We got up reasonably early around 8 and started packing the bike last night. The hotel was umm how to put this right up Ewa's alley, a dump, it had a huge iron bar to stop unwanted visitors and even the toilet door was a full metal door with dead bolts on the inside, Im guessing if a bad guy wanted you he certainly had his work cut out. I have no idea maybe it was a throw back to the civil war days who knows but it was more like a bunker than a hotel room, the funny thing is the windows were just the loover type that opened straight to the outside so if anyone really wanted in all they had to do wad smash the windows and climb in, oh but not before you run into the bathroom and lock that door. While I was laying there blogging last night I caught something in the corner of my eye, ok a nice looking sized rat just ran across the floor, I thought about waking Ewa up to scare the friggen shit out of her so she never wants to stay in another dump again but knowing her i would have had to cuddle her for hours to settle her down, so the easier option was to just get him out the door and then pick up all our gear off the floor and hang it up just in case his mates came back for a party. It would be a lovely surprise in the morning to find a nice sized rat in your pants, it wouldnt of been an issue for me my pants they absolutely stink to high heaven, even a rat wouldnt get into them Im sure, I'll have to get Ewa on cleaning duty soon, hey someone has to do it, she is riding a motorbike around the world and its hot and dusty work sometimes and I like to make her feel like a cared for and needed woman soemtimes, its just the kind of guy I am.
We headed over to the border and were immediately comfronted by about half a dozen dudes all shouting to park with them but as usual just rode straight on by them and into the official area. You get a few of the money changers and helpers in their but usually with acreditaion of some sort and usually very polite, one No gracias was enough.
Make sure you do a good job you little scallywag or I'll give you a whippin, he actually didn't do to badly out of the shoe shine as I had some Guatemalan money to get rid of only a few bucks but I made him earn it.
The leaving Guatemala process was actually very easy, here are the steps you need to take I hope it helps someone along the way.
1. Drive past the helpers and into the area near the immagration, you can ride right up to the immagrtion window but half way along away from everyone is ok.
2. Immagration first to get the exit stamp in your passport.
3. Then back to the bike and there is a guy right there he will come to you to check your entry permit and VIN number, he will then stamp it with his stamp.
4. Go across the road and make two copies of stamped permit, two copies of your passport with the exit stamp in it, along with the front page of our passport on the same page, two copies of your license, two copies of your ownership papers, and two copies of registration.
The copy place is directly opposite the immagration window across the road and costs 1 quezal each.
5.Go back into th Aduana office on the other side of the main building right near when you enter. Go in past all the truckers do not line up go straight to the window and when they are finished with what they are doing they will serve you.
6. Leave one set of copies with the original permit.
7. Then the guy will come out and check the VIN number again and takes the sticker from the bike and sticks it to the original.
8. Then you leave Guatemala if you dont get a kid to polish your boots just before you leave and then have a chat to another old dude after all the paper work is done the whole thing should take you about 20 minutes.
Entering El Salvador
1. Go to immagration they will just put your details into the computer no stamp here.
2. Walk the 10 metres up the building to the Aduana office.
3. Talk to the guard at the door and he will get you someone to serve you, if not go straight up to the window again and ask directly with a smile on your face. There was a guy there that spoke a little English that helped.
4.So here you need the second set of copies you had made earlier, if you forgot to copy anythign there is a copy place 5 metres away back towards Immigration.
5. Then wait patiently maybe 15 minutes, he will come over to the bike outside and check VIN number and note some other things on the bike, rego, colour, cylinders and basic stuff and he will also ask what you are carrying, clothes etc.
6. He will go back inside and you wait again maybe 20 minutes for him to fill out everything, he then passes it to another guy that sits inside the window in the office then he processes it and then he will call you over and then you have to check the details and sign the three copies they have made.
7. Your right to go into El Salvador. As you leave they will stop you to check your paperwork one more time and at that time a girl will approach you to pay an municaple tax of 5 dollars US, you will get a reciept for it. Other than that there is NO other charges on either border other than your copying fees.
It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes all up and I was being chatty and wasting time talking to everyone I could, so I reckon on a good day you might get through their even quicker than that. The helpers were very polite, one no gracias and they left you alone, everyone was really very helpfull and friendly, so far so good with the dreaded Central American border crossings, it certainly does help you to be prepared in your mind of what you have to do to get through the borders, its just a process, their process, no big drama.
El Salvador Immigration where they will enter your details into the computer, no stamp.
Aduana office just up from immigration.
Then it was off into El Salvador.