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Thread: Fast Trip Down & Back

  1. #1

    Default Fast Trip Down & Back

    Leaving tomorrow, Monday. I have a client in Morelia, Mexico, that I will spend a day with, but should still be in Nicaragua on Sunday.


    Big changes: I finally found an employer who will allow me to work 3 months, and leave 3 months. You may have heard of . . . Costco.
    I start November 1.

    This is less about money than solidarity with Shelley, who still gets up at 5:30 every morning, and will for another four years.
    I do too (get up at 5:30), but it's not the same.

    Shelley too, is moving to a 3 month on, 3 off. She wants to max her SS, but doesn't have to work the entire year to do that.
    Easy for her, lots of nursing contracts, and her money is a lot better than what I will make. But, it makes no sense to just sit around.

    I learn something every trip, little things.
    For example, if you put all the strap ratchets on the same side, it's a lot easier if someone wants to take a peek.
    That 42" Hitachi Plasma you see in the cab I picked up for $145, one of the benefits of driving.

    This is the vehicle that I plan to bring in with my pensionado exoneration.
    I'll buy a set of load range E tires, new shocks, and put on the best brake pads I can find when I return in November.


    The bins you already know about. The big ones are available at Costco for $8.75, the smaller, at K-mart online for about $9 delivered.
    They have endless uses once they are in Nicaragua, and it's the only way to keep goods dry, protected, and organized.


    Other big changes: Ariana is 6 months pregnant, due Christmas Day. We're bandying the name Key West around, a suggestion of someone on the site.
    Thank you to whoever it was.
    We both kind of like it, but haven't made a firm decision yet.
    The baby will spend its first month or so in Tucson (or however long it takes to get a passport), and then return to Nicaragua for the first few years.

    Ariana will nurse little Key West the first month or so, then Milena will wet nurse him, she has lots of rich milk.
    We're going to need to bottle feed him a week between tetas.
    With the proper nutrition and medical care, it's a great life for babies in Nicaragua. There is no shortage of love.

    I'm accumulating baby clothes .. .. . . doing my share.
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    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 09-20-2015 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    Buen viaje! A scientific packing job KW. With Costco bins no less - of course they'd take you on as a seasonal employee.

    How do you do it? Keeping two women happy, being a long-distance commuting, gentleman farmer, an importer of repute & where-with-all, while bringing little Key West (the littlest Pirate?) into a world of tetas galore and more, much more. I mean, what's your secret man? Costco vitamins?
    The Great Reset, "You'll have nothing AND you'll be happy." - Klaus Schwab, W.E.F. __"First abolish private property," Marx & Engels

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Buen viaje! A scientific packing job KW. With Costco bins no less - of course they'd take you on as a seasonal employee.

    How do you do it? Keeping two women happy, being a long-distance commuting, gentleman farmer, an importer of repute & where-with-all, while bringing little Key West (the littlest Pirate?) into a world of tetas galore and more, much more. I mean, what's your secret man? Costco vitamins?
    \



    Thank you I'll accept your fine compliment and I'll raise you one. I got stuck here this morning a couple of hours doing some work for a client in Slovenia.
    I've been -literally- crying because I couldn't get my Homer buckets in. We use the hell out of them. They don't weigh anything but are really bulky.

    I got my ladder on, and my oil,,, but the Homer buckets . . . . wasn't looking good.

    If you look at the earlier pic, I had a case of water and came up with the idea of putting the water in the buckets, while a file was slowly,. slowly compiling.

    I got nine in between the stacked buckets, and filled the top one with the rest and ----- ice.
    Once I get south of the border I'll be able to keep a few iced cervezas in the bucket.
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  4. #4
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    . . . a client in Slovenia. . . .
    A refugee from Costco? Clearly there's no room for him in your vehicle.

    Keep on truckin' dude.
    The Great Reset, "You'll have nothing AND you'll be happy." - Klaus Schwab, W.E.F. __"First abolish private property," Marx & Engels

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    Well, I haven't been posting much lately because I've been busy.

    I got down OK, after a 3 day feverish stay in Morelia. I have no idea what it was, head busting fever, sheets soaked, and then this sudden sense of wellness and euphoria when it passed.
    I had another episode on the way back up, but much less, maybe one hard night, but same energy rush coming out of it. It dates from August, and I hope it's over, whatever it is.

    I got into my usual border fights, which I always seem to patch over and we part friends. El Salvador made me unload and load twice, objecting to a list that stated "20 boxes of personal articles, food, clothing, and miscellania".
    They weren't looking for money, I just got the wrong guy who didn't like the way I danced. He was pretty pissed, but settled down.

    When I finished the second time, I had a ten page, itemized list, that he then didn't even look at!! I think he was trying to make a point.

    The Honduran Frontier Police coming into Espino started me unloading, but I started taking pictures of the process, they became uncomfortable, we had a long discussion about police corruption (they swore that they were NOT), and a 12 pack of cherry flavored Pepsi and some snicker bars later we shook hands and I moved on. The migration people tried to jack me around, there was no power and their computers were down. I could pay a "service fee: and move on; they would put a real stamp in my passport.
    These CA countries are less and less using stamps in the passport, depending on digital sellos instead. Works OK until the power fails.

    I sat on a bench in front of the building, complained loudly to everyone who came by, and when the computers came up,, Voila, there was my entry a few hours earlier into Amotillo. Got my car permit cancelled, Aduana girl looked at the VIN, studiously ignored my load, and on into Nicaragua.

    Nicaragua is always special, but they treat me well,, only this time after getting all the paperwork completed for the load and taxes paid, they wouldn't give me a permit for my truck. Friday afternoon, the Jefa has left for Managua, and I'm stuck. There IS one small truck there, some friends who had stuff in my load. We load up this truck to the gills, and I hire another small truck from Somoto to make the run to my house in Estelí. As we're moving everything, it starts to rain and rain and rain. Not only was my bed loaded, but the cab was heavily loaded too, with a 42 inch plasma screen, and various other toys. Still, we got it all to Estelí without damage.

    I went back Monday to retrieve my truck, asked to talk to the Jefa to find out what had happened on Friday, but she "was too busy to meet with me". The permit was issued without any comment or explanation, and I still have no idea what transpired. This is one of the wonders of Nicaragua. If you don't like the answer, come back tomorrow.


    Going down was easy, coming back was tough.
    I had the 7 month pregnant Ariana, determined to drop her baby in the US, but who took a bit of getting used to the travel. We had to stop for a couple of days in El Salvador for her nausea to abate, a couple of days in Tecun Uman to acquire Mexican credentials. The baby kicked and fought the entire way, not settling down until Nogales. He's happy now, but sure made a fuss on the trip.

    Chiapas is the challenge. I counted 11 checkpoints, about half of that number rigorous. "Maria" did well, but if I were to get into the human trafficking business, I would do it very differently. We were not well prepared.

    The immigration people really don't need to check credentials. A quick question: Who is the president of Mexico, flag colors, what order from the staff,, can you sing a verse from the national anthem, who is the governor of your state? What's the national flower, bird, tree?
    Trick question: you're from Oaxaca??, what's the name of your barrio?

    They don't use barrio, it's colonia in Mexico, a lot of common words are different, and almost all the addresses in Mexico are now streets and numbers.
    It's easy to trip the migrants up with a couple of simple questions.

    But, we persevered, smiled a lot, and made it to Nogales. "Maria" was only asked for her identification three times, and each time they only glanced at it. We started getting cocky: at one checkpoint I claimed I was Mexican and Maria was a gringa. They only glanced at Maria's identification (NOT called a cedula in Mexico), but studied my passport at length. The big jar of Costco jelly beans helped too, caramelos is the word.

    Once past Oaxaca you're on the autopistas, with almost non-existent revision. There are Federales at almost every toll booth, but they are not interested in you. We did three overnights, one through that nasty stretch leaving Chiapas to Oaxaca.

    But, it's a nasty business, human trafficking.
    Everyone makes a buck off the migrants. Everyone. The little I was exposed to it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    So, Key West is due Christmas day. Some day we'll tell him this story, and we'll all laugh.
    Ariana had her bible with her, and we would read from Matthew and Luke in the evenings we put up at a hotel. I would pull up the English on my tablet, and we'd compare it to the Spanish in her bible.
    I kept glancing up at night, looking for that special star.

    I never saw it, but I'm sure it was there.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    " 12 pack of cherry flavored Pepsi and some snicker bars " Who knew a sweet tooth was the major security risk at international borders . . ?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    Are they still doing the x-ray the vehicle while your in it. Not good for a pregnant lady.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidTejada View Post
    Are they still doing the x-ray the vehicle while your in it. Not good for a pregnant lady.


    Anytime I've been X-rayed they made me get out of the vehicle and wait off to the side.
    I've had it twice, once in So Mexico south of Arriaga, a brand new installation and they let me look at the computer screens.
    They clearly could find anything they were looking for, such as a pistol tucked up under the dash.

    These guys in Mexico were really nice,, wouldn't accept any Snicker bars, said >>>> "there are cameras everywhere".
    Really interesting,, but you quickly understand that it's very time consuming, and a limited number can be run through the X-ray.

    Second time, leaving El Salvador.
    Both installations were big, designed to accommodate semi's (furgon I think is the word used in Nicaragua, with the accent on the o).
    I don't carry any contraband except for seeds and from time to time, plants. All the countries say, no seeds and plants, but Nicaragua seems to be the only country that pays any attention.


    I don't just pass out candy bars and jelly beans, or handfuls of nuts, willy nilly, but when the guys engage me in conversation,,, which they often do if they are not real busy, I'll offer something if I have it.
    I try to turn the conservation towards them, where they are from, get their names.

    Rules are getting weird: large quantities of vitamins are no longer permitted into El Salvador.
    You can take what you need for personal use. I had $300 worth I was carrying for a friend, almost lost it.
    Large quantities of hand lotions and similar creams are also not permitted.

    Another thing that helps ease you through the checkpoints, both on the way south to NicaLand, and here too, going back and forth between Tucson and Nogales, is to lower both left side windows, and turn on interior lights.
    If you have clothes hanging, put them on the passenger side so they have a clear "look" into your vehicle from the driver's side.
    I have yet to even have them ask me to pop my trunk leaving Nogales. Some days it seems like I'm the only trunk that doesn't get popped.
    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 11-27-2015 at 03:07 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fast Trip Down & Back

    Glad to hear it. Always seemed dangerous to me the old way. Thanks for the info like always very detailed.

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