Day 65: Tegucigalpa - Danlí - Las Manos - Estelí (2)
Las Manos Travel Blog› entry 88 of 120 › view all entries
I took another bus to the town of El Paraíso -which turned out to be anything but a paradise- and then another bus to the border crossing at Las Manos. After the relatively easy previous border crossings I'd expected this one to be a breeze as well. Not quite so.
I had to get past three different windows, with three different officials, each of them checking the same pages in my passport. But worse, I had to pay for my exit stamp. After the mandatory bribe getting into the country, they wanted me to pay 10 dollars to leave the country as well. Only this time it seemed like an official fee. And I didn't have any dollars... I had some lempira left, but they didn't want that. I also had some euros, but they didn't want those either. No, they told me to go back to El Paraíso or Danlí and get some dollars there. I tried to explain to them that I'd already tried that, but had not been able to get any American money in their country, and I asked them to explain to my why the equivalent in their own local currency wouldn't suffice.
They would not yield, and I had no choice but to head back to the nearest city and try to buy some dollars there.
In the end I was saved by a good Samaritan. An American standing in line behind me was willing to exchange some of my euros for dollars, so that I could pay for my way out of the country (ridiculous really, that you have to pay to exit a country via a land border).
Thing is, the little stamp I received in my passport didn't even look like it was Honduran. It says Distrito del Baru, which, according to my Lonely Planet of Central America, is in Panama, not in Honduras. Maybe I got ripped off after all. I guess I'll never know.