This is part of the eighth section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from El Salvador (via Guatemala)
3/3/02 After yesterday's problem with El Salvador I hitched the 2 km across to the Honduras side of the border, to make sure we didn't need a visa, before cancelling Guatemalan paperwork. Arriving in the back of a pickup without luggage the money changers and "help you kids" weren't interested in me and a 30 day entry was issued quickly and without cost. Returning with the motorcycle a different matter and we allowed a kid to point us in the general direction for the next two and a half hours of formalities. I think it is a mistake to arrive at a border, that closes overnight, early in the morning. The border was much busier when we arrived, people having waited overnight for it to open, and by the time we got away it was almost deserted. In the past we have tried to arrive just after lunch at difficult borders. The cost for the bike after 9 photocopies, and about 6 forms, $US 8.00 private document recording fee, since last year, to enter the bike's details on a computer. $US 7.50 temporary importation document fees. $US 22.00 vehicle inspection and road usage/registration tax. All with receipts and I think legitimate although expensive. We met up with Jim at a prearranged hotel in Santa Rosa de Copan after his short sojourn through El Salvador.
4/3/02 The mountains here more denuded of trees and agriculture more expansive. Food more varied than Guatemala and everything cheaper. We were about to settle in for a few relaxing days at Tela on the Caribbean coast at a quiet fishing village on the beach, but the closer we got the more heavy the rain and stronger the wind. At first the storm coming across the Atlantic whipping up the seas and blowing through the coconut palms was invigorating but when it hadn't stopped by nightfall and everything was damp in our thatched roofed cabana we became despondent and unsure of our desire to remain the next day if there was no improvement.
5/3/02 The strong wind and heavy rain continued all night and continued as we rode the first 200 km, slowly easing to showers and cloudy fog on the mountain peaks. Jim had yesterday chosen not to attempt the dirt road out to the beach in the rain so we departed leaving him to his comfortable hotel in town. From the Atlantic to the Pacific in a day to San Lorenzo, the hot flat lands in the gulf.
6/3/02 Sometimes in these countries it seems the security firms may cause the security problems for extra business. Honduras has armed guards with pump action shotguns outside every bank and even the Chinese restaurant in the capital and petrol stations have them as do shopping centres. We have had no police or military checks since leaving Mexico but they are at most major intersections. A day of drying out and a 10,000 km service on the motorcycle in our hotel courtyard.
7/3/02 In 1998 hurricane Mitch hung over this part of the
world for 10 days and destroyed almost every bridge in the region. Water
pouring in flooded a couple of volcanic crater lakes, to the extent that
one wall collapsed, washing away villages. Aid money arrived to rebuild infrastructure
and bridges are almost back to normal, a few larger ones are still being
finished. We left Honduras at the Guasaule border taking just 10 minutes
and no payments.
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Peter and Kay Forwood,