A complete screw up day and a complete rooky error at the border that cost me 2 hours and 120km extra round trip Homer Simpson Doh!
Day started fine checked out went round the corner to fill up the bike with petrol and I grabbed some breakfast and then I headed for the border. First day in ages that the sun is actually shining and blue skies and reasonably hot. A nice run to the border, which was not so far away, so I was there in no time. I had left early by my standards and it was Sunday so the border was pretty quite. I pulled over and a young lad came over and asked me if I needed help with the crossing I politely declined and then a few money changers turned up and I said I would talk to them later so they also left me alone.
- First thing to is get me out of Honduras that will be three dollars very simple
- Next the bike also no problem done also very simple
- Guided by a bloke with a clip board who was the mandatory insurance salesman for Nicaragua called Javier to the fumigation area to get my bike sprayed with some gunk or insecticide which was done in no time and also cost nothing
- Then to get me into Nicaragua so first to immigration very simple this cost 10 dollars and another charge of 3 or 5 dollars I cannot remember and I was cleared for Nicaragua
- Then the paperwork for the bike this took slightly longer as she kept getting the info on the forms wrong so at first my name was Phillip Amsterdam which she got from my driving licence so we changed that then the manufacture year of the bike she found a number on the registration that said 2002 but had nothing to do with manufacture date and we changed that and the usual confusion about me being English with a Dutch driving licence and bike and a UK passport but as soon as that was all done the bike was through
- Javier had been showing me through the whole process and then sold me the mandatory insurance for Nicaragua which was 13 dollars.
- Finally I did a money change with the local changers usual jovial haggling over the rates never except there first offer and see how far you can get to the rate that you know to be correct and anything near that is the rate I will take as I except these guys need to earn a living as well and there is no charge for the deal so they make on anything they can on the difference and I am not here to screw them I just like a fair deal.
- So I thought I was through so I packed the bike up and I slipped of the foot pegs landing on me knackers as it was still covered in gunk from the fumigation much to the amusement of locals watching football on the television which was in front of the immigration office.
- So I headed to the gate when I was called over by the police what now I thought they wanted to see my papers the ones I just shown 2 minutes ago so first my driving licence so I gave him this then he demanded my registration papers and then want another dollar for this so I objected and asked what this was for but no real answer and they had a receipt for this but I was pissed of at yet another contribution and or charge for the cops as they have nothing to do with immigration and or importing of a bike. As it was only a buck a paid and I was on my way
Whizzing along beautiful tarmac roads through gorgeous countryside blue skies and the sun was shining. I had a niggling doubt did I get my driving licence back and after 60km the niggling doubt became more real so I decided to stop and do a document check and bugger me my driving licence was not where it should be (I loose stuff all the time so everything has a fixed place and if not there then it could be lost) I checked everywhere but could not find it so my gut feeling was right the bastard copper (he was pretty creepy even before I had lost the licence) had not returned my licence. So I do a U turn and back to the border I had done 60km and this had taken about an hour lovely ride but what was going through my mind what if the licence was not there how was I going to replace it and all the additional complicating issues on mislaying this vital bit of kit.
I got back to the border and I was let back into no mans land to the police post where the 2 guys pretended they knew nothing about the licence but I guessed from the way I was acting I was not in the mood to be fxxxxd around with as I was pretty sure this was the last time I had seen the licence and I was pretty sure it had not been returned to me. Eventually creepy cop went out back and came back with it and the other cop said I dropped it on the road and I should buy them all a drink for finding it. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and maybe I had dropped it but deep down I think they where just fxxxxxg with me as I had tried to call there bluff on a bogus charge. I did not buy them a drink as requested but politely thanked them and said adios and did the same 60km stretch I had just done for the 3rd time did I tell you this was a gorgeous bit of tarmac beautiful scenery blue skies and the sun was shining 🙂
Note to self Philly you are total arse always go with your gut feeling and do a complete document check at every stage of the process as there is a lot going on and you are dead in the water without these documents and you just wasted an additional 2 hours and 120km extra km what if it was pissing down and the sun was not shining this little fxxk up could have been a lot worse.
So got to the point I had been 2 hours ago a bit more relaxed but now my petrol planning was all out and it was getting hot and was going to get to Leon a lot later than originally planned. It is lovely now hot run into Leon through mountains across flat plains with volcanoes in the distance I pulled into Leon at about 5pm just before it got dark looking for a hotel Viavia as it was another place I had heard about.
I found the street and there where 2 other motorcyclist stopped outside Chris and Chloe and they had just checked out the hotel and there was one 3 bed room left so the plan was to share a room with them and they also had safe parking. So again had to drive the bike up a double kerb through a crowded bar and restaurant I stalled it once much to the amusement of the onlookers and the bike was in.
It turned out they had a dorm as well as a double room so the sharing plans changed. Chris and Chloe had ridden up from Argentina so I had dinner with them swopping info and stories which was useful and Alex and Andrea the Romanian couple from last night turned up and joined and later Paul and Dylan the two bikers I met at the brewery turned up so there was 7 bikers telling tall stories and them all doing there best to put Philly of the rest of his trip or that is what it felt like sometimes I am not sure if a lot of these tales are exaggerated for dramatic effect or it going to a bloody hard going from now on in who knows we will no doubt found out. I have said it before there is something about ignorance being bliss, as I would rather not know than worry up front however did pick up a lot of useful information.
Been a long day tomorrow back to the books and Spanish lessons lets see if I can get further than donde es la baños this time 🙂