with the new Honduran stamp, driver’s tourist card and receipt for the tourist card and the cancelled El Salvador vehicle permit
13. Take your stack of copies back over to the aduana (customs) building. The official will take your pile of copies and spend a good bit of time entering it into a computer.
14. The official will add a vehicle import stamp to the driver’s passport and then ask for a fee ($35) and will present a receipt.
15. If it’s Sunday or a holiday fees are paid in person, otherwise you will be directed to pay at a bank nearby.
16. You will need to go back to the copy shop and make three more copies of the receipt. The official will keep two copies. You will need the third copy when you leave the border area.
17. Make sure you have all of your original documents, and the numbers on the permits match the VIN and driver’s IDs. Get back to your bike and drive around the immigration building.
18. You may need to stop for fumigation here. We saw the white sign with green letters, but no one was around, and no one ever questioned us. We drove on.
19. In about a kilometer a guard will stop and ask to see a pile of paperwork. He will check the numbers and return everything except the copy of the permit receipt.
20. Drive away slowly, and be prepared for the 14 police checkpoints between El Amatillo and the Nicaraguan border.
Når dette var gjort å vi var vell innenfor grensen fant vi ut at å kjøre til grenseovergangen til Nicaragua, for så å begynne på en ny runde med papirarbeid. Det ville blitt mørkt innen vi var ferdig for så å begynne å lete etter overnatting. Vi stoppet derfor i Nacaome å slo oss til ro på ett flott hotell med svømmebasseng og bra wifi. Stedsnavnet Nacaome skal bety «union of two races» og årsaken til dette navnet er at byen ble grunnlagt og bygget når Cholulas og Chaparrastiques var lei av å slåss mot hverandre.