Tikal – Belize – Chetumal

This part of my blog has never been written down.    I’m going to  try to recreate it from memory.  It’s only going to get foggier as time past.

I left Tikal early, hoping to make it to Belize.  I had pretty high expectations for Belize, as they speak my language, and it should be a beach paradise.  On the way out, I got a bit lost, and needed gas too.  I pulled over and asked a nice older gentleman and his young daughter about gas and directions.  They gave me good directions in english, and as I was leaving say something to the effect of “We’re glad you’re here.  Thank you and please come back.”  It was one of the more touching parts of my trip.    As I was leaving him, four Dual Sport riders passed me going the other way.  They were a mix of BMW’s and KLR’s.  For whatever reason (maybe because it was a curvy road?), they didn’t wave.  Sometimes, I’ve seen people doing cool things where I thought I was the only cool one in the world, and they’ve annoyed me.  Maybe I did that to those guys.  Oh yeah, people ask about the roads.  The roads in Guatemala were very good.  They all seemed to be new, and not very crowded.

Once I got to the Belize border, I thought my spanish speaking troubles were over.  Oh no!  For some reason, the guy behind the counter didn’t think my passport photo looked like my drivers license.  It’s the craziest thing in the world. He ended up getting a supervisor to look at it, and after some arguing, agreed to let me in.  I don’t have any idea what the problem was – no one else ever said anything about my photos.   In the times I’ve had trouble at border crossing (into Guatemala, out of Guatemala), usually, just playing dumb works very well.  I’m going to keep that up.

Once I was allowed in, I was informed I had to get insurance to be in Belize.  There was an office outside the immigration office – only one.  I went in and bought insurance, and paid what I thought was too much money for too little time.   Fully insured and certified to be Greg Cain, I headed towards Belize City.  I found the waterfront, and rode my motorcycle through the narrow streets.  It was a different world than any I’d been in for some time.  Everyone was black, in a Caribbean environment, speaking english.   The roads were pretty narrow, and not that fun to drive on (rough, and some stone.)  As I was leaving the one part of the city, and headed towards the suburbs, I pulled over to read my map.  A nice guy doing yard work walked up and started talking to me.  He was pretty insistent that it wasn’t safe for me to stay near Belize City.  I was headed away from Belize City, didn’t have the greatest Belize experiences, and it was somewhat early, so I decided to head for Mexico.

Once out of Belize, and into the warm embrace of Mexico, I headed to Chetumal. It wasn’t far from the border to the downtown area.  I don’t remember too much about the area, other than getting a non-descript room (Holiday Inn was very expensive), walking around the non-descript city, and doing laundry by wearing my clothes in the shower.