Edge of the Mexican frontier

I hadn’t slept all night so near 6am i figured I’d shower and get this show on the road. MacKay and I grabbed breakfast in the hotel cafe and plotted a route to Antiqua, the former capital of Guatemala. I still had the throathopper latched on and swallowing was slightly painful.

While in the cafe a trailer for the next episode of Racecar Detectives came on!

We cleaned up el-BP and headed out of town. On the way we found an Auto zone. Some countries require you to have things like pylons and a fire extinguisher, and we’ve read police in some countries pull you over and ask for them just so they can ‘fine’ you for not having them. We stopped to grab them and get a tow rope and a… . I also snagged a sweet STP motor oil hat that makes me look less like a rich white dude that you should mug and more like a total dirt with no class or money.

Back on the road out of town we saw Quebec Bike Dude at a stop light. Rolled down the window and said “Hi, we’re from Nova Scotia”. He’s from Montreal.  We had a good 36 second chat. He told us to reserve right away for the boat crossing from Panama to Columbia. Yeeeeeah

After a short wet drive we were at the edge of the Mexican frontier. Now we had some business to take care of. We found an official looking guy milling about outside and we asked him about the vehicle import deposit. He was the guy! Sweet. We went in to the bank type building and he looked over our paper work. Looks good. Stampy stamp some stuff and we got 400 Ameribucks back. Oh yeeeeeah.

Next up was exit stamps from the immigration building. We go in and Quebec Biker Dude is there (His name is actually Gilles. Super nice guy). The INM guy looks at our tourist cards and says we have to go back to Bank Dude and pay more since we were in Mexico for over 7 days. This is a legit thing.

Us and Gilles go over to the bank building again but Bank Dude isn’t there anymore. So we sit and wait. Gilles turns out to be quite the talker and he tells us about his trip, his family, and his love of wine and massage. He’d gotten to Baja Sur after hurricane Odile and tried to cross a washed out road on his bike and got washed away down river. He managed to pull his bike out but it was soaking wet and wouldn’t start. Took the spark plugs out, dried the engine off, waited. “Well now I’m here so ya, it worked”. Tough ol’ bastard.

Bank Dude finally shows up and we drop 612 pesos on the over 7 days in Mexico thing. Back to immigration and the guy looks over our cards and passport and receipt and vehicle docs aaaaand stamps us. He also snaps a pic of us with Gilles.

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Overall the process took about an hour. Most of it was waiting on Bank Dude though. Not too shabby.

We take a drive in the no man’s land between borders and it’s actually pretty nice. The scenery is definitely changing. Next stop: Guatemala.

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