The recent comments to our blog posts suddenly have a common theme: we will not be able to settle down when we get home, many of our followers believe. Really? This made me think that we have omitted to describe a large part of our days while on the road, and all the uncertainties that being on the road entails. There are many unknowns in our day, every day. Many things to work out. And the same things to work out all over again, every day!! While we love it and it is part of being on an adventure trip, routine is something we know we will enjoy once home.
Every day we are on the road, we have no idea:
– What the road conditions will be like
– What the traffic will be like
– How many random police checks we will have and slow our progress
– What roadworks or detours we will encounter and also slow our progress
– Where we will have lunch
– Where we will change money
– How far we will get
– Where we will sleep
When we have borders to cross, we have no idea:
– How long it will take
– What the best time to arrive is
– When are they open/closed
– Where we have go
– What paperwork we must acquire during the border process
– What order we are to follow
– Where we will change money
– Where we can get road insurance
Here is the Nicaragua border process for example, after driving past dozens of parked trucks all over the place, we:
1. Are waved over to a small awning on the right – asked to show our passports to official looking “unofficials”!?
2. Accept a fixer by simply nodding and following his instructions
3. Drive to a larger tent nearby – show passports, asked our nationality, “I” marked in ledger against country and given a small 2cm by 2cm piece of paper which is carefully placed in our passport. Do not loose it!!
4 Drive to fumigation station
5. Go to window and pay for quarantine treatment. US$3 each. And get large printed receipt
Complete customs form
6. Back to bikes which have already been fumigated
7. Show receipt and hand customs form which is then stamped
8. Drive about 400m and park between 2 buildings
9. Go to small table outside large building and pay US1 each for Municipal tax
10. Immigration – hand passports, with tiny piece of paper, completed immigration form, pay tourist tax of US$10 each, passport is stamped with 90 days visa
11. Walk to another office to buy insurance and pay US$12 each
12. See pale blue shirt Customs Inspection lady back at main building where we parked. She walks over to the bikes, no inspection, and she stamps customs form
13. Vehicle temporary window. Hand over quarantine treatment receipt, customs form, passport and vehicle document. Get permit – free!!
14. Find customs police (who are currently dealing with a ute carrying a purple fluff covered coffin). Get temporary permit stamped
15. Go to bikes for Customs police inspection. He squeezes a couple of bags and signs the temporary import docs. Last step done!
We are having an absolutely amazing time on this trip, we realise this trip will have changed us, not sure exactly how or to what extent, and while we are not sure how we will feel being home, we know we will relish routine, the ease, luxury and comfort of routine, for a while anyway!!!… And for me especially, I will enjoy the luxury of having a washing machine and not smelling of wet dog!!