Crossing the border
Mexico to Guatemala
I was waiting at the door when Mexican immigration’s opened at 8am and all I needed was to have my passport exit stamped and importation paperwork for the truck and camper terminated. There’s a refundable $300.00 deposit and if you forget to sign out you give up the money. It was easy peazy and I hoped the next step, getting into Guatemala, would go as smoothly.
From the Mexican side I drove about a mile until I came to an extremely crowded and bustling narrowing of the road that was marked off with orange cones. There were no signs to help me figure out where I was supposed to go so I simply stopped the truck and got out. I’ve gotten a lot more bold about this sort of thing and I wasn’t afraid to be a pain….. Someone ahead waved me forward so I jumped back into the truck and moved to the cross arm that blocked passage between the two countries. I know that many borders are swarming with people trying to make a living ‘helping’ foreigners who have no idea what they’re doing. It’s common for them to take (not by asking but by plucking it from your hands) the paperwork and leading the unsuspecting tourist through a series of phony offices where money pays the way forward. I wasn’t about to get duped so I took a breath and scanned the area deciding where I would go, before I got out of the truck. I was immediately offered ‘change money’ and fingers pointed in several directions supposedly indicating where I was needed to go. I decided to win the favor with the money changer by changing a little money (which I needed anyway). After the exchange he not only pointed me in the right direction but he lead me to the inspector. Apparently there are about 8 steps involved when bringing yourself, a vehicle and animals across the border and you need to do them in the correct order. Of course I got these orders confused and had to return to the same person multiple times. I gave the import inspector every piece of paperwork I had on the dogs. The poodles entered with no problem but it took about 3 hours to complete all the necessary steps. From the border it was a 3 hour drive to Huehuetenango where I took a week of spanish lessons.
The quick and dirty catching up……..
While I learned Spanish so did the poodles with two neighborhood children. Jose Pablo was in love with the poodles and when his birthday arrived that Sunday they received a special invitation to attend.
The poodles and I (mostly the poodles) were invited to Jose Pablo’s Birthday Party
These Guatemalans know how to party. It went on with dish after dish of wonderful food and finally ended at 10pm.
Making a wish
I headed out that night …. Picking up Anne at the airport in La Ciudad de Guatemala. We’ll be traveling for 3 weeks to a month in Guatemala…….
Miscellaneous pics from the week