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Old 12-01-2010, 08:24 PM   #61
thedomwayround
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I'm going to cross this way later this week so will add my thoughts. But for now I thought I'd just let you all know that a section of the San Cristobel/Palenque road was washed away today (Dec 1st). About 20 miles short of Palenque I was stopped by a traffic jam. It's been raining none stop for 24 hours and two hours before I got there a 10 metre section of the whole road was washed away.
(I have a photo and will try to add it tomorrow).


The road certainly won't be open again for a while. However it is possible to detour. About 20-30 miles before Palenque there is a large fork in the road. Turn left to head for Salto de Agua. This road then leads on to the 186 where you turn right for half an hour before turning right again for Palenque. The road to Salto de Agua is tricky. Lots of potholes and bits washed a way but manageable. Mind you there has been so much rain anything could happen. The river that runs along the 199 has totally broken its banks and there is substantial flooding (but not on the road yet.


I'm in Palenque and its been raining none stop for well over 24 hours.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:25 AM   #62
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:38 PM   #63
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Today I crossed from Palenque to Flores (near Tikal) on a fully paved road. This route is now totally up and running and will surely become the favourite route for bikes who want to get from Palenque to Tikal. Fully sealed road, 220 miles and the whole thing took us under 8 hours (left Palenque at 8, arrived at Flores 3:30)



Details below...



We left Palenque at 8 a.m. A few miles out of town we took a road to the right, signposted as La Liberdad. It's a short cut towards Tenosique. After 30 miles you turn right (signposted Tenosique) and in another 30 miles you enter Tenosique. There is a PEMEX just as you enter town. About 500 metres past the Pemex is a hotel on the left (Don Juan I think) which, from the outside looked OK. It took us just under 2 hours and about 60-70 miles to get to Tenosique. But then we got lost in town for 30 minutes. After the Hotel, at the traffic lights, turn right and then there is a roundabout. I went left (third exit) and went into town. I think I should have just gone straight ahead...



From Tenosique to the border (El Ceiba) was about 45 minutes and 40 miles. Good road, but no services and nothing at El Ceiba. The Mexican side of the border has FULL services for checking out of the country. A Bancajeto to cancel your temporary import card for the bike in an air conditioned room. Unfortunately I didn't check whether they are open on Mondays, a previous thread said they are shut on Mondays. I was there on a saturday. Perhaps the next person who goes by can check. It took us 15 minutes to check out of Mexico!
Immediately as we crossed the border a guy stopped me to get the passports stamped. He's in the first (and only) white and blue building on the left. Took 5 minutes, cost nothing. He then points across the road to a parked up lorry on stilts. That's where you get the bike stamped in. The two guys in the “building” were fantastic. Friendly and helpful and absolutely no whiff of bribery at all. They apologized as the electricity wasn't working and I had to jump into a tuk-tuk to go to a photocopy shop as you have to have a photocopy of the Guatemalan stamp that has just been put in the passport. (Other photocopies needed were, driving license, passport photo page and Bike title)



Once I'd done that he got me my temporary Guatamala bike import papers and a sticker to put on the bike. Cost – 40 Queztals ($6) (There was a little mix up as he was worried about my bike being able to leave Guatamala as my license plate said “Alaska” not “USA” but we sorted that out.) This side of the border took about an hour but 20 minutes of that was me getting the photocopy. When we left they insisted on taking our photo on the bike. THAT'S never happened to me before at a border crossing.










We then had the wheels ceremoniously sprayed with something that cost 20 Q ($3) and we were on our way. Under an hour and a half for the whole thing and actually quite a pleasant experience. The El Ceiba side of the border has nothing in the way of hotels. But on the Guatamala side I did see a hotel on the right 500 meters into the country. Looked OK if you were stuck for somewhere, there's nothing else for 150 miles.



It took 2 hours 45 minutes to get to Flores, about 150 miles on a really good road (except for the topes). Total mileage from Palenque to Flores – 220. 150 miles from the last PEMEX in Tenosique to the first gas station I saw in Guatamala which was 20 miles before Flores. So fill up in Tenosique.


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Old 12-04-2010, 09:19 PM   #64
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Great stuff man, and thanks for taking the time to write this up, even though you had already passed and could have just moved on to something else.. I am sure that it helped many of us.

Likely I will pass back this way heading into Mexico. Thanks again for all of the updates.

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Old 12-05-2010, 04:24 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedomwayround View Post


Total mileage from Palenque to Flores – 220. 150 miles from the last PEMEX in Tenosique to the first gas station I saw in Guatamala which was 20 miles before Flores. So fill up in Tenosique.
Bravo, great report. The best tip is the fill-up advice. I was going the other direction, but was really wondering if I was going to make it to Tenosique or run out of gas along the road. Pretty remote road.

It was along this same road from the border to Tenosique that I could look up into the hills and see small groups of immigrants with backpacks trucking through the hills going to Mexico.

Thanks again, Saludos
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:01 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by thedomwayround View Post

We left Palenque at 8 a.m. A few miles out of town we took a road to the right, signposted as La Liberdad. It's a short cut towards Tenosique
Good information Dom ,this route has existed a long time already .However your directions as to Leaving Palenque are very vague . Er , WHAT direction did you go FROM PALENQUE?
It only becomes clear a few lines later when you mention the road La Libertad, but for folks who do not know enough map reading for the region this means little.
Any body and everybody , listen up. Please when giving directtions be clear and explicit with COMPASS directions, not the left-right cruise stuff.
Good to hear all the recent details of the El Ceibo crossing into Guate

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Old 12-07-2010, 05:27 PM   #67
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Sorry if my directions ar confusing. As far as i cna rememerb there's only really one way to get from Palenque to the border. Leave Palenque heading north, then about 2 miles out of town turn right following the signs for La Liberdad.

Hope it all helps.

(Incidentally, I've just corssed the border today from Guatemala to Honduras at Copan. It was EASY. Took less than an hour ABSOLUTELY NO corruption and we were the only tourists. Very very very easy.)
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:22 AM   #68
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Thanks for the info so far. Dom, you used the word "title" in describing what was needed at the GT border crossing; I am assuming that you meant to say "registration", is this correct? Please make this clear for all.
As to fuel-one will need to go 150k from the Pemex to the next fill in GT,correct?
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:35 AM   #69
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The excellent new road from El Ceibo east is only 17km long before you meat the existing older highway. From that junction it is a mere 12 km north to El Naranjo where there is a gasoline station and a number of inexpensive hotels . If from Tenosique,where there is lots of Pemex, to the border is only 60 km then it would be impossible to run out of gas unless one totally ignored all gas stations , and then one would deserve to suffer Even in El Ceibo ther e is barrel gas available if you are desperate, just ask.

From Palenque there are actually several other routes to El Ceibo.
You could go NORTH on Mex 199 all the way ,about 30km , to Mex 186 then turn east to the junction of Mex 203 and ther turn southeast to Emiliano Zapata and from ther continue to Tenosique.
Further northeast along Mex 186 you can turn east on thestate highway and either go through Balancan thence south to Mex 203 or carry on a bit more and turn south to Tenosique.etc to El Ceibo.
Or from Palenque you could go south on Mex 199 then at the junction turn east onto Mex 307 to Chancala and at that town's junction turn North to the paved state highway across the river which will connect with Mex 203, the same highway from E..Zapata
I have Done all these roads, excellent , quality, good scenery.
If you had a paper map in front of you with some decent detail then all these features would have been obvious at a glance. I Bet the confusion and doubt is caused by an over reliance on electronic mapping which only gives a myopic picture of what is in front of the imaginary position where you plot yourself or where the bike is siganalled to be and then it tells te rider to "turn left,turn right,drive forward.... even if the road in front of you has just washed away
EXPLORING is the name of the game
Click on this icon and you can see a picture of that new highway ( I hope anyway, for some reason I am having an impossible struggle to get pictures to these posts from Pixcelgallery Somehow they changed stuff on me and I am lost!))
xxx


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Old 12-12-2010, 01:45 PM   #70
thedomwayround
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Kantuckid

I think the phrases "Title" and "registration" casue problems as UK/USA ect have different difinitions. They ask for the "Titular" and I give them the title I have which is proof that I own the bike.

Although you may be able to get gas all over the place all I saw were PEMEX in Tenosique and then on the main road to Flores about 20 mile short of Flores. Which was about 150 miles. You cna search around in other palces but if your just going on the mainr oad fill up in Tenosique and then you should make it to Flores.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:00 PM   #71
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Time for a small update on the El Ceibo crossing which I traversed about two weeks ago coming north.

The border gate and offices for both countries are open only between the hours of 9 am to 6 pm .
The Guatemala side can now do both tourist cards and the temporary import paperwork from their trailer office.

The Mexican side has a big new building with large parking area as shown on the pictures others posted . Travellers going to Mexico should take the following into consideration. The Mexican El Ceibo office does NOT yet have a Banjercito office . They can indeed provide you with the TVIP but you will have to post the appropriate security deposit for your vehicle. That deposit depends on the age of your vehicle and at most it will be $400 US cash.
Now here is the useful bit: If you do not have $400 US cash on you the attending official will permit you to pay an equivalent amount in pesos, or a make-up amount in pesos. He will then take that money to the bank in Tenosique next day , convert it to US dollars and bring it back to deposit it to your account and teh Banjercito.
I know this for a fact and the official is most helpful as he provided this service to me when I stupidly showed up with insufficient bucks. I think his name was Max and he appears to be the sole agent who works that job, comuting daily from Tenosique. He is totally on the level. He provided the proper TVIP sticker and documents and since it was nearly 4;30 he even permitted me to proceed to Tenosique for the night and a visit to a bank machine.Then next day he finished the processing and isssued the TVIP
When I left Mexico t Reynosa there was no delay in getting the money refund.
The question remains however, why cannot the border simply be fitted with a terminal for accepting credit card payments just because Banjercito does not have a rep there ? All manner of small businesses have no problem with doing CC payments with a simple hookup. This would certainly be a secure method for Banjercito to get the funds without danger of corruption leeaching it away .
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:48 PM   #72
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Sjoerd

Good to see you posting again. Question, why were you getting a TVIP on your way north, did you have to surrender it on the way south?
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:37 PM   #73
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No I did not do much posting the last 9 weeks because I was on a - gasp- car (cage ) trip down to Panama and back acting as tour guide for an older sister. Had a great trip but did not spend much time in ciber cafes and I do not carry electronica, no wifi and stuff like that . Only now back at home base did I restart,( free computers at library y'know( cheep cheep, spring birdsong?) ) and that could be short spell as I intend to get on my V Strom and head right back to Mexico when a window of good weather presents itself in the coming week or so .

Indeed we did have to surrender our tourist cards and the TVIP upon leaving Mexico at Cd.Cuauhtemoc/La Mesilla.
In some ealier years it was permitted that I retain these documents so that they could be utilized for the return trip within the 180 day valid terms. However they have modified the regulations gradually in steps in recent years and I also think that there is some confusion about the rules among the various border customs workers as to the interpretation.
For instance the fellow who issued me the tourist cards at El Ceibo clearly and unmistikably explained that if we were to cross through Mexico to the USA border within 7 days then we would not need to pay the Tourist Tax for those Tourist Cards. However when cancelling the tourist cards at the Reynosa terminal the official upon seeing the entry stamp of El Ceibo got all excited and insisted that we pay up. He Explained that the 7 day free rule only applies if one were to enter from the US and return to the US form the Frontier Zone.
He explained that by going from " a third country" to cross Mexico to the US we were to be classed as "transito" and the 7 day rule did not apply. If the entire trip had stayed in Mexico we would be listed as "turista".I kept arguing without effect that I was a "turista " every day of the trip from the day we set off all the way through CA and back.
In either case , he said , the tourist card would have been issued for 180 days. Kind of silly really, but hey, they can make whatever rules they like, and it raises the income stream a bit for their side.Annoying though to have two servants of the same department with such divergent explanations.
For the Tourist card payment they now issue a recipt covering only one quarter of an entire printer page- the waste! why not just a simple cash register slip print-off. And this was done at Reynosa at the end of the transit. On an earlier trip too I somehow did not pay for the TC at thestart of a ride into Mexico and wound up similarly paying at the exit point when cancelling it and getting the exit stamp in the passport.

So for anybody leaving Mexico at the south, be prepared to hand in and cancel - and COLLECT your TVIP DEPOSIT if made, before carrying on. Then on the return trip you will get to buy a new tourist card and TVIP again
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:47 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
No I did not do much posting the last 9 weeks because I was on a - gasp- car (cage ) trip down to Panama and back acting as tour guide for an older sister. Had a great trip but did not spend much time in ciber cafes and I do not carry electronica, no wifi and stuff like that . Only now back at home base did I restart,( free computers at library y'know( cheep cheep, spring birdsong?) ) and that could be short spell as I intend to get on my V Strom and head right back to Mexico when a window of good weather presents itself in the coming week or so .

Indeed we did have to surrender our tourist cards and the TVIP upon leaving Mexico at Cd.Cuauhtemoc/La Mesilla.
In some ealier years it was permitted that I retain these documents so that they could be utilized for the return trip within the 180 day valid terms. However they have modified the regulations gradually in steps in recent years and I also think that there is some confusion about the rules among the various border customs workers as to the interpretation.
For instance the fellow who issued me the tourist cards at El Ceibo clearly and unmistikably explained that if we were to cross through Mexico to the USA border within 7 days then we would not need to pay the Tourist Tax for those Tourist Cards. However when cancelling the tourist cards at the Reynosa terminal the official upon seeing the entry stamp of El Ceibo got all excited and insisted that we pay up. He Explained that the 7 day free rule only applies if one were to enter from the US and return to the US form the Frontier Zone.
He explained that by going from " a third country" to cross Mexico to the US we were to be classed as "transito" and the 7 day rule did not apply. If the entire trip had stayed in Mexico we would be listed as "turista".I kept arguing without effect that I was a "turista " every day of the trip from the day we set off all the way through CA and back.
In either case , he said , the tourist card would have been issued for 180 days. Kind of silly really, but hey, they can make whatever rules they like, and it raises the income stream a bit for their side.Annoying though to have two servants of the same department with such divergent explanations.
For the Tourist card payment they now issue a recipt covering only one quarter of an entire printer page- the waste! why not just a simple cash register slip print-off. And this was done at Reynosa at the end of the transit. On an earlier trip too I somehow did not pay for the TC at thestart of a ride into Mexico and wound up similarly paying at the exit point when cancelling it and getting the exit stamp in the passport.

So for anybody leaving Mexico at the south, be prepared to hand in and cancel - and COLLECT your TVIP DEPOSIT if made, before carrying on. Then on the return trip you will get to buy a new tourist card and TVIP again
I went down in January and was able to keep my TVIP (if fact they told me to) at La Mesilla and pointed out the expiration date at the top. Came back through at El Ciebo with no problems. Also was told that I did not have to pay on my return trip through El Ciebo because I was going to be less than 7 days in Mexico. No problems for me when they say they don't want my money.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:33 AM   #75
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Good to hear that GR8ADV.
THis is what I find so annoying about all these border workers who are supposed to be all working fro the same rule book- If one gets it in his bonnet to play it differently it gets complicated. I spent an hour wasting his time in Reynosa but he would not budge from his stance that I was "transito"
. The good fellow at El Ceibo did explain to me that I didnot have needed to hand in my TVIP at Cd Cuauhtemoc, he said that there is the option of getting it " suspended" if one goes out of Mexico south with the intention of coming back later within the 180 days. Wonder why the Cd Cuauhtemoc office this time for me did not extend that courtesy when I clearly explained that I was comig back? Oh well.....
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