As many overlanders know, there are people who attempt to assist you across the border in exchange for a few bucks. In Honduras, Tom and I decided that border helper was not an appropriate title, we renamed them border hinderers. Trying to scam every foreign person they could set their sights on, these border hinderers worked in tandem with the official border agents trying to trick people into purchasing unnecessary documents. Luckily, we follow Life Remotely’s blog for each border crossing so we know exactly what we need and don’t need.
When we pulled up to the border, a large group of men surrounded the car claiming to be officials. Clearly they were not, as they were dressed in t-shirts and shorts or jeans. It is very overwhelming when strange men surround your car, telling you that you need certain documents for outrageous amounts of money and they claim they can help you get them for a cheaper amount (even though you don’t actually need the documents in the first place).
Before every border crossing, Tom and I take a moment to say no matter how frustrating things get, we will clearly communicate with one another… yet in the heat of the day (too hot to roll up the windows), with 20 scary men surrounding your car, a conversation that should go like this:
Brooke, “I don’t think we need these documents.”
Tom “No, we don’t. These men are clearly trying to scam us.”
Brooke “I see.”
Tom “Let’s roll up our windows for a few minutes so they leave us alone.”
Brooke “Wonderful plan, my love.”
Tom “Not as wonderful as you”
Generally turns into this:
Brooke “WHY ARE YOU STOPPING IN THE CENTER OF 20 SCARY MEN!”
Tom “THEY MAY BE OFFICIALS. SH** THEY AREN’T. “
Brooke “KEEP DRIVING, KEEP DRIVING!”
Tom, “I CAN’T WITHOUT RUNNING THEM OVER!”
Brooke “ROLL UP THE WINDOWS AND STOP TALKING TO THEM!”
Tom “I CANT! IT IS TOO HOT AND WE WOULD DIE OF HEAT EXHAUSTION!”
Lika (Quietly sneaking into her dog food since everyone is clearly preoccupied).
Take the latter conversation and multiply that by a power outage at the crossing resulting in 6 hours of heat induced, stressful conversations, while trying to get the 20 scary men to leave us alone. On top of that, I was instructed to get into a vehicle to go to their version of the Agricultural Office to get the dog’s certifications ready. Tom sees me jump into an unofficial Toyota pickup, without official plates with a semi-official looking woman driving down the highway out of sight for nearly an hour… Tom was beginning to rethink this whole trip as he stood there wondering what was going to become of his fiancé.
After the entire ordeal ended, we couldn’t find a hotel to park in that allowed dogs, so we once again parked in a quarry. The following day, as we were driving towards the Nicaraguan border, we saw a beautiful part of Honduras. Disappointed in ourselves for not spending more time to see the true Honduras as we had to be in Costa Rica for the wedding, we crossed the border to Nicaragua.