An inconvenient border crossingJanuary 26, 2020 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C
We didn't use our mosquito net as we didn't see any mosquitos when we went to bed. Bad decision! They all came during the night. Plus, it didn't cool down at all and the neighbours had some private party, so we didn't sleep well. Still got up early to make it to the border to Nicaragua.
We only had some 48 hours in Honduras, but still got some impression of the people and the culture. We saw a lot of poverty, people living from the rubbish of the nearby landfill. At this time of the year, there is also a constant shortage of water and running water is no standard at all in general. People openly express their disgust of the current government and how the politicians steal money from the people. On the other hand, they are amazingly friendly and hospitable, always open for a chat. And the roads were the best so far in Central America.
When we reached the border, we first had to pass a long line of trucks waiting to cross. I guess they have to wait for a couple of days, as going through customs takes forever. We got a warning that also for tourists, the crossing can be quite tiring, so we were prepared.
Exiting Honduras was fast. Luckily, we arrived just before a big bus, so no line for us.
Then, the part for entering Nicaragua started. We crossed a bridge between the two countries where they checked our stamps in the passports. Then they directed us to a building. The entrance was hard to find as everything was under construction and no signs to be seen. We queued in a line until they directed us to another room with scanners for the luggage. Here, they told us we need a declaration form for all the bags, otherwise we cannot enter. They should have given us those forms at the bridge where they checked our stamps. Plus, we had to go to another window for migration. As the people from the bus were behind us, we decided to go to migration first. This was a 20min interview process about our itenary, motivation, jobs, hotel reservations etc. A guy noted everything down on a photocopy of our passports (that we had to provide). Afterwards, we had to go to a different window again. Here we paid 12$ per person and had to answer the same questions again. This time, an unfriendly woman typed the answers into a computer. We also got 3 receipts for the money we paid - all handwritten of course. What a waste of time! But we got our stamps and passed the migration part.
Then I ran back to the bridge to get the declaration form while Herbert watched the bikes. We quickly filled it out to beat the bus crowd, went to the scanner room again, unloaded the bikes and had all bags scanned (even though nobody looked at the computer). Easy! Loaded the bikes again and off to the next bridge where they checked the passports and stamps again. They also collected the forms - and told us that they lacked a signature from the guys at the scanner and we'd have to go back to get it. Seriously??? I was about to explode (all this was also around midday and it was above 40°C again) when the guy asked his partner if he could confirm that we had all bags scanned. His partner nodded and confirmed (of course he did NOT see it as this was in another building, but good for him he confirmed anyways). So after 1.5 hours, we were finally in Nicaragua.
We only continued to Somotillo, 5km after a border and decided to call it a day. We were tired and it was hot, so we took a hotel with nice owners and rested for the rest of the day.Read more