Crossing the Border...June 1, 2015 in Nicaragua ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C
Up early for the big journey, we set off at 7am for the first leg: a 90min bus ride to the border, Penas Blancas. Dubbed Kris and her 3 ducklings.. we are following her like little sheep (we also picked up another stray, Lindsay from Canada, late last night).
The bus to the border is fairly smooth sailing, we even managed to get some money changed on the bus for a decent rate. When we arrive, the confusion begins.
The hustling is not too bad on the Costa Rican side as the majority of the money changers and taxi drivers are kept behind a fence. They have managed to get around this though by positioning themselves in conveniently cut out giant holes in the fence where they stick their bodies through and call out "Cambio cambio!" whilst waving giant wads of cash.
We are approached by several people trying to "help" including a lady trying to usher us to a house to pay a fee. We resist for a few minutes until we realise she is actually legit and get taken to a hut on the side of the road to pay our $8 exit fee and have our passport stamped.
We then find our way to the crossing (there are no lines or directions anywhere) where our passport gets inspected. We walk a few minutes and reach "no man's land" (again, no directions anywhere) where we head towards another makeshift hut to one side where we get infrared scanned for Ebola and get given a scrap piece of paper with a stamp on it that looks like something your primary school teacher gives you. I think this means we don't have Ebola. Onwards we go!
A few more hundred meters and the hustling begins again, now with people trying to direct you and sell immigration forms, which are actually free at the counter. We manage to bypass all this, get to the office, pay $1 at the first counter (???) and $12 at another counter, get our stamps and head through. We pass another checkpoint and that's it! We're in Nicaragua!!Read more