Day 35 - September 6th

We finally left Mexico! Got up in San Cristobal and got out of dodge by 10:30. Headed toward the border there were many a speed bump. Hope those aren't in Guatamala. We arrived at the first stop of our border experience at 1:47pm (tracked that to see how long it'd take). Our first stop was the Banjercito bank where a man verifies our VIN and gave our $400 USD back that we had to pay back in La Paz. That was successful, but took about 20 mins even though we were only people there. We were then told to go to Mexican immigration. Inside we were greeted by an old man who wasn't pleased in the least that we didn't have a Mexican entry stamp...we really should have stopped in Tijuana, eh? He took our FMM (tourist card) and wouldn't give us a stamp saying we left Mexico. He just told us to leave with no directions....hmmm. We drive the 4km in no man's land between the Mexican immigration and the Guatamala border where we are stopped the get our tired fugimgated and pay $26 Quetzels (about $2 CAD each). Pretty sure they just sprayed water on our tires. Neat. Then we had to go to customs where they checked our passport. The guy there was insistent that he couldn't issue us a stamp into Guatamala unless we had a leaving stamp from Mexico. We acted surprised and confused and told him we didn't know why we weren't given a stamp in Tijuana. He tapped his fingers a few times in confinement and told us to go back to Mexico to pay a fine then come back. Ummmm, no thank you. We asked him if there was anything else he could do and within about 2 mins we had Guatamala stamps. Wooohoooo! Next we had to do immigration where we had to do a ton of paperwork and pay $160 Quetzels each (I think that was for the bike permit or something)...again we were the only people, but there was so much paperwork it still took quite a long time. We got away from the border zone all tickity boo at about 3:20. Not too bad I guess. All I can say is, I hope that mistake in Tijuana doesn't keep following us when we enter our next country. The other side of the border was a bit of pandamonium with people and vendors, but overall not bad. Our destination for the night was Huehuetenago (or Hue Hue for short). The drive was pretty slow, but there were some beautiful views of crazy jungle mountains and valleys along the way. We also got him by a massive tropical rainstorm that we suffered through. The hotel we found was pretty empty but secure and dry, so we were happy. Not planning on spending any time here anyways. Now, were just deciding on what things we want to do here in Guatamala. If anyone has suggestions, we'd love to hear em, otherwise we shall refer to some Wikitravel and Lonely Planet reviews. Oh! And today is election day in Guatamala. Turns our that's a big deal. The last president resigned and was arrested last week and today a new party will go into power. Pretty interesting stuff. Hopefully it doesn't result in a bunch of turmoil. One of the rules if the election is that they have not been allowed to sell alcohol for the week leading up to the election....so no cervezas tonight. We have been assured that our alcohol will be back in shelves at 6:00am tomorrow. What a relief. The pic below is of Dave and the hotel owner watching the votes come in Live in Spanish on Guatamala TV. What a rush!


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