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Published: March 9th 2009
On the way to what passes for their beach (global warming ??????)
We are just getting ready for our next travel adventure which will take us to Cancun, Mexico via Atlanta,GA on Delta from Vancouver. We then will stay at Playa del Carmen for 4 nights before catching the bus(non-chicken) to Chetumal for an overnight. Next day we catch another bus to Belize City and will stay on Caye Caulker for 3 days. Next stop will be Flores and Tikal - We are going to do a birding tour followed by a zip-line adventure. The most dangerous part of the trip will be the time share presentation we have agreed to go to in Playa del Carmen .No laptop but hoping for Internet cafes....
Finally home with time to update the blog.We arrived back from Cancun on February 21st and then immediately set off for a work trip in BC. Finally back on SaltSpring and glad of it.
Our trip was a study in contrasts- The first part was 4 days in a big all-inclusive resort (Sandos Playacar) in Playa del Carmen. To get the "discount rate" we had to agree to listen to a time share presentation. We managed to survive this highly scripted and quite high pressure pitch
playa del carmen
downtown in the market
and then settled into resort life for the other 3 days. It was OK but sort of an unreal existence-cant imagine staying there for a week. We went to downtown Playa one of the days and got to experience the unending vending souvenir sales programs. Also got our bus program figured out to go to Belize. An interesting feature of the Playa beach front is that it is being severely eroded by wave action. They are building breakwaters with sand bags but there was a lot of griping by the dedicated beach sitters......
After Playa, we caught an ADO bus to Chetumal.We left at 9.30 AM and spent about 5 hours in a very well air-conditioned bus. A/C controls seem to have 2 settings....HIGH and OFF. The bus was semi-full with lots of people doing this trip as the first stage in getting to Belize. After arriving in Chetumal we took a taxi from the bus depot to the Los Cocos hotel. Excellent in-country hotel-non tourist. We wandered around town a bit and sent Aron a birthday card which as of March 6th hadnt arrived.
The next day we went back to the bus depot and caught the
At the Belize Border
Belize bus-Premier Bus Line (/10USF) non funtioning A/C yes!! paid big money to leave Mexico 250mxp then 37.50 BZD to enter Belize. Belize City bus depot was quite a frenzy but got a $5 USF cab to water taxi dock -made it to Caye Caulker at 4.00 -boat ride was about an hour.
Caye Caulker is a sand bar-about 1400 people with sand streets-very neat. Checked into highly rustic Sweet Dreams bug house. Had dinner at Don Corleones Restaurante-not bad but not cheap. I have a major cold.
The next day we did snorkling with sting rays-very interesting - 20 - 30 rays around our feet etc. Rest of snorkelling wasnt anything special.
We had lobster dinner then discovered the Canadian Sports Bar - owned by someone from Edmonton
On our second last day we rented a double kayak and circumnavigated the next island-lots of birds but no crocodillos.
We switched locations and went to Popeyes resort for last night (to escape bugs and heat) much better
Final day we caught water taxi and went to Belize City to catch bus to Flores-After a dodgy breakfast we got on non A/C bus to Guatemala
Los Cocos Hotel in Chetumal
Good basic accomadation (where locals stay)
- border crossing was 40 Qtzals to enter as well as 40 BZ to leave.(bus rides are cheap but border exit / entry is expensive)Guatemala roads are pretty poor and quite dusty.
A/C is not as important as you might think since they fine tune the controls with axes-at full blast you could freeze meat etc.
We arrived in Flores about 4.00 and shuttled to island after brief stop at ATM - lots of gun toting guards in front of stores.We stayed in Hotel Casuzul-very nice old waterfront hotel-a semi-private balcony overlooking the lake, Streets on the island are all under construction but some excellent restaurants and shops-got small rug. J on search for Zacopa Rum.Not great sleep due to an abundance of barking dogs,crowing roosters and a crying baby.
In Am we went out and took a taxi to the airport where we then caught the shuttle to Tikkal We checked into the Tikkal Inn and then took the guided tour of the ruins which was quite interesting.
I have now transferred my cold to Jan. After tour we had lunch and beer. Did some shopping (another rug ) and had dinner-all lights off
looking out from our beach house
at 10.00 as this place is on generator-best sleep of trip.
The next day we did zip line tour and went birdwatching - 33 new birds including Toucan and Montezumas Oropendola etc.
Final day off to Flores airport where J got 2 bottles of Zacopa and then we flew on TACA to Cancun-Cancun was low point of trip - would have to be paid to go to Cancun again -Isle Mujere is even worse.
Home on February 21st - Belize and Guatemala were the best parts of the trip. Being a traveller is much better than being a tourist.
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