Belize, in order of awesomeness: Blackberry wine, beachfront camping, being stuck in the mud, burglars. I hit the Mexican out-border early in the day to account for any issues I might have brought upon myself by ignoring to check myself and my van into Mexico. In case you missed that bit, when I entered Mexcio at Ojinaga,Chihuahua, I blasted right by the border offices, failing to file customs and import my vehicle properly. After a couple run-ins with police in Mexico I was slightly worried about how I would explain that to border guards when exiting the country.
When I pulled up to the window, the officer asked me for my papers so he could stamp me out. I told them I never received them upon entry and he said there was a penalty to pay. I was ready for this. Afterall, I hadn’t paid anything to enter the country. We negotiated a smooth 500pesos for the penalty. As I was never checked into the system, I hope the homie bought himself a nice big bottle of tequila with that. And I was off.
Coming into Belize was a little time consuming, the lady wanted me to bring all of my gear inside to be inspected, and I told her that was impossible. I brought in four bags, and then they came out to check my van anyway. Doing so, they found my stache of food, pecans, coconuts, eggs, veggies, that should have lasted me a few days. I didn’t mind, it was a small price to pay after crossing all of Mexico illegally.
Its mandatory to buy insurance in Belize, and that was my last stop at the border. At the insurance broker, I met a couple good dudes from Washington that had ridden down on a couple Kawasakis. I chased them most of the way to Belize City, as they weaved around traffic and sailed over speed bumps. Eventually I passed them and took a dumb turn onto the coastal highway, a two lane, poorly maintained dirt road through the jungle. This is where I met my pal Leroy. He helped me out when I pulled onto the “shoulder” to take a photo and got stuck in the mud. Leroy is a real lifesaver; before he showed up I was getting ready to camp out in the jungle. He came to my rescue with his little white Toyota truck with Texas licence plates, and a machete. after digging out my tires, and cutting some palms we managed to rock the van through the ditch and then I bombed it back over. We celebrated with some Mexican beers that snuck through the border as we climbed into our vehicles and the skies opened up.
Rain and getting stuck were recurring events in Belize. It rained without fail every day I was there. I eventually rolled in to Hopkins, well after dark, where I ran into the Washington boys and a couple girls I met on travelbuddies.com. I parked feet from the beach on a public road under coconut trees, and camped there for a few days, using the hostel wifi and washroom for free.
Another friend of mine was working down in Southern Belize and I made plans to meet up with her midway in Placencia. Cat showed up with another homie Tom and we had a good day exploring the tourist town and then partying pretty hard at night. It was my clever idea to save them a few bucks by offering up my camping gear. As night fell, we chose an empty lot right on the main strip, and tucked in under a tree. After a couple coco locos, we headed back to the bar. Rum bitters, dancing, skinny dipping, and drinking with some locals back at my van were a few things that happened before we woke up missing some of our most prized possessions. Cat was down 1 iphone and all her money: I was down 1 Canon 6D, all of my money and a Macbook Pro. But before we could even start the day we had to get out of this “campsite”. With Tom and Cat walking beside the vehicle, nobody noticed as the passenger side started to dive into the sand, and before I could do anything, my 3 inch clearance minivan was stuck again. With the help of a few locals we got un-stuck, and had to pay them off afterwards. Then we went to the police station.
That was a mistake. Those cops didn’t want to help me at all. They took their sweet time taking my statement and pretending to be official. At one point I took the two-finger typer cops laptop and finished the rest of my statement. Upon completion, he told me I couldn’t have a copy, I would need to go to another town and pay 8$ for it. I was pretty pissed off at that point, so I left and we got some breakfast. The cops found us there and said they wanted to inspect my vehicle for evidence. I agreed and drove my van to the station, where this one big dumb cross-eyed freak of a cop enjoyed inspecting every article I possessed. After he found three cameras that clearly weren’t the one I had stolen, asking me every time if this was it, I told him he could stop. He got offended and asked me if I had anything to hide. So I let him carry on looking for drugs or whatever he was hoping to charge me with. And then I left. I just wanted to get out of Belize.
But before leaving, I drove up to Gales Point, to see my buddy Leroy, and maybe some manatees. I got there and Leroy was busy building his house, but still took the time to show me around his property and tell me stories about buried Mayan treasures in the hills across the lake. He gave me some blackberry wine and told me if I’m ever in Midland Texas to look him up. No manatees later I pointed back South to pick up some homies to join me on the road.
I stopped in Hopkins and picked up Cecilie, Maja, and Thomas from the hostel and we headed to the border of Guatemala.