Niu Countri!! - Belize

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Lydia's Guesthouse - $40 cabin, kitchen, tv, ensuite, excellent

Flag of Belize  ,
Monday, July 7, 2008

We woke up very early today to have breakfast and finish packing our rucksack. The truth is we couldn't wait to get out of Honduras and breakfast made it even a stronger wish.

There was a huge storm last night so the current has brought into the beach all the rubbish that was lying around the Caribbean...what a terrible sight (although the locals will be pleased to see it!).

Anyway, we had our usual breakfast (el tipico which is frijoles, sausage, cheese and banana) and jumped onto the pickup truck of the hotel owner who had offered to take us to the boat harbour to get the fast boat to Belize. We arrived there by 9 a.m. and  thought everything was gonig to run smoothly...but it didn't when the immigration service of Honduras got involved.

The boat company (D-Express) charges $50 US per head to get to Placencia leaving at noon, and wih the service they put everyone in a van and take them to customs and immigration of Honduras. The problem was that we were still standing outside the immigration office at 11 a.m. and the lady that has the stamp hadn't arrived yet (she probably had a rough night or something).

So we were patiently waiting in line for over an hour until her majesty the stamp owner arrived and started sorting out problems. There were all sorts (locals who had a passport with less than 6 months left, a local who had a name that was similar to a criminal so had to get a criminal clean record to show she was someone else, a US teacher who had overstayed in Honduras and had to pay a fine, and 2 couples who entred Honduras on luxury buses and although they had paid the tax to the bus driver he never paid customs so they had no proof of entry).

So at 12.40 pm we were all finally on board and ready to go...

The boat ride is normally 2-3 hours, but the captain went quite slow as the storm had left lots of rubbish along the coast line, including huge tree trunks that could damage the boat engine. We were actually happy that the boat ride was slow as these speed boats are quite bumpy and neither of us are tough our stomachs were all over the place.

So at 4 p.m. we finally and officially made it to Belize! The customs guy came on board, checked a couple of bags (mainly the locals) while another immigration guy checked passports and gave us our stamps (all on board). Compared with leaving Honduras it was swift and easy.

We checked into our hotel and were surprised by the cabin Veronika had reserved. Its $40 US per night, but it has everything for a good long rest. Its 50 metres from the beach, surrounded by white sands, has a gentle caribbean breeze, full kitchen, incredibly hot water in the shower, cable tv, sofa and dining room, even a washing machine which we have already made good use of.

Given the climate is good and Honduras had broken down our health and energy, we have decided to stay here as long as necessary...perhaps a week, maybe two. There are plenty of things to do, and the rest is guaranteed with no neighbours or noisy bars to suffer. Although there are plenty of good restaurants we have started using the cabin kitchen...its fun after 6 months to do your own food and not have to eat chicken!

The town of Placencia is calm and silent, and at this time of year only a few tourists are around (mostly US). The town is built along a narrow path which they claim to be in the Guiness book of records for the narrowest street in the World.

English is the offical language and the Queen of England appears on the Belize Dollar notes.

Security is apparent all over, and we still need to see litter lying around the streets and beaches...a real paradise after what we have seen in the rest of Central America. Apparently the Commonwealth did bring some higher level of life with it!

There is only one bad thing in Placencia...internet is highly expensive ($8 Belize dolars per hour - $4 US).

So...there will be no more entries until we start moving again. We will update entries from the North.

Cheerio for the time being...
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