Day 48 Hopkins to Chetumal
A few more Belize photos
Ruger the beach dog
We took our time driving to Belize City. The day before, I installed the spare tire on the rental car due to a flat so I wanted to take it easy on the highway. There was plenty of time when we arrived at the airport so we had a nice lunch and prepared to say “so long” again. Saying goodbye this time was tougher for me than the first time. It’s almost like I’m starting on a whole new trip. I saw Wanitta through security and found a taxi.
The bus station is in Belize City 12km away. I wanted to try and find an express bus that would not make all the little stops. I knew that I could just stand on the road almost anywhere and catch a bus but I wanted to make sure I found the correct one. As it turned out I arrived at the station 3 minutes before a bus to Chetumal was leaving. Unfortunately no express buses were available so I hopped on the regular bus. 30 minutes later the bus stopped right in front of the airport access road where I could have caught it without paying $25.00 cab fare into the city (Lesson #1). In the long run I’d rather pay a little extra to be certain of something.
My view and the co-pilot
Three hours into the trip and we reached Corozol where every passenger but me disembarked. Only the driver and a few bus company employees were on the bus. When we arrived at the Belize border I asked the conductor what to do. He said to take my luggage into immigration and they’d meet me on the other side. It took about 5 minutes to get my exit stamp and pay the $39.25 USD departure tax. Outside the big school bus was waiting and I jumped back on. We drove through the long zone between borders and stopped at Mexico immigration. Again I got off the bus and was directed by a guard where to go. The bus driver indicated where he’d park the bus to meet me so I proceeded into the air conditioned building. The officer inside spoke no English so it took awhile to explain that I was coming back out of the country tomorrow. She finally issued me a 3 day tourist visa and did not charge me the 295 pesos but I bet I’ll pay on the way out. Leaving that building I continued to where the bus would be but did not see it. A guard showed me into customs where my bags were x-rayed and searched. They told me to wait for the bus there but I saw no bus and neither did the officer. Lesson #2, don’t trust the bus dudes to wait for you. The customs officer hailed a taxi for me and I paid 100 pesos to get to my hotel in Calderitas.