TravellingStrom

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Day 319 – 23rd October 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on October 23, 2009

Friday – San Ignacio, Belize

Finally, a new country and different food—– And just a quick note, as I post this I am currently in Antigua, Guatemala and staying here for a week to learn some Spanish at a school here, I am also staying with a family, the place is surrounded by Volcanoes, two active and thus my SPOT is pretty damm useless where the house is, don’t fret, plenty of chicas here to look after me 🙂

Well, I survived a night of no internet, wonders will never cease! After waiting and waiting for breakfast we finally got it over and done with about 9.30, a lot later than I wanted to leave, but it was skip brekky or wait. Lucky I had Lisa’ teabags, because they only had apple and cinnamon tea??? We hit a cyber cafe in town for a few minutes just to check email before hitting the road and the border.

I had no idea what the signs meant, but worked it out later, you could cross the border into the free zone without any hassles, but could only go to the duty free and the casino areas. In the end I chose the correct direction, no idea how, but in short time we were at the paperwork stage!

Basically this involved getting an exit stamp from Mexico for the bike, this is the important part and quite easy, but do not lose the certificate which you get, because when you enter the USA again, this is proof it went in and out of Mexico, not much use to me as mine is an American bike, but for a bike brought in from overseas like Vincent’s, it is essential.

Then we have to cross the border and pay 40 pesos to get the bike fumigated, they just sprayed some crap over the wheels and gave us a receipt, hopefully it won’t melt the tyres 🙂

Now we get a bit of paperwork done, enter the immigration and get the passport stamped for myself, then behind them onto the customs where the bike paperwork is filled out. They did not want any copies of anything, like I had been advised, but I reckon you should take some for Justin. They never bothered to look at the bike, just the title document and they filled out a form for me. I then went back and changed all the rest of my Mexican money with the money changers on the other side of the fence, it looked dodgy, but they give a better rate apparently 🙂

Then it is into Belize itself where at the end of the driveway is a white building and this is where you must buy insurance for the bike. This did not take too long but who cared, it was wonderful to be in the aircon 🙂 The insurance in this country can be bought for as long as you like, so we bought one day’s worth at BD$18 as we were just transiting the country. The chap here was very friendly and showed us a short cut on the map and it was supposed to be good gravel road for about 100km. We headed down it and it was nice and hard packed, but I stopped and let the tyres down anyway, just for peace of mind, it is easy to do 🙂

The weather was hot and tropical, a bit like Cairns without the rain 🙂 There were even houses that reminded me a bit of home, although a bit more run down.

The road had turned to paved after only 25km, but who knows what would happen from here, it was a reasonable road all the same and after going through a lot of towns with big speed bumps, no signs mind you, we actually found a traffic light and people stopped at it, unlike Mexico where they only stop at certain ones, I am not sure on the logic there 🙂

Belize by the way is English speaking, with the Queens head still on the notes, even though they have been independent for some time. It was different to see English signs, the speed was in km/h hour but the fuel was sold in gallons, a bit of a mix up! We kept on going and even manage to find some small sections of twistys, fast sweepers mainly and the country started to get some height about it, a few hills sprouting up here and there 🙂

We soon arrived at a town called San Ignacio and this is where the lonely planet had mentioned some hotels with secure parking. I had seen a sign just as we came in and we decided to go and look, the place seemed nice and we ended up checking in. They had internet and aircon, plus food and beer and a pool 🙂

After settling in and checking some emails we had a nice feed in the bar area as well as a few beers. They only had two Belizian lager beers, so of course I had to try them both, they both had a slightly different taste, not too bad, but in the end I stayed with the Belikin as it was bigger for the same price 🙂

The food was great as well, I really enjoyed it as I had not eaten much lately and was suffering a bit of MR again, probably a legacy of the beers and tequila in Cancun 🙂

It was not a late night, we agreed on an 8am breakfast and get on the road and through the border early again. I was thinking of heading to Tikal, another Mayan civilisation in Northern Guatemala, the photos I saw on the net were impressive and it would be worth a look. I checked out the distances involved and decided it was possible to do the ruins, stay the night and still get into Antigua by late Sunday arvo.

I had still had no response to my queries from the school I had been in contact with, so I had sent another to the same school that Vincent had enrolled in and received a reply saying there is a spot for me with a home stay as well, so that was all good 🙂 *edit* That is the school in the link at the top of the page, so at any time they know where I am 🙂


Day – 157 miles and 253 km
Trip – 41,472 miles and 66,743 km

Cheers
TravellingStrom

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4 Responses to “Day 319 – 23rd October 09”

  1. ybg said

    Good luck with your classes.

    ybg

  2. GrahamD said

    Looking forward to the photos of the volcanoes!

    Oh and Richard in a school uniform. 🙂

    Should be a laugh!

    Cheers
    GrahamD

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