So you look at the title of this post and see Moncton, New-Brunswick. You ask yourself what could possibly have gone so horribly wrong that Marie and Brian would leave their motorcycle behind (as well as all the warm weather) and board a plane for the great white north. We’ll get to that but first a little background…
After our repairs we headed straight to the Honduras border where our processing took no less than four hours. It seems that Honduran border officials are very found of stamping things and generating paperwork. Once those formalities were over and everybody was satisfied that we had been kept waiting long enough we headed into Honduras. Our goal was to make it to the ruins of Copan some 5 hours away from the border. Despite some rooster sized potholes most of the way we made it without incident, so far so good. The following day we visited the Mayan ruins of Copan. That evening the little rollercoaster that got us from Mayan ruins back to Canada within 3 days was about to begin.
We received an e-mail from our sponsor who asked that we participate in the Montreal Motorcycle Show that starts on the 22nd of February. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to freeze for a couple of weeks we quickly responded that we were interested.
The next step was to try and figure out what to do with the motorcycle. The biggest problem with leaving a vehicle behind in a foreign country is that officials may assume that you have sold it for profit and are trying to “escape” their country without paying duties and taxes on the sale. In some countries, such as Honduras, your passport is stamped with details of the motorcycle thus making it more difficult to fly out of the country. Our biggest concern was buying tickets only to be turned back at the gate. So instead we decided that we would fly out of Guatemala city and leave the bike behind in Honduras. The following day we spent running around trying to secure parking for the bike and organizing bus tickets to Guatemala. We also made a quick visit to the Honduras/Guatemala border 12 kilometers and spoke to the border guards who assured us that they would let us leave the country without the bike at this border.
The next day we boarded a bus and were quickly reminded of why we love traveling by motorcycle. The driver had a nasty habit of kissing a picture of Christ every time he successfully negotiated a passing maneuver (I guess the atheists on the bus would have been the first to be ejected from the vehicle had an accident occurred). Many kisses later we arrived in Antigua which is about 1 hour from Guatemala city. The following day we purchased our airline tickets with a return to Guatemala scheduled for the 26th of February and 24 hours later we were on the plane.
The day after arriving our sponsor, Martin L’Écuyer, gave us a call and asked if we would be interested in going to the Moncton Motorcycle Show (in addition to the Montreal Show) to speak about his products. So the following day we found ourselves driving to New-Brunswick with a mini-van loaded with gear when 4 days previously we had been motorcycling in the mountains of Honduras. What a strange trip this has been…