Published: March 8th 2010March 8th 2010
Hi-Et guest house
Our room was up the stairs on the right.
5.45am! Yes that was the time we got up this morning to catch a taxi to the border. For info, the taxi was cheaper than getting the bus.
We hopped in the back of this car which had another lady passenger in the front. We must have made it about 9.5kms and with another half to go the cab stopped in the middle of what looked like no where and the lady, in her 4" heels, got out and just ran in to dense forest/jungle. Steve and I looked at each other a little confused - she must have known what she was doing after all.
I was expecting a tough scary border crossing, but it was quite the opposite. We were just about the only people there (with it being just after 7) and the guy on the immigration desk apologised when he returned from making himself a cup of coffee. I was quite tempted to ask him for one, but I didn't want to push my luck.
Once leaving Belize - wow - what a change. We were jumped on by about 10 people trying to get us in to their cabs. We had read that
there were buses that could take us to Flores so we weren't interested. But they weren't giving up that easy. Hardly anyone spoke English, but we managed to figure out that we had to walk about 0.5 km to the bus stop. We were followed by a guy in his car all the way. I was starting to get a bit annoyed by this so started shooing him away. We were then told by a very helpful lady that if we stood over the road the bus would eventually come.
Three taxis then came and parked by us. Honestly!
Well, we managed to get on a mini bus used by the locals. We were the last two on and we felt comfortably cozy in a 14 seater. The guy who was taking the money had to stand as there was no seats left. Guess who was sitting in the front seat. Yep, the lady with the 4" heels! Who knows what happened there?!
The journey is one bumpy road, all the windows rattled and so did the seats. There was a little skidding involved, but due to the weight in the van it was quite stable. Until...
Locals hanging out in the river.
about 3km down the road it stopped to pick up more people.. and then a bit later even more people! There were now 22 of us in 14 seats. It was actually very funny how we felt that no more people could fit on, but then miraculously another 2 or 3 would.
That in itself, two hours of bumpy road and getting rather friendly with everyone on board, was ok. What started to make it a little more interesting was that our chinese we'd had left over from the night before fell out of the bag it was in and spread all over the floor of this van. Both Steve and I could smell it and with our feet sliding and skidding we knew what had happened (we couldn't see it as all space between our heads and feet were occupied by someone's body part). Oh well. Never mind, a little squashing and curry between friends won't hurt.
But then a wasp flew in to the equation. For those that don't know, I have a fear of wasps. BIG fear. But I was brave and didn't insist that all 22 of us disembark. I am still quite proud
Well, we made it in one piece and for the bargain price of £5 each. We're now in a fabulous little hostel on Flores called Los Amigos. It's got a chilled back packers vibe with excellent wi-fi.
It's baking hot here so we're not going to explore until the sun goes in a little.
I know this was a little bit long, but I had to share.
There are more photos below