Today we waved goodbye to our little yellow cabana and belizean mama and took the ferry to Belize City. Having spent the last few days on a paradise island you forget the realities of Belize. It is still a developing country. We took mamas advice and got a taxi from the pier to the bus terminal. Wise decision. Even though it was only a short distance it was what she described as the Belize City ‘Ghetto’. It was the first time this trip I had my money belt tucked into my shorts rather than carrying my purse in my rucksack.
We got to the bus station and it wasn’t long before we all boarded the sardine bus to ‘Benque’. We started heading towards the highway but then got diverted, “lorry done smash up them landrover” a local described it as, we took it as there had been an accident.
Belizean buses are old imported American school buses. Not the most comfortable ride but for 3 quid for a 3 and a half hour journey it was fine. We got off the bus at mile 29 for Belize Zoo.
Belize zoo isn’t really a zoo. It is more of a conservation centre. They have rescue animals that have been previously peoples pets, found injured at the road side and species that are endangered. They have one of my favourite animals, tapirs. They are Belize’s national animal and the toucan is the national bird. This little tapir’s mummy got shot so he was rescued as a baby.
We stayed for about an hour and then got back on the bus to Benque. Benque is the border town between Belize and Guatemala. The Benque bus runs West bound and stops everywhere between the city and the end of the line. The second part of our journey was soul destroying. The only thing that kept me gojng was the cocount tart I bought on the bus in Belmopan. Another one of those things you only do when abroad. There aren’t bus stops in Belize you get on and off where you want. Alot of people got on and off.
We’ve finally got to San Ignacio in the Cayo District of Belize. A fairly built up town in the Belizean Jungle. Dinner and bed before cahal pech ruins tomorrow. Then back on the Benque bus to actually go to Benque to cross the border into Guatemala.