A new year, filled with new experiences, in a new country, this is good as life never gets a chance to be boring.
I always was a pretty good judge of character, when the superintendent customs officer on duty when I spent my 5 hr entry process into El Salvador told me that the bus must leave the country within 60 days I got the impression that he was a straight shooter, knew the law & that’s the way it was!
However it’s only human nature to try & find a way around laws one doesn’t like so when an importer says that it “should” be possible to leave for a day then come back in, one tends to feel it’s worth a try. Then when a customs officer informs a potential buyer the same story, it’s time to take a short road trip to Guatemala.
Bus has to be out of the country by Jan 2nd, there was 1 legal way to keep it (not divulging that info for free) but by the time it was discovered there was no time to get the appropriate paper work done, so New Years day I was Guatemala bound on CA-2. Got a new 2 month permit for Guatemala.
Spent a relaxing night a an auto hotel near Taxisco then in the morning headed for Valle Nueve, the next crossing to the north (no point in pressing your luck trying to re-enter at the same point. Got lost in Chiquimulila, typical Guatemalan thing where the main road divides into 2 one-way streets with absolutely NO signs telling one how to rejoin & of course the actual route having a different # than the map makes it that much more interesting. Then spend a couple hours on a rough, winding mountain road with a couple really bad sections where bridges had been washed out, another couple hrs (a nice day & I am in no rush) gets me to the border on CA-8.
Being kind of Leary about all the “good” advise I had been given tell the Guatemalan authorities that I am just visiting El Salvador (keep my 60 day permit that way). Which was a good thing because—.
You guessed it!
No permission por entrada el bus!!
A call to my importer dude results in the advise to go to the border at Anguiatu where he crosses on his way to Puerto Barrios, to pick up American insurance write-offs they bring in to be rebuilt. He has a friend in customs there, so it will be no problemo!!
Backtrack again, spend the night in Jutiapa at the Del Sol Hotel, a really nice place in a not bad town & only 250 Q/night. More mountain roads, ‘tis Guatemala you know, to reach the border, CA-12 now. The amigo (who has been offered an incentive to facilitate entry) is there & after a couple hours messing around.
Another night spent in the Hills of Guatemala. Next morning arrangements are made to park the bus at the house of my importer dude’s friend at the border, where it still sits.