10 kms heavy walking for NIU COUNTRI - Guatemala!

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

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Where I stayed
Mon Ami - $28 cabin, ensuite, clean

Flag of Guatemala  , Patagonia,
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Its outrageous that we have taken so long to declare a "niu countri"...lazy us!

So anyway, after our little cultural expedition at San Ignacio, and not wanting to pay big bucks for any other activities we decided to move on to Guatemala. The good news is that San Ignacio is just 30 minutes away from the border, the bad news...everyone knows that there is loads of gringos crossing in both directions and so place as many stops along the way to suck in some dollars.

What could easily be achieved in 2 bus rides becomes 4 stops plus the immigration phase:

- Local bus San Ignacio to Benque ($3 Bz dollars for both = $1.50)
- The bus drops you off at Benque which is about 2 kms walk from the frontier. The taxi drivers know this and charge an additional $2-5 for the trip. Marcos believed that the frontier must be closer so we walked the 2kms with all our "luggage"...the main problem being that there is no shade along the road and it was well over "melting temperature" in the humid jungle...
- Leave Belize and pay $18 US per person (Bz 37.50) as a leaving gift (ecology tax or some sort of bollocks they call it)
- Enter Guatemala and pay Quetzal 10 ($1.4 per person)
- Fight a hundred con taxi drivers and bus drivers who offer "cheap" fares to Flores and other destinations. They were trying to get $50 US for a trip that only costs $9 US
- Get a taxi to the main bus station at Melchor de Mancos (Quetzal 10 each = $2.8 total)
- Get colectivo bus to El Remate (Quetzal 75 for both = $9)

Anyway, by the time we arrived at El Remate is was not even noon, but we were drenching with sweat and longing for some refreshment and rest. The good part comes when we found out where we had checked in...a lovely hotel with cabins next to a clean and clear Lake Peten.

The place is steaming with French tourists from some odd reason...we guess its because they serve French wine and the owner is French, but apart from that it is a great place to relax. So we will be staying here for a few nights until we move on to Mexico.

Cheerio for the time being.
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