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Published: December 7th 2008
Again, up with the rooster!
I was out the door early to pick Mike and John up at their hotel to find our way to Corozal, Belize. After a ferry ride, and a city bus where I almost landed on a girl's lap, we were downtown Cancun purchasing our tickets to Chetemal, Mexico. TICA Bus is the way to go! Comfy, reclining seats, clean and as John put it "the A/C is up too high".
After lots of laughs, storytelling, Crib, Old Maid, cookie & cracker eating, TICA pulled into Chetemal (is that a snore I hear from John a few rows back???). We then transferred onto a Belizean bus, which is basically an old school bus, and rattled down the highway to the Mexican border, tunes blasting. Our passports got stamped, and I was able to get an extension on my Mexican Tourista card as I am returning. Back onto the bus for a short distance across the Free Zone, then disembarked with our bags to walk onto Belizean soil and into Immigration. It was all going pretty smooth up to that point. A little glitch at the Mexican border as the guys didn't have Tourist Cards, but they were let out of Mexico in any event (Hmmm.....is that a sign??..lol)
Belize Immigration wasn't so forgiving. I went thru smoothly, as Mike and John are still discussing their plight (very politely I might add) with Belize officials. Meanwhile, the guys are not so lucky. Mike is now yelling to me from across the room that they have been denied, and need to go back to the Mexican border for Tourist Cards. I am stuck across the room, feel I can't go back, and feeling a little stressed cause the bus is waiting for me. I tell the guys I will wait for them at the bus depot once I get to Corozal as they now will be forced to take a later bus. Simon (my trustee roller bag) and I navigate some rough terrain on the heels of the bus driver, all the while questioning him if I can wait, and get our tickets back so as to catch the next bus. A heavy-accented "alright" follows as he then digs into his pocket and produces 3 damp, wrinkled tickets. Lovely!
I park my butt on the fence-clad railing right next to Immigration where the buses come in and wait with the locals as the sun quickly sets. An old truck pulls up, some chatting goes on, none of which I can understand as their accents are so heavy, and about 6 men and women jump into the truck box, leaving the rest of us in a cloud of exhaust and smoke. "Welcome to Belize" crosses my mind. I decide to move to the lighted area behind Immigration to avoid further snickers and comments from the locals that have been left behind. Simon and I are now under the watchful eyes of the Immigration fellas, which suits me just fine! Mike and John show up some time later, rounding the corner, after having to hike back and forth to the Mexican border for their cards. I was happy to see the smiles on their faces because I waited, and I am 100% positive my smile was as big as theirs.
We negotiate a taxi ride for 2 bucks BZ each, and then bust the driver trying to scam us, not realizing that we know the 2:1 ration from BZ/US. None of us appreciate having the locals trying to scam us, however small in monetary value. A small glitch, but all part of the adventure. Both Mike and I agree on that fact! We pull into Corozal 12 hours into travelling time. Check into the Mirador Hotel, and climb the 67 steps (yes I counted) to the rooftop terrace to have a couple of cold ones and check out the hammocks with tunes. It was a good day, and these guys are easy to travel with. Life is good!
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