The Girl Travels

A log of my recent adventures in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Belize to Guatemala: $30 to Leave, $10 to Get In

Sooo... not sure where I left off.

Our last night in Caye Caulker, a few of us went out to a bar on the end of the island owned by some American guy. Everyone went home around 10PM except me, Andrew, and Mel. We walked back into the main area and ran into three Americans - Caitlin, Scott, and Jay - and we all went to this little bar where they were doing karaoke. Andrew did a highly amusing ¨hard rock¨rendition of Michael Jackson´s ¨Beat It¨(video to come, oh yes), and then the American group convinced us to go to this other bar all the way down on the other end of the island (a 15-minute walk). It looked like a dark house from the outside, but upstairs was a bar with black lights and benches and swings all hanging from the ceiling. Up another flight was a great outdoor space.

We got kicked out of that bar at midnight (we weren´t naughty, it was just closing), said goodnight to the American group and ended up back at the karaoke bar, which was now a ¨dance party.¨ It wasn´t much of a party though - three or four overweight girls were dancing and the rest of us just watched and commented. We went home around 1:30AM, talked for a bit, and headed to bed.

While it was a great night, it turned out to be the wrong day for a hangover. After a very touch-and-go boat ride back to the mainland, we boarded the bus to Guatemala. Oh wait, did I say bus? I meant van. VAN WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING. We were stuffed into this thing with maybe five others who weren´t with our tour... it was the most miserable, uncomfortable, claustrophobic FIVE-HOUR journey of my life. It didn´t help that I didn´t have much breakfast and couldn´t really breathe through my stuffed nose and congested lungs. We were so shot from that journey that we all went back to the hotel around 10PM and collapsed. It really sucked... I wouldn´t mind Geckos adding another 25 bucks to the cost of the trip to find us or charter us a real bus with real, working A/C. I never thought I´d say this, but it seems like even Cambodia has quite the leg up on this place.

This morning we drove in a semi-air-conditioned van to the Mayan ruins at Tikal. Our local guide lead us through the jungle (yes, literally) to the sites. Every time I saw a sign that read, ¨Danger: Crocodiles¨or ¨No Pasar¨he was like, ¨Let´s go that way!¨ At one point we heard howler monkeys in the jungle and he wanted to show them to us. We walked through the jungle where there was not even the beginnings of a path... and two people walked out with bleeding feet from leaf-cutter ant bites.

The ruins were great though... I can´t even tell you how high I climbed and how scary it was at times. We saw a lot more monkeys, and a toucan as well. After about four hours, we were shot from all the heat, the climbing, the trekking, etc., and now we´re back in Flores... I´m hoping for a shower before we head onto the overnight bus to Antigua tonight because I am covered in dirt and dust from this morning. I don´t want to know what I smell like.

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