Friday, March 1, 2013

Chetumal: Border of Mexio and Belize

Without having any plans and not knowing exactly what I would find in Chetumal I got off the bus. I don't think a lot of backpackers stay in Chetumal. I think most people try to do the border crossing in one day, but well, you read my last post so you know I didn't plan ahead.
There was one lone backpacker in the terminal reading a book. I asked her if she had stayed in Chetumal (thinking probably not since she was waiting for a bus out of town at the end of the day probably spent in Belize) and she had. She gave me good directions to a hostel (Hostel Paakal) that I was able to walk to in about ten minutes.

Not only did they have room, but I was the ONLY guest.  (I think I'm learning that unless you book 24 hours ahead of time the sites will tell you there is no availability-or in other words, there's no telling what's available with less than that time frame, as people like me just show up.)

It's a really nice hostel. Brand new building. Lots of amenities: free wifi, pool, jacuzzi tub, good breakfast included, helpful staff.

I was sticky and stinky when I arrived and the over-sized jacuzzi bath tub filled with cool water was rather enticing. However, since my last hostel and it's noise level, I got too excited about sleep and took a semi-long shower instead just to get the stink and stick off and to relax then jumped right into bed. (Also I thought I had to be up at 530 a.m.)

The flyer said that the bus leaving from Chetumal to either Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye leaves at 7am. Cay Caulker and Ambergris Caye are two of the islands off Belize that I want to visit. I haven' decided which one yet as the one hostel on Ambergris Caye keeps getting rave reviews about it's pizza and I've been wanting pizza-and haven't had any-since before getting my tonsils out. Caye Caulker on the hand says it's a slower-paced, less expensive island. I like both of those things.

As I lie in bed realizing that I didn't know how long or how much money it would cost to get to the dock I decided at this point I didn't care and sleep was more important.

Super awesome when I wake up and the hostel had made breakfast an hour earlier than it is usually served so that I would miss out on it. Not only that, there is a cab waiting for me to take me to the dock. I love seemingly little things like that. They aren't so little when you're traveling. They are HUGE and get the tone of an entire day. I really lucked out in multiple ways with my stay here.

I'm back at the hostel now though because apparently there is only one water taxi to Belize and it leaves at 3pm. Or so said the only man at the dock says. And some posted advertisements at the dock confirmed. I cabbed back to my hostel who also thankfully has a late check out time of 2:30 instead of the usual 11 or 12. This really isn't a tourist town so I don't think I could find a bike to hire and I'm quite happy to settle in for a nap shorty and catch up on the massive amounts of lost sleep.

I chose to do the water taxi because I hear it's easier to cross the border going through customs at the dock and I love taking boats when traveling as much as possible. That and I can go directly to the cayes rather than take a bus across the border to Belize city and then circle back. Hopefully the idea is the border crossing will be easier, get me to where I'm going more directly, and cost less rather than paying for another bus and then a water taxi.

Anyway, I'm off to nap.

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