Now the Honduras border was a prime example of expect the unexpected, be prepared and be patient. It was independence day (Sept 15) throughout the better part of Central America, so things run a bit slower.
ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT BACK HOME
PROBLEM > The whole office has decided to take lunch at the same time leaving no one to process applications. This is where the patience part comes in as you wait for all to return.
Step two: Go to customs where you hand over photo copies of your passport, licence, registration and Guatemala export documentation for import processing.
PROBLEM > To date we have only been asked for one copy of each at the previous borders. But Honduras has decided they would like three of each for a total of twelve copies each.
Ok, not a problem because both Georg and I are good boy scouts and live by the motto be prepared. We produce all but four copies between us (pretty impresive I think). And there should not be a problem having them make a copy?
WRONG! because the only copier I am staring at which services the whole Honduras border operations is broken!
No problem where is the nearest copier? Guatemala border they answer which is only a 100 yards away. But wait we cannot go back into a country where we were just stamped out of, and we cannot just sit here in border crossing limbo until you get the copier fixed.
No problem, we will see what we can do but let us tell you it may take while ( 1 1/2 hours later we have our copies after the customs agent had to drive into the nearest Honduras town).
Step three: Receive customs paper and go to bank to pay import fee
PROBLEM > even though the bank is an integral part of the customs process and fees must be paid to the bank for proper importation. The bank has decided to close for the holiday putting a stop to the process.
Ok now what? No problem the agent says as long as you have the correct cash (as I do not have change) I can stamp the papers for you and pay the bank on your behalf.
2 1/2 HOURS LATER AND WERE IN!
I have heard numerous stories where people freak out at the borders due what they perceive is an inept process. But you must remember patience, perseverance and persistence along with a huge smile goes a long way.
And if you are not afraid of a bit of a challenge you get to see this.
COPAN RUINS HONDURAS
COPAN RUINS HONDURAS
And you get to do this!