This morning was interesting. We woke up at 3 am, made our way to the downstairs lobby and waited for our taxi to drive us to the Trans Nica bus station. When we arrived the bus station gate was still closed and we were denied entry by the guard. He informed us that we have to wait 13 more minutes until he can let us into the parking lot. The taxi driver interrupted him and said that it’s dangerous for the two gringos to be standing on the side of the road at 3:30 in the morning. We were told to stand under the street lamp because it is less dangerous in the light. We walked the 5 ft to the light created by the street lamp and stood there. We felt safer instantly, nothing is as assuring as standing under a street lamp in one of the most dangerous cities in the world. After some more arguing between the taxi man and the security guard, he slid the gate open and told us to wait by the office door.
An hour later we were on the bus and headed to Nicaragua. While on the bus, the bus attendant started to collect passports, immigration forms and money for crossing the border. He told us that we had to pay $28 American to be able to leave Honduras and enter Nicaragua. We were blown away by how expensive it was. We did not have that much money on us. I told the bus attendant that we don’t have that much cash but we have a visa/debit card. He just said sorry and gave us back our passports. We were stuck on a bus headed for the border with not enough money to enter the country, this was going to be interesting. About an hour later the bus pulled to the side of the road and the bus attendant waved me over and said that there is an ATM in the plaza. We ran over as quickly as possible. After trying all our visas and debit cards, nothing was working. Defeated, we walked back to the bus. Soon enough we were at the border. We grabbed our stuff and headed to emigration. We paid our exit fee and walked across the border. We stepped up to the Nicaraguan immigration window and gave him our passports. As soon as we told him we don’t have any cash he threw our passports back at us. Now we were in a crunch. I made my way back to the Honduras side to get some help.
I find out that the are 2 banks but they don’t open for another hour and there are no ATMs. Then I ran into two Canadians – Caleb and Rachel. I explained to them our predicament and they gladly offered to help. I borrowed 24 dollars and headed back to Nicaraguan immigration. We gave him the money and he glady accepted our passports. Thanks to some friendly Canadians our problem was quickly solved and we were in better spirits. They didn’t even check what was in our backpacks as we watched everyone else’s luggage being searched thoroughly. After the bus was done being fumigated and sprayed with pesticides we were back on the road. After a little while we were in Managua.
At the bus station we were greater by Mario Sr. It was nice seeing a familiar face. We hopped in his truck and he drove us across town to Mario Jr.’s house. To our amazement Mario’s house was ballin’. It was by far the nicest place we have stayed in this whole trip and we loved it. Soon after Mario showed up and we spent the night catching up, drinking some beers and playing with his dogs – Holmes and Watson. Mario and his roommate Gabriel are amazing hosts and we feel like we are at home.