Caye Caulker –
Today we’ll take the ferry to Belize City and then a bus to get to Flores in Guatemala. It’ll be some long ride… We pack our bags and get 2 Cinnamon Rolls with lemonfrosting from the Starbucks on the way to the harbour. Yum! I eat the first one on the jetty. Goodbye Caye Caulker!
The crossing to Belize City is fairly quiet, except for a toddler who is testing the patience of his mother. Slapping Mama? Oh boy .
Belize City –
The harbor here looks pretty nice & tiday… I really don’t get why people think Belize City is ugly. Since I still have some change in BZD that we won’t be able to exchange in GTQ in Guatemala I spend everything in chewing gum. As we wait for the bus, we meet Ben again, who also wants to go to Flores, but instead of joining us to Mexico head on to Nicaragua. We are a group of about 10 people for this ride – among those, there is a girl that on first sight seemed to have freckles all over her body. Yeah, I complained about the mosquitoes on Caye Caulker, yet this girl’s “freckles” are actually a mixture of mosquito and sandfly-bites… Outch .
Next stop: Guatemala.
Border to Guatemala –
We exchange our remaining Belizian Dollar (BZD) bills to in Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ) with the driver (who probably mades a good deal out of it) and keep each 37,50 BZD (18.77 USD) for our exit fee. The driver on the bus had already told us before departure to be sure to get the entry stamp in Guatemala. And I know why: The officials in the entry are quite fast. Verena’s customs form was almost forgotten, and mine was just thrown on a big stack. And quite a lot of people just run by the Immigration Office and go straight for the bus waiting on the other side of the border. For a “nonstop bus” we kinda make a lot of breaks and pick up people or stop for snacks for the road. Fine for me – pee breaks.
Right before getting to the Island of Flores we switch from the large bus to 2 small ones, as the bus wouldn’t fit through the narrow streets of the city. As precaution we withdraw some Quetzal there, since it often happens that the ATMs on the island aren’t working. We get a lot of information by the super friendly transfer employee which joins us. As we arrive at the drop-off station of the transfer company we reserve a sunrise-trip to Tikal for 150 GTQ (20.45 USD) per person on the following day and a transfer to Palenque (Mexico) for 300 GTQ (40.89 USD) per person by the same company. Contrary to the information that we had that you have to take a complicated mix of boat/bus/taxi rides to Mexico, you can get there simply by a mini bus, since there is now a new border crossing .
The “Hotel Villa del Lago” lies just 10m from the drop-off station. Although we have the money for our stay not completely at hand, we can check in. Wow! What a great view of the lake from our balcony! We throw our stuff into our room and walk to a nearby supermarket with an ATM inside. With 2x 375 GTQ (51.12 USD) for the room plus a few more GTQ-bills for meals the next day we return to the hotel (I also buy some Irish Cream Coffee for tomorrow – We’ll have to get up early for the sunrise tour to Tikal). After a short break we visit the restaurant next door. Enchiladas as appetizer, fajitas de pollo for me and something potato-kohlrabi-like ( ? ) * for Verena (all together about 250 GTQ (34.08 USD)). Super delicious food, very friendly service and a great view at the lake ! Afterwards, we buy some snacks for tomorrow. Off to bed now. We have to be ready for our Tikal-tour at 3 am…