Border Crossing Belize - Guatemala

Trip Start Oct 10, 2001
Trip End Feb 19, 2002

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Saturday, November 24, 2001

We woke up early. I criticized Juliette's flower dress, I told her we're going to Guatemala, not going shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I didn't mean to yell at her, she looked good however, but border crossing to Guate can be chaotic, and she should have dress appropriately. After she changed unwillingly, we bought some small snacks at the market and then took the bus towards the border. We stopped along the way to visit Xunatunich ruins. I really want to see Caracol, but it was far away and off the main road. But Xunatunich was pretty amazing. On top the Pyramid, we can see the endless horizon of the tropical rain forests of Peten. We innocently stored our backpacks at the river crossing of the ruins, thank god they were not stolen, the nice guard who transport visitors across the river was really trustworthy. Afterwards, we shared a taxi with a German to the border. We had some drinks before crossing the border just to relax and spend some of our extra Belize Dollars.

The crossing was easier than I thought. The Belize exit stamp was US$25, too expensive. We exchanged some Quetzal(Guate currency) and found a bus to Flores. The road was in extremely bad shape, I had to stand, but the view of rain forests and red clay dirt road was just beautiful. We finally made it to St. Elena/Flores. Me and Juliette found a cheap hotel US$3/night. We meet a fellow French traveller, Maxim. The room was hot and dirty, but the view of the lake on the rooftop was awesome.

I have had very good fortune up until now, Juliette as well. No major problems, always finding a good hotel and the right bus. BUT this was the end of innocence. Little did we know, at the time when we cross the border into Guate, what is ahead of us. Travel books are just guides, and what we experienced in the next few months, sadness and joy, wonder and dissapointment, will change our view of the world and ourselves forever!!
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