February 20, 2008 GMT
DAY 20 - Nicaragua to Costa Rica - Immigration Pain


Before joining the road again, i took a bit of a ride around the city, visited the old cathedral and the port on the lake. I wasn't too impressed so i started towards Granada a colonial town similar to Antigua but poorer. Then i took to Lake Nicaragua-Cocibolca It is huge but, i didn't like it much the water is dirty and it is not taken care of. I continued to Rivas, the road at first was bad. I got stopped by the police, there were three of them, they asked me about my blinkers, do they work? I said everything on Angelina is new and works. Then they asked why i didn't use it at the roundabout? I answered because i went straight thru i didn't turn. So they took a look at my papers, once they realised they couldn't get a cordoba out of me they let me continue on. Passed Rivas and then reached the border at Peñas Blancas.
At the border i was surrounded by about 20 men offering to do the paperwork, they made me dizzy so i didn't talk to any. A little kid pointed to where i had to go and pay, so first i paid $US1 for council fee they gave me a receipt and off i went until the next post where i had to hand in the receipt and they signed the motorbike papers and sent me through to immigration, all the while this kid was pointing out the way because there are no signs, and there are all these buildings around and no one has a clue, traffic all over the place. I handed in my passport and it was $US2 for exit and entry. Next door i handed in my papers for importing the bike, i then had to get photocopies of the papers, get them signed so i went looking for an official that would do it, found a woman but she was to busy making out with her boyfriend, so the kid called a policeman riding by who signed the papers without a second thought. Gave the kid $US1 and off i went. About a km. later the zoo sanitary which charges 1247 colones ($US2.50) to fumigate. At immigration in Costa Rica there were hundreds of people waiting to get on a bus, so it was crowded. I hand in my passport get it stamped and off to the next office for the bike. I needed photocopy of the stamp in the passport, photocopy of the passport, licence and i needed to pay for insurance (compulsory) and provide a copy of this. 7890 colones for the insurance ($US17). As i didn't have enough i needed to get to the bank (next door) however i had to leave the passport while the lady made up the insurance, and of course when i go to trade the currency i was asked for the passport. Thankfully the clerk accepted one of the photocopies and i was off to pay the insurance. Importing the bike was free however the officer went to check the bike and saw that the licence plate was made of carton so he only allowed me to stay in Costa Rica for 2 days, i asked for 3 and he gave in. Apparently Costa Rica does not accept carton plates.
Oh but it does not end there... the officer mentioned that up the road i had to present all these documents so i left, as did a couple from the US in their 4x4. We arrive at the place and hand it all in, "No, sorry you need to get these validated at the office such", which we had just gone passed. So back we go...I saw a building so i went in and there was a young bloke listening to music, so i show my papers and he points to the building across. I go there and there is no one so i go next door and a lady is on her cell and she points to the next desk, so we wait. Finally she hangs up and attends to us.
After about an hour and a half i start towards San Jose. The road is good, no rubbish or people walking on the road. I went passed several villages and towns. About 100 kms from San Jose the traffic gets really bad, congested. As if that wasn't bad enough it begins to rain, i take refuge at a petrol station and find another 10 bikies there. They were from San Jose and invited me to join them. But i was beat so they guided me towards a hotel, i arrived soaked at Hotel Las Castañuelas in the town of Esparza for $US20, basic but Angelina is in the lobby.

Photo: 1 - On the road again, 2 - Granada, Nicaragua
On The Road again.JPG Granada,Nicaragua.JPG


Despues de comer el buffet desyuno a las 7 sali a dar una vuelta por la ciudad, la catedral vieja, nueva el puerto de Managua en el lago, no me impresiono nada y sali despacio para Granada, ciudad colonial, calor desde que sali, hora y algo llegue linda una prima pobre de Antigua, saque unas fotos y me fui al lago que esta al lado de la ciudad, lago >Nicaragua, Cocibolca, gigantesco, no me gusto nada, agua sucia, olas y todo mal cuidado. Segui para Rivas, mala la carretera al principio, pase por Rivas y enseguida llegue a la frontera Peñas Blancas, antes de Rivas me paro la policia, tres de ellos, no anda el señalero me pregunto, si todo nuevo todo bien, y porque no lo puso me dijo era una rotonda, porque iba a seguir de largo le conteste, no lquedo muy conforme pero despues de pedirme y mirar todos los documentos vio que no podia sacarme un cordoba y me dejaron ir.
En la frontera me pararon y rodearon como 20 muchachos y hombres para hacerme los papeles. me marearon y o les hable a ninguno, un niño me dijo tenes que pagar un dollar ahi, fui pague por la alcaldia 1 us
me dieron un recibo, sali en la moto a otra parada entregue el recibo y me firmaron los papeles de la moto, me mandaron para adelante a la migra y el niño señalandome el camino porque no hay nada marcado, pequeños edificios por todas partes y nadie sabe nada, camiones y autos por todas partes, entramos a un edificio entregue el pasaporte en Nicaragua, dos dollares por marcarlo salida y entrada a costa rica, en la casilla de al lado entregue los papeles para dar de alta la importacion despues de sacar fotocopias de ir afuera buscar a un oficial de aduana que me firmara, era un mujer y estaba haciendo noviio el loco la tenia bien apretada, de ahi a buscar a un policia, el niño paro a uno que pasaba en moto y me firmo sin mirar nada, le di un dollar al niño y sali para costa rica preguntando, como a un km me paran, ya en c.r Salud animal (fumigacion) 1.247.00 colones le di 3 us y me dio un cambito, de ahi me mandaron o mas bien pregunte para ir a inmigracion, voy a una oficina, afuera cientos de personas esperando para tomar omnibus entrego el pasaporte me sellan y para otra oficina por la moto, necesita fotocopias del sello del pasaporte, del pasaporte, licencia y tiene que pagar seguro obligatorio, sacar fotocipias y traer, seguro 7.890.00 colones, unos 17 us
tuve que salir ir al banco mientras ella me hacia el seguro le deje el pasaporte por supuesto, llego al banco que estaba al lado y para cambiar 50 us necesitaba el pasaporte menos mal que se conformo con una de mis copias.Volvi pague el seguro y regrese con todas lo que me pidieron, tuve que llenar la importacion yo, es gratis, fue conmigo a ver a la moto, matricula de carton no se aceptan en C:R me queria dar solo dos dias le pedi tres y me los dio.
Te van a pedir a la salida todo esto me dijo, Raje con una pareja de americanos en 4x4 retirados, nos paran a un kms o algo asi le doy todos los papeles me dice no, tenes que ir a una oficina que recien la pasastes y validar todo eso, pa atras que fui con los gringos siguiendome, vi un edificio y entre habia un muchacho en una oficina escuchando musica le mostre los papeles y me señalo enfrente voy a enfrente y nadie, voy a la de al lado y una mujer en el telefono celular señalandome para al lado, esperamos y esperamos al rato dejo el telefono y vino a ayudarnos, me pido todos los originales, mas antipatica que nada y a los 5 minutos me despedi de los gringos y raje. me volvio a parar el que me mando pa atras le di todo lo que tenia y me saco un papelito y adios.
un poco mas de una hora medio, sali para San Jose, elñ camino bueno, no hay basura o gente caminado, buscando leña. pase por varios pueblos mucho trafico unos cien kms antes de san jose, todo apilado el trafico y empezo a llover me meti en una gasolinera que habia como diez motoqueros, eran de san jose y me invitaron a viajar con ellos, les agradeci pero estaba muy cansado, me mandaron a un hotel a dos cuadras, llegue empapado y aqui estoy en un pueblo Esparza, hotel Castañuelas por 20 us Basico pero la moto en el lobby.

Posted by Hugo Albini at February 20, 2008 12:25 AM GMT

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