Car WasherThe day started well in Mexico. I woke up early to find this bloke cleaning my car. He was clearly after a few pesos, but I didn’t mind paying him because he did such a good job and the L.G.S.M. really needed it.

However it went downhill from there. Getting to the border was hard enough.

Lost TownAfter driving into one town I get completely lost there and the next town along too. It is boiling hot and my own temperature is rising by the minute as I scrape across each new bump. In the end I paid a taxi driver to drive to where I need to get to to get out, with me following him.

Eventually I get to the border and drive straight up to it because I was told at the USA/Mexico border that my temporary importation license of the car would be automatically refunded to my credit card upon leaving. However I am told that if I want the £1000 deposit I paid back, I must go back to the customs office which is not down the road or anything so sensible, but 30km away on the far side of the city I just got completely lost in! I reverse back over the security checkpoint and in the process of turning the car round wind blows through the car taking all my important car and visa documents out the open passenger window. There are then 20 locals and myself all running around like a Benny Hill sketch trying to catch everything in the wind. If it wasn’t so painful in the heat it would have been really funny.

Customs QueueI drive the 30km back thankfully without getting lost again, but by now I am so hot and bothered that I am steps away from ranting like a rabid man, so couldn’t care less when I get to the customs queue you see here and push right in at the front.

Union JackSafe to say that manouevre didnt go down very well with everybody else who had been queueing for an hour or more in the ridiculous heat, but I stood my ground with lots of ‘No Entiende’ and ‘I’m very sorry but I am from Her Britanic Majesty Quen Elizabeth II’s United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and I have no intention of queueing today because I need to cross the border.’ None of which was understood but helped give me the front to do it. I’m not popular but get my forms sorted out and then drive back to the border which was a bridge at a place called Talisman, stopping briefly to unload all my pesos in a shop a few kilometres beforehand.

I drive straight up to the border where the same official who sent me back previously thankfully waves me through, but only as far as emigration where I discover I needed the 300 pesos I just spent on water and some munch to get a stamp on some form or other! I dont have it so he waves me on wishing me luck with a smile. I cross the bridge into Guatemala where they want to see the emigration stamp which I couldn’t buy and they also want more cash to sort out imigration for me and a temporary importation permit for the car. They wont let me or the car in without it so I reverse back over the border for a second time to try and sort that out with the smug twat who is still smiling at me.

QuetzalesThe whole time I am anywhere near either side of the border I am set upon by about a dozen ravenous hawkers eager to bleed whatever they can out of me which is driving me crazy. Eventually with one rather over-agressive reversing manouvre they leave me alone long enough to find a civilised black market money changer who takes $100 of my emergency US currency to supply me with enough to get through both sides and hopefully enough Quetzales for a bed for the night. Of course at a ridiculous rip off rate.

I sorted the Mexican side then spent hours doing the entry paperwork on the Guatemalan side, thankfully managing a few laughs with the official there. However I first got to the border at 2pm epxting to arrive at my intended destination well before dark, but didnt leave the Guatemalan side at the thrid time of asking until gone 8pm, by which time it is pitch black, I am tired, about to have a major sense of humour failure and sweating like a guilty man waiting to be sentenced.

Safe SexI drive off into the night alomst immediately clattering over a huge unmarked speed bump in the darkness. To say I turned the air blue at this point is probably an understatement akin to saying that the sun is just down the road from earth.

I am really tired and have had enough of today so pull in to the first hotel I see. I haggle a reasonable rate for a room and take my stuff inside only to see it is again overburdened with mirrors and there are instruction on using a condom properly up on the wall. Lovely I have definitely picked another brothel! I had plenty of jabs before leaving the UK so think I am immune to everything, and am too tired to care so go to sleep once the air con and a couple of cold beers have cooled me down.




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