Hitchhiking tales #3
know. There is going to be a lot of hitchhiking tales. Comes with the Nomad Job.
Do I enjoy being on the road and on the move? Yes.
Do I like that it has to be so often? Maybe not that much. But I have to keep moving.
If I start to feel too comfortable in a place, that´s when I know the time to leave has come.
Why leave a place the moment it feels familiar? When I left Mexico the trip evolved into a “Zero comfort zone adventure”. The 6 months I spent in Mexico before starting to go down through Central America could be considered soft or permissive and I´m done with that.
So my time in San Ignacio was over. Guatemala was already calling for me a few days ago. San Ignacio is less than 10 miles from the border with Guatemala so there was no doubt about getting to the border hitchhiking.
I woke up at 5 am. I took my backpack and my front pack and walked to the highway. As it is usual in Belize, I got picked up by a pick-up truck which dropped me off around 1 mile from the border. Walking time. It was around 8 am when I crossed the border to Guatemala.
No questions asked, no lines, no problems. 90 days to roam freely around this jungle-country. I had to pay 20 USD to get out of Belize so I made sure to get my passport stamped on my way out; I´ve heard some backpackers stories that forgot to check the stamp on their passports and It becomes a problem when you want to get in or out of another Country and you lack a getting out stamp. It is not illegal, it just raises questions and if you get a border control dude who´s having a bad day you can get in some kind of trouble.
Already in Guatemala my goal was to reach Tikal, the biggest ruins accesible to tourism in all of Central America.
This was the first time ever I got picked up by a woman! This really was a milestone for me. Svelia was born in belize but has lived all of her life in Guatemala. She was driving from the border to Antigua (near the capital in the southern part of the country), a 12 hour journey. I wished I was going there just to be able to get the full ride hehe.
It took 2 trucks, Svelia, one breakfast in a truck driver quarters and more than 3 hours to cover those 110 kilometers but I got to Tikal around 12 pm. All the time I was going up the mountain I was wondering how in hell I was going to find a ride back. It is more than 30 km from the highway to Tikal and it took me more than 1 hour to find someone who would take me up; in the afternoon you can bet your paycheck it was going to be more difficult.
Note to side. Look at the way they sell cheap water in Guatemala. This was new for me, I liked it. And yeah, the photo was taken in the back of a pick up truck.
I´ll make a post about my visit to Tikal because it deserves a whole post. This archaelogical site is truly amazing and I´ve never been so impressed by a natural reserve as I was with this site.
Around 4 pm I finished my visit to the ruins. I was tired, it rained, i was smelly and didn´t feel like carrying 25 kilos worth of baggage so for the first time in 20 days I payed for transportation. 30 Quetzal, around 4 dolars, for a Van to take me from the ruins of Tikal to Flores, a little town inside a semi island surrounded by one of the most famous lakes in Guatemala. I knew I couldn´t miss the sunrise here so I didn´t care to pay the 60 Q to stay in a hostel there.
This lake is beautiful but kind of overrated. Everyone on the road told me I should come here and it was a must in Guatemala but being from México it seemed like any other lake back home. It was great but nothing out of the ordinary. I´ll make another post about the morning after I got there and how I almost broke my back in this lake and ended up in the hospital, so yeah, it surely got exciting in here.