May 20, 2005
In Panaachel, Guatemala, we found a free camping spot right by the lake. There we put up the rig and were able to train everyday. To survive we gave classes and did some gigs in a discotheque called “The Chapiteaux” plus a few contracts in schools. We had a great time well deserved after Caracas. When entering the country, they gave us a paper for a temporal importation for the bus that lasted 45 days. A week before the permit ended we were ready to leave but couldn’t…
Over night they had started some roadwork on our only way out and so we were stuck for one more week. When at last we couldn’t wait any longer, it took us 4 hours to drive 500m as we had to rebuild the road in front of us, the last hour having to be done under the rain. Whatever, we really enjoyed our swim after that, needed to wash the mud that covered our body.
It is with a letter of the mayor himself, explaining why we overstayed our temporal permit for the bus that we arrived at the border to El Salvador. After having been 2 years in South America we couldn’t believe it when they wouldn’t let us out of the country for being late. But it happened. We try to talk to the customs people for hours but they wouldn’t have any of it, the rules were the rules. So we finally accepted that the next day we would have to leave Jo, Theo and the bus behind whiles we went to the city to do some paper work.
At 05.30am next morning we were on the local bus and 3 hours and a half later arrived in Guatemala ciudad.
After a full day of talking to people behind desk (not always sympathetic) and jumping ladders we finally arrived in a very posh office and by 5pm we finally had our paper to leave Guatemala.
Of course by that time the last bus to La Hachadura border had left. When we finally made it back to the bus the next morning, the border was closed as there was an orange alert for a hurricane. So there we were in a supposedly very dangerous zone waiting for the hurricane.
After a day and night of little wind and lots of rain, the border opened at last by which time 3 of our bikes were stolen whiles we were sleeping in the bus. No Hurricane, no bikes and back on the road.
In El Salvador, we enjoyed talking to locals that we found very open and as you would say in French (pas con). We headed to Suchitoto and even the heat and the small hat in the show didn’t bring down our good feeling about El Salvador. We met a lot of really nice people, and if everything goes fine we should have a month of booked work on our way back up.
In Honduras the police kept stopping us on the road trying to find errors so we would give them money. Fat chance of this happening with us. Apart from a small family of traditional circus that we met on the way and with whom we stayed a few days, we didn’t think much of Honduras (but then again we only saw a small part of it).
And now we are in Nicaragua, Granada and are having a great time. Theo is learning fast with his new teacher Jo and thanks to the CNED (French schooling at distance) and has now blue hair.
Our new member Julio the dog is growing (as well as doing lot of sleeping, eating and playing).
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