A big ah-ha when we went to pay - it was $50 - not 50Q. That's a difference of about $40 - and WAY over our daily budget. We think we were a bit fooled - even though we thought it was really too good to be true, we still confirmed that it was 50Q, not dollars, before we left. We talked the guy down to about $30 - which probably just covered his gas. And we shrugged it off as another travel lesson learned along the way.
Plus, we had ended up in one of the coolest little gems of a hostel in Flores. I believe it's technically the only hostel, but it's charming and endearing as well.
It's called Los Amigos, and the owners have put a lot of effort into the gardens and layout of the entire place. A private room only cost us about $10. The meals were really delicious (and all vegetarian). And it was in a really great social atmosphere.
Flores itself is an incredibly charming city.
It's on an island across the bridge from Santa Elena, and it is all set on a slight incline. All the buildings are painted beautiful, bright colors and many of the streets are cobblestones. It was dreadfully hot, so we could only walk around for short periods without dripping in sweat, but luckily the hostel is extremely comfortable and we were able to relax on couches and hammocks, read and plan our next day's trip.
So, a few days ago we crossed another border. We packed up our things in San Ignacio, hiked down to the road and caught a cab to the Guatemalan border. It's true what they say - there's a crazy fee to leave Belize, even by land (about $20). And the Guatemalans will charge you to enter their country, even though I believe there's not even a real official fee. We talked them down to 10Q a piece (about a $1.50), although they were not happy about us trying to bargain. We successfully make it across the border, and then we catch a cab to Flores for what we thought was 50Q. We found it quite strange that our driver didn't pick up anyone else along the hour and a half drive, and additionally, he stopped along the way to show us some sights and took us to a couple hotels to check out once we were in Flores.