Another private shuttle ride transported us from Tikal Guatemala to San Ignacio, Belize. It wasn’t a difficult ride, only 2 ½ hours, which we planned for our hotel check-out time of 11 am. It would have been a bit faster if it had not been for border control. We went through Guatemala Passport Control just by giving our passports to our driver who was able to get them stamped without us being present. Belize was different. We filled out a form, went face to face with the Passport people who stamped our US books without even looking at us. There was another form to fill out, but that was painless. Next was Customs where there is only a “Goods to Declare” line, but no “Nothing to Declare” option. After being asked if I wanted to declare anything, I was waved through.
Arriving in San Ignacio, Belize had me questioning Ron’s decision. Why here? Well we were booked at the White House, or Casa Blanca, so that should have been the answer to my question, but I still had lingering doubts. Oh, I get it. It sounded so good in the tour guide. But we are here for 5 nights, overkill for sure.
After signing in, we were shown to our room. It is one floor off of the ground level. There is a large living room area immediately apparent. To the right is a waist high dividing wall with built in cases with glass windows. There is a vast collection of porcelain figures that look like someone’s private collection, but the focus is a combination of women in 18th century dress, old valentine statuettes, and elephants next to Madonna (not the singer). Beyond the wall is another living room set, dining room table with 8 chairs, and a full kitchen. Our room is at the end of hall, far away from any traffic that may disturb our sleep.
The first thing I did after getting settled was trying the Tigo Internet stick bought in Rio Dulce. No signal! When I went to ask reception, they said that it ‘should’ work, but if it doesn’t they do have WiFi and she gave me the sign on info. Later, I found a note on the refrigerator that shows other services all listed in US dollars: WiFi $2.50 a day, Laundry $10.00 a load and A/C $25.00 a day. The WiFi is so slow, I am actually wishing for a 56k modem. It would be faster. Who ever heard of a download speed of 13.4kb/s in this day and age?
We walked to the new bridge, the old bridge, the river and all over downtown. That took a whole 2 hours, including going into stores. Okay, it is Sunday so not everything is open. Still, the thought of 5 days here is worrisome.
Across the street, almost directly across from Casa Blanca, is a restaurant called “Let’s Go Eat” which is the translated name. The real name is in Mayan. The crowd was so great that we had to wait for a table; well worth the wait. As we were ordering, the couple who was on our tour at Tikal, the meditater and the Mayan illustrator asked if they could join us. We agreed and it turned out to be a very pleasant experience. He teaches in a junior college in CA on the Mexican border. She is a psychologist. Conversation was delightful causing me to tell Ron, I retract my nasty thoughts from the morning of the tour.