Day 309. Nicaragua-Costa Rica: border crossing on the Pan American.

13 May 2014

Approach late in the afternoon, was going to stop at the last town but decided just to cross and spend the night in Costa Rica. Nicaraguan side massively disorganized, long line of semi trucks waiting, for customs or to be sprayed by DDT and pronounced clean. Money changers appear out of nowhere, this the same as every other border crossing. This time too, a man appears with the exit paperwork form, can buy it from him or get it free at the window, your choice. But the Nicaraguan office to stamp out nowhere to be found. Don’t go to the window with the sign “Leaving Nicaragua”, that would make too much sense, the women there wave you away. Hunt around some more and eventually receive permission to leave.

On the Costa Rican side, everything suddenly becomes distinctly American. Roped off lanes organize us all into lines- lines!- and metal detectors await us. Would have taken a picture, but, you know, too much an American border feel. The un-American part is that smiling at the guards frees you from suspicion and clears you to go. The guys chilling outside welcome you to Costa Rica and then you’re off riding, 1 hour left before official twilight. 1 hour left before camp, food, sleep.

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