Tikal Guatamala, Here we come!

Posted: April 6, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

After we loaded into the Landrover, we had one more stop to make. Natalie, Mckinley’s wife was flying in to Belize City from work to join us on the expedition. We will be traveling for three weeks through Guatamala and then back into Belize for another week. The airport is small,so finding her was a breeze. We loaded her luggage and were off!

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Packing the rest of the luggage!

The trip from Belize city toward the border was uneventful and beautiful. We made good time, but decided since it was getting later in the day, we would stop at the border to spend the night, and cross in the morning. We found an excellent resort offering two pools, one of which, featured a dinosaur fountain shooting a stream of water into the pool. I posted a picture of it on Facebook, and leave it to my brother, he made a comment about, “Nice bidet”. That’s my brother, Chad, you have to know him. The next morning, we loaded up again. Wow! Thats a lot of work. I will be glad when we stay in one place for a few days.

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We pulled up to the border and were met by many “money changers”. These are local people that will exchange your currency to their local currency, the Quetzal or “Q” for short. For example, a gordita might cost Q3 or $ .39 US. The official exchange rate, is currently about 7.77 to 1 U.S. dollar. Its not quite as easy of a conversion as the peso or Belizian dollar, but my handy currency exchange app on my phone does wonders. We paid the Belize exit tax, purchased our Guatamala visas, and reluctantly did a currency exchange. Of course their was a small fee incurred for the “convenience”.

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Pay the fees to Exit Belize

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Fumigation is mandatory for vehicles entering Guatamala

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Welcome to Guatamala!

At last second we decided to run back to the burrito stand a local girl had set up and eat an early lunch of gorditas and jack, a type of fried bread that is delicious. Once on the other side, it felt like another country. Spanish was now the first language, unlike Belize who’s language is English. Another stop to register the Land rover was an opportunity to get a cold Coke and bathroom break. We crossed over the toll bridge, paying 50 quetzales or 50Q.

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Burrito girl

The bustling town of Melcher spread out before us like a small metropolis. We decided to find a cell phone store to purchase data and cell service for our phones. The usual communication issues were lessened by Mckinley’s practicing of Spanish. A few parts from an auto parts store and we were off to Tikal! All in all, We spent about an hour crossing the border. Not too bad!

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