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Honduras - Central America // The Border Crossing

Killvan's Honduras. A tale of crossing Central American boarders by land, on a surf adventure that is riddled with bureaucracy.


Drifters, thieves, hookers, smugglers, the poorest of the poor and us, angsty surfers wanting swift passage through to the next country. Border towns are ugly affairs, they have little to do with the actual country the represent, their identity awash with bureaucracy and ink stamps. On approach to the Honduran border the rigmarole stain could be seen.

"Señor, Señor, Gringo Gringo, Mister!" came the screams from little El Salvadorian grubs. As the van slowed on the dirt road, casually approaching the point of no return we were surrounded by begging kids looking for some contraband of some sorts. Though we had none, by then we were traveling slim. El Salvador was sketchy, dangerous, knifes edge. The border was no different, they never were. Though by then our troop had our wits, we'd been hustled, robbed, had guns pointed at us and now we were seasoned men of the road that knew what to expect, a border was a cake walk.

Some of these kids seemed to be living in a vacuum, chasing those getting sucked across the border into Honduras, maybe never to be seen again. And probably for good reason. The immigration desk was no fuss, wood and dirty glass, a rusted hand rail and some down tempo officials with little care for the time of day.

"You've got to be kidding" Mack said, looking at the pile of papers slide over the counter.
It was an inch thick of drama, in scrawled Spanish requiring translation, and some bogus fees that'd have to be paid if we were to get from El Salvador and into Honduras.

Small insects haunted the face, they kept probing at the moisture in the corners of the eyes, relentless as was the heat of the day. The combination of these dam bugs and the arduous process of ink stamping, money changing and what seemed like unhelpful translations was traumatic. So close, but yet so far.

 

There is little money here in both El Salvador and Honduras, and as we trekked back and forth from office to office, each with an official sitting on a school chair at a single desk, in a bleak cell like room, perhaps a fan chugging away and some meagre office supplies was a reminder of how these countires existed on far less funds than our own. The humidity ensured the brow sweat of a border official was beading, though never wiped. Perhaps it was there to represent a pressurized working environment, or perhaps an intimidation tactic if we questioned the fees that added up to a substantial amount. Were we getting screwed, did they see us as easy prey for a quick buck, or was it just the system of another back and forth backwardly sweaty process, down here in a border town of Central America.

We'd never know, we were blowing through, the Nicaraguan border was about five hours to the south and it wasn't long until we'd be doing it all again.

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