Welcome to Belize! Danielle and I finally made it here last night after a very very long journey. It took three long and tiring flights from Vancouver to Pheonix to Charlotte and finally to Cancun to make it to Central America. From there we had two relaxing a nd rejuvinating (and chilly) days in playa del carmen and then yesterday morning we got on our first of many buses that would take us to Belize….we had no idea what was ahead of us.
Our first bus to Chetemul was a nice comfy coach bus with tv’s which took us about four hours towards our destination. We then found out that the bus leaving for Belize City wouldn’t arrive until 4:30 (for another 2 ½ hours). This kinda sucked cuz we still had a long journey ahead of us but there was nothing we could do about it. So 4:35 rolls around…no bus…I start to stress out a little bit. Then 4:45, 5:00, then finally at 5:30, buddy who sold us the tickets comes around and says that the bus would be there in five minutes. So when the long anticipated bus bound for Belize rolls up to the bus terminal, we realize why it was so late, as it was a 1980’s oldschool bluebird school bus painted green with premeir buslines written on the side. Just the sounds it made, as well as the stops we had to make to buy oil for it, made me think that it might not even make it to Belize. When we got to the boarder crossing to Belize I felt like we were being illegally smuggled across. First a poilice officer came on the bus and took everyones passport for a couple minutes for an unknown reason before returning them, then we all piled off the bus (it was dark by this point) and drug all our luggage into a building which was customs. Here the customs officers either chose to ask us what we were doing in Belize and for how long, or randomly just let people pass with no questions asked. The rest of the bus ride to Belize city was made very long by the bus driver stopping at nearly every street light and street corner to let passengers on and off the bus. For most of the trip, all the seats as well as the aisle was filled with people. We got to our destination at 10 pm, jsut in time to catch the very last bus to Belmopan. An hour later we arrived at was to be our home for the next four months. Except as it was 11 at night, the town was dead and we needed some place to stay.
We asked the bus driver if he could drop us off at a cheaper but still nice hotel, and being the care free easy-going belizean he was, just said ‘no problem’. We pulled over on the side of the main road, while the ‘assistant bus driver’ ran a little ways down a frountage road to knock on the door of a small orange building. He then came back and announced that they had room for us, and after unloading our luggage, took off back down the highway waving and yelling goodbye out the opened door, along with the three german passengers left on the bus. Once we got to our little guest house, an asain man was there to greet us, and with very, very few words showed us to our room. This is when I wanted to cry. The room had two beds with very old and worn sheets and pillows of different floral patterns, picnic table cloth-like flooring, and a scary air conditioner unit protruding from one of the walls. But don’t worry, it had a bathroom! Well…sort of. It did not have a ceiling, had only one real wall, the other wall was a shower curtain, a scary looking toilet and little sink perched on a step, and a shower head on the wall all in the one meter squared little space. Needless to say, we deffinatly steered clear of this part of our pleasant little room. Before leaving home, I was kind of debating whether I would need the sleeper sheet my mom had sewn for me, but if this night was the only night I used it, it was totally worth having it! With my sleeper sheet and my rolled up towels for a pillow, I didn’t have to touch the bed at all (thank god). We set the alarm for 7 am to spend as little time as possible there, and between all the weird noises and trying not to touch the sheets, we managed to get some sleep.
7 am rolled around, and we were out of there by 7:02. We started down the main road towards the centre of town,and let me tell you, our huge suitcases did not roll so well through the muddy road sides we had to walk on. It was soon after this that we met our friend the taxi driver. When he saw us looking confused and out of sorts he offered his help. He ended up knowing the lady who we were renting our house from, and so after taking us to get some breakfast (we hadnt eaten since lunch the day before) he took us to our what was to be our house for the next four months. That was just this morning, and already we are pretty settled in. I was able to unpack my 70 lbs of luggage, and I get to sleep on my own clean sheets tonight!!! Belize is beautiful so far and everyone is so friendly. It was certainly quite the journey getting here, but it will deffinatly be worth it!
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