A busy border crossing, after a march for peace (see previous blog)
Colombia is famous for being dangerous, having very friendly people, a passion for football, music, coffee and beautiful women. In the last couple of years the government of Alvaro Uribe has really cracked down on the FARC, the guerilla group who've been wreaking terror on the country for years, and now Colombia is safer than ever. This much we'd heard from other bikers and first impressions gave nothing to dispell this. The frequent roadblocks of military police, army or transport police give one a sense of security. We'd been told that sticking to the main roads meant you'd be fairly safe (if you avoid the hurtling trucks around every corner, that is).
Spirits were high as the lights of Cartegena faded into the night; motoring through the submarine wall erected to defy Drake and into the open Caribbean Sea. However, the atmosphere was quick to change as a swell picked up, the boat rocking and rolling like Elvis on a good night. We had a few concerned thoughts of Bertha strapped to the aft, but after almost 48 hours of open water, we anchored in paradise, Bertha firmly attached.
The Costa Rica - Nicaragua border crossing was pretty easy and straightforward. Hame stood in queues and attempted to find the right windows while I watched our gear and chatted to people. Some more sociable than others, I had to fend off a cheeky local boy who had his eyes on my pockets.
With our Houston deadline drawing ever closer, we were happy to have budgeted no less than a month for our ride through Mexico. Taking in spectacular colonial towns, exhilarating mountain roads, ancient Aztec sites and breathtaking coast lines, Mexico didn't disappoint. That's more than can be said for that final drive bearing!
Before we knew it, we were leaving Latin America and heading to the States; the first time for both of us. We were expecting a time consuming border crossing but as we rode in under the star-spangled banner all went remarkably well. We were asked a few questions and then ... we were in. Mind you, it took me ages to fill in the immigration forms, being so used to Spanish I struggled for a while until I realised it was in English.
"Erm, where is customs then? For the bike temporary import ?" we asked. Both border officials gave us blank looks as we learned there is no temporary import stuff, as in every other country we've been in. It seemed very strange but we didn't argue!
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