Guatemala. The return.

As the impact of being turned away at the border sank in, we were devastated.

We examined the options…..
1. We could try again at a different border. Maybe it was the official that didn’t understand our documents.
2. We could ship the camper to USA.
3. We could forge the papers required.
4. Or sell the camper in Guatemala.

We drove back to Panajachel.The rain had stopped and we made better time.
We still arrived at the lake after dark but fortunately knew where to go.

In the morning we met a couple camping there too. Richie and Leeza. A young couple from the USA travelling in Central America. We told them of our problem. They suggested we alter our vehicle’s title papers.
We just couldn’t afford to take this chance. If things went wrong the consequences were unimaginable – it was also against our principles – and we decided to make another attempt at getting into Mexico.
The next day we left for the Tucan Uman and Hidalgo border for another attempt.
This time a very decent Mexican customs official who could speak English gave us the full story. We were not going to get through with the papers we had. He suggested the only solution would be to sell the vehicle in Guatemala.
So we returned to Antigua where we felt we had a better chance in getting a solution to our dilemma. Back to the Tourist Police campsite.

We were overjoyed to meet Andre and Monique there. The Belgians we’d met on the ferry. So much had taken place since then! A new couple from France were there too.


Everybody had so much advice for us, it was confusing.

The police commissioner at the camp knew of somebody at a different border who had a contact in the Mexican customs that could fix our papers for $300.
After much deliberation we decided to try and sell the camper in Guatemala. It felt like the best solution for us. We felt comfortable with that.


We needed to inform Sue and Pieter of our problem as the car was registered in his name. So we went to the Rainbow Cafe where we had spent a lot of time on our previous visit to Antigua.
We were definitely being looked after. Someone there informed us of a local advertising site on Facebook that sold everything you could imagine. He was a young British visitor that had arrived in Antigua to learn Spanish 8 years before. Fell in love with the country, and a lucky lady, then never returned to England.
Oh boy did we meet amazing people!

Solveig made contact and we posted details and a few photographs of the camper on the site.
Back to the campsite to await replies.

More surprises awaited us there.
Richie and Leeza had returned from their short trip to the Atlantic and the towns of Livingston and Rio Dulce.
The Brazilian writers, Roy and Michelle, who we’d met in Panama had also arrived!

It was like the final act in a play with all the characters appearing on the stage! With so many good vibes around we must be successful!


Was this another good omen? Volcan Fuego which had erupted recently was smoking again!

We had three enquiries by the next day!! ONE WAS POSITIVE!

Here I am with the new owners counting the money!

The camper was purchased by Brant who owned a Hostel in Antigua and Jan. They were opening a campsite on the coast. The camper was needed for alternate accomodation and the van for transport to and from the coast.


A sad moment for us as the camper was dismantled for storage until they were ready to take it to the coast.

We had sooo many memories of the wonderful time we’d spent in Michelle on the most fantastic journey we’d undertaken.

We looked into the various options that lay before us completing our fairytale journey.

We chose to take a shuttle bus to San Christobal in Mexico and then a luxury bus to Houston. At least we would be able to say we’d gone overland all the way.
We looked forward to continuing our adventure and booked our places on a shuttle.

Author: Ian & Solveig's Overland Adventures

Although we never achieved our original goal of reaching Norway overland through Africa, our experience was so unexpectedly rewarding that we've not been able to settled down again! So we added new destinations to our lust for adventure. We hope that you will join us in sharing new exciting places and encounters with the amazing people we meet along the way.

3 thoughts on “Guatemala. The return.”

  1. What a pain all this border red tape can be – it seems so, all over the world. All it seems to accomplish is to inconvenience honest tourists. The crooks find ways round it.
    But, you, as is said here, ‘made a plan’.

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