12.21.08 El Salvador – Guatemala – Mexico (in a day)
Tapachula Travel Blog› entry 46 of 57 › view all entries
12.21.08 El Salvador - Guatemala - Mexico (in a day)
Forget today is
We now know the border-crossing system:
Go to the country you are leaving:
Check out Migration (people using passports)
Check out Vehicle (using the vehicle doc of the country you’re leaving)
Then you go to the next country which is typically across a bridge, but might be in the booth next door),
Check in Migration (passports again),
Check in Vehicle (title, license, and passport of driver), which takes the longest- make sure you check their printout before you sign it, particularly the VIN, plate #, and dates.
Then there is someone at the gate who double checks your vehicle paper (checks the VIN & license plate again).
There may be some little things like:
Fumigation (separate station)
Vehicle inspection (usually by there person typing up your vehicle paper- they check the VIN # and license plate number)
Agriculture inspection (inspector searches for fruit, etc depending on what is allowed in that country- usually just before you drive off)
Weapons & Drug inspector- who looks in cabinets with a flashlight and under cushions
Copies (separate little business nearby)
Bank (window nearby- or if they have none, you’re expected to go to a bank in that country and pay the fee and get a receipt- like at some Mexican borders).
Vehicle sticker (if that country requires it, it is put on by the vehicle paperwork person).
Guatemala CA-2 was an excellent road. We followed the bypasses listed in the Guia Roja Mexican map book that also includes
By 4:45 we made it to the Aduana off CA-2 called Tecun Uman. It was tricky at the end. We tried going to the right branch of the road, made it past all the trucks, but they told us that was only for cargo importation. So we turned around and made it to the rather small but busy town of
Some of the Tecun Uman streets were dirt, some cobbled, but all of them filled with people, pedicarts, bikes, people, and cars in a slappy border town. A policeman had our road blocked off for a Christmas celebration.
Let’s just say with the help of about several hundred people, we managed to find the Aduana. Ned was a bit surprised how I’d just stop in the middle of the road and then watch the helpers appear, as if by magic. One time, the pickup behind us whipped around and the guy got out, strode over, and in perfect English said, “Excuse me, but if you want the Aduana, it is just 3 blocks back…” and gave us terrific help. We thought he’d be mad about my nearly complete street blocking. How nice is that!? So then 4 people or so spotted while I backed in the intersection and returned down the same crazy, crowded street. There was not one single Aduana sign in sight!
We also sent Jazy out to ask at the police station, where their faces just lit up when they saw her coming. It was hilarious. We send her for her Spanish abilities, which are top in our family, but also for her Pretty Power. She gets results!
We found the Aduna (Border, Frontera, Immigration- whatever you want to call it that gets your point across).
We saw a place for “pesado” vehicles off to the left just as we entered the town, but I don’t think that was right either. Our guide, Eric, said (in English) that where we were was the only crossing at the bridge. By the way, the bridge is locked about 10 pm each night, so it doesn’t matter that the Aduana is open 24 hours. They also did not have a Banjercito there, so we have to pay for Ned’s Mexican Tourist Permit at a bank somewhere in the country.
We were told the 66 Fumigation fee could be 150 NP and then we wouldn’t have to get the vehicle sprayed *inside* the rig too, so I forked that money quickly over to Eric and it was taken care of.
Eric, who lived 14 years in the
Not once were we stopped on CA-2 by any police officers today. We did pass many police cones in
We are so happy to be in
I’m tired and headed to bed now.