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Meredith’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 01 Feb 2007

Location: Nicaragua

MapBorder Crossings: Running the Gauntlet

Kate and I parted company in Copan, Honduras and I set off for Nicaragua.

A tardis would come in handy at borders. I could vanish an reappear on the otherside ideally with my passport stamped and money changed by some intergalactic subcontractor.

But instead, I folded myself into a sticky minivan bound for Gausaule on the Honduran border. At the border I stepped out of the van and was instantly surrounded by a crowd of men pushing calculators and grubby notes in my face. Crossing the border here really means running the gauntlet on a bike for 2km in a no mans land of money changers and mangey dogs. I attached myself to a friendly Nicaraguan woman who clearly knew the ropes. We sped along towards customs and tried to ditch the men that clambered all over the bike. It quickly turned from authentic to annoying. We pushed them off the bike one by one and finally got through customs and over the bridge to friendly arms of Nicaragua.

Next time I will make sure I know the exchange rate and go armed with some less polite spanish vocabulary.