The noises from the street and the speaker of the pharmacy (yes, the pharmacy across the street plays crappy loud music to attract costumers) wake me up.
I look around and realize I am in a hotel in Santa Helena, Guatemala. Val is still asleep and Lewis lays totally knocked out under the bed. He doesn’t even move an inch when I walk to the bathroom. Neither does Val. I guess living on Caye Caulker for two weeks has taken its toll on our bodies and minds. My internal clock is still running on island time, almost every day I woke up at 6 am and every night there seemed to be some reason for not getting enough sleep. The first few nights we didn’t sleep well because of the itching caused by the sand flees, the next few nights were too hot to sleep in our tent and when we finally got our Ticket To The Moon hammocks, it stormed almost every night. Put in the mix some late night parties and kids running around chasing dogs very early in the morning and you’ll get the picture…
Waking up unnecessarily early can have its benefits though; I was very thankful to witness the most beautiful sunrise of my life at 5.34 on our departure day. Only a few hours later, after getting all our stuff together, we were off to the next central american country on our list: Guatemala.
We had feared this day a little bit; traveling days can be hard because of Lewis. This day in particular had everything set up just right to become a very enduring day; first up was getting off the island by boat, next was taking a public bus in Belize city followed by getting a cab to the border and crossing it into Guatemala, ending up with catching a minivan to get to Flores. And all of this at the lowest price possible.
So here is what happened.
Boat to Belize City: 8 euro pp, Lewis: 4 euro to hire a cage for him.
Chicken bus to Benque*: 4 euro pp, Lewis: free.
Cab to border: 1 euro pp, Lewis: free.
Border of Belize: 14 euro exit fee pp, Lewis: free.
Border of Guatemala: 1 euro entry fee pp, Lewis: free**.
Minivan to Flores***: 3 euro pp, Lewis: free.
* The local bus, takes about two an a half hours to get to the border. The fancy bus takes an hour less, but costs around 30 euro.
** Because of our last border crossing into Belize we were afraid we would have some issues getting Lewis across the Guatemalan border. The vibe at this border couldn’t have been any different. While we were paying our exit fees, the friendly lady asked us if we had passed by the animal health house on the other side of the street and although we hadn’t gone there we decided to say “yes, of course” in the hope to avoid unnecessary hassle. “Ok, thank you she replied” and off we were in to Guatemala.
*** There are guys at the border that want to take you to Flores for 25 euro. Ignore them, walk across the bridge and catch a minivan for 3 euro.
In the end it took us about 8 hours to get to Flores from Caye Caulker, but it was by far the smoothest travel/border crossing day ever. The whole day long we didn’t encounter any problems traveling with our dog Lewis!
So happy to be in Guatemala.