26.09.2011 - 27.09.2011 30 °F
So I had managed to stay awake until our last ADO bus, which was leaving at 00.45 from Tulum and going to Guatemala via Belize. So 1st boarder crossing should be a breeze right?
We had envisaged to arrive in Belize City at 7am and from there we were going to get a bus to Punta Gorda, then to get on a boat to the boarder for Guatemala - Livingston. Obviously this did not go to plan. After 3 hours on the bus and surprisingly fast asleep we were woken up to the bright lights and 'vamos, vamos'. Woke up to wtf, finally we realised by one of the passengers that we had already arrived in Belize and that we had to go through customs. So we had to take all our bags to this massive warehouse with loads of security and yes 'Akon' was being played in the background lol. Got our passports stamped then our bags were checked. We then kind of followed the rest of the travellers (as we had no idea of what was happening - lack of the Spanish Language!) outside, I felt like I was in a epsiode of Prison Break with my bags in the middle of an area that was barbed wire everywhere and tall gates. After being mauled by mosquitos our bus came through and got back on....assuming that we were going to Belize City right? Wrong! The funny thing that I saw as soon we passed the gates was a Casino and a gentlemans club literally after the boarder.
Being again interupted by the lights after 2hrs we were told to get off as it was the last stop. Consfued as this was suppose to be at least 4 hours we had no choice but to get out. We were greeted by a nice local guy who told us that we could get a bus to the boarder from the bus station. So we hopped on the bus hoping to get to Punta Gordo. The drive through Belize had a load of nice but also disturbing sights. In such a short drive (2hrs is short) I came across 4 graveyards which we planted almost anyway some were even on the side of the main road. The homes were more and less make shift. Some were built on stilts, some boarded up, quite a few police cars were driving around at 7am still. An hour in to the drive the scenery changed with the homes a lot bigger and cleaner. On the bus was okay only because we got seats but everyone was so cooperative and nice unlike in London esp on the Great Eastern line lol.
We worked out that we should arrive at the boarder in another 4 odd hours but instead we arrived quite quickly...we in fact arrived at 1 of the 2 boarder crossings - Benque Viejo del Carmen not Punta Gorda....more confused lol. No point in turning back we carried on trying to get to Guatemala. We had to go through another boarder crossing...so from Belize to Guatemala (whereas before it was from Mexico to Belize) - same kind of procedure, passport check, bag check and then we had to pay an entry fee. Out on the other side. Not knowing where we were on the map tired and hungry we ended up taking a cab to a place called Flores (which was not far about 2hrs). Arrived in Flores around lunch time (15hrs after we had left Mexico!!!), checked in a nice little hotel.
Flores is a island in the Lago de Peten Itza area. A very small island which we walked in like 34-40mins. It has an amazing view of the surrounding water. We didn't do much other then to shower and RELAX! We walked around, saw brightly painted facades, a lot of the locals were chilling indoors because it was bloody hot!!! The breakfast that the hostels/hotels were really expensive in comparsion to the pervious places that we stayed at as they were included in the rent. We went to check out a hostel and the rooms were cheaper then the breakfast and even more ridiculous was the sew-on-badges were more expensive then a breakfast! So I thought food or badge ermm....FOOD! We treated ourselves to slap up meal steak and chips lol. After an early dinner we headed back to our hotel and watched tele for the 1st time in 2wks! We watched Goodfellas :o)
The local newsagents gave us jokes coz they had labled a bottle of water for 3quetzals but charged us 5quetzals lol. To be honest most of the shops here in Central America so far do not have the prices of any of the products. So I guess they just make up the prices for the goods esp bump up the prices for us travellers how lucky are we?!?!? lol