I woke up pretty earlier today very anxious for my first true border crossing (Tecate, Mexico doesn’t really count) as I was going Solo. Got my bike packed up quicly and talked with the hotel owner while I strapped everything down a very nice guy. I got back onto the Mexico 200 and pushed South, as I pulled into Tapachula I saw two guys walking into the street trying to wave me down. I had been told there I guys that hang out in and near borders to try and help you through the process but want a lot of money. I knew I wasn’t at the border yet so I swung left around them and pinned it. I blasted through the city started making head way toward the border, I had typed in the wrong area for the gps, because I turned off of the Mex 200 and ended up in a little town sitting in the middle of a field in Guatemala by accident.. oooops.. I turned around headed back toward the 200 and finally got to the border. I was so nervous thought I might vomit, so excited and nervous about my first real border crossing. As I pulled in, tons of guys come running into the street making u have to either stop or gas it at them and make them move. I Stopped at first relized they just wanted to either exchange money or be my helper through the border. No Gracias was said a lot today. I made it to the border just to find out that where the guys were trying get me to stop in Tapachula, was exactly where I needed to go back to. I needed to cancel my Bike Permit and get my $400 Deposit back. So here we go I turn around and head back 20 miles of so, as I pull in I get to the side of the road and kick the stand down start to get off. My foot sleeps of the pavement and drops into the dirt which is 6inch below the pavement.. yup here I go for a third time dead stop fall over..hahaha The bike is laying at an angle I’m not going to be able to pick it up solo with all of the gear on it. All of a sudden a nice guy comes running over and helps me pick her up we just laugh and get her back up. I go into the office get all the paper work finish and canceled. I grab a quick breakfast/ lunch- Gatorade, powder donuts and little muffins. The heat is killing me at this point. I head back toward the border, filling up with gas on the way (luckly I did gas in Gautemala is 4 times the amount of Mexico. As I get back to the border this time no stopping just kept the gas ripping and only a few tried to step out and relized I wasn’t stopping so got out of my way.
I Get my stamp, but at first he doesn’t want to give it to me because supposedly I don’t have my tax receipt, finnaly he gives up and gives me my stamps. I then head to the next stop, do exchange my peso’s for Gautemalan money. As I get off I get bombarded by people trying to help this one group with one head guy my age won’t give up just follows me around telling me where to go and park and what to do. I started getting annoyed by them, They would try and help by grabbing my papers out of my hands and trying to show me the way I would grab them back “no Gracias” Finally I gave in and let them help me kind of. He was trying to get me to pay extra to the workers so it would go faster, but no point nobody was in line and it flew by. The guy was confusing me with all these other fees finally I got him to stop talking and talked to the Border cop myself relizing I was done expect for a bike check I went to grab my bike. There was 5 of them hanging around my bike when I went to grab it and the leader kept asking or demanding we will say for a tip for all of his help. I only gave him 14bucks (didn;’t want to but rather than argue in 100 degree weather in all my riding gear. He was not happy he wanted at least 30 more, and the kid he had “watch my bike” even though it was in paid safe parking, wanted cash to. I just kept telling them I was broke. I got on my bike and slammed out of the parking lot. I got to the wash station with both of them still following me asking for money. I got the bike washed and headed to the last check point with a cop. The head guy knew he wasn’t getting anymore cash from me so he left me alone, the other kid would not leave me alone. The cop did a quick once over and then told me I was good, the kid was sitting there telling me I still needed copies and to pay him. At that I looked at the cop asked if I could go to Gautemala now, he raised the get and Sped out of there as fast as I could.
Learned my lesson, ingore the people and push through no eye contact and don’t let them think they are helping. Haha I have many more borders to practice this at.. will see how it works out.. Although I did get done with the whole deal under an hour other than the driving back to cancel permits.
I was on my way, I road for another 200km, the road was just amazing and a lot of fun. Super smooth for the most part, very very twisties, lots of switch backs, climbing climbing up into the Gautemala mountains and the racing back down to the fields. I ran into a couple of locals on a bmw and they road with me for a while until they pulled off talked for awhile and then headed on there own way. I made it into Quetzaltenango (also known as Xela). Rad little city, of course I was looking for a hostel with safe parking and was lost for the better part of a half hour just laughing and cruzing. Finally found one who would let me put my bike inside of the hostel locked to a metal gate. I went grabbed a quick bite, but I am very tired and am excited to get on the road tomorrow and make it to Antigua. Today was an amazing day and learning experience.WWW.WHERESFLETCH.COM