Trip Start Sep 09, 2008
20Trip End Ongoing
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The last part of my trip was actually quite fun. Copan Ruinas was nice already but Flores in northern Guatemala was a really cool place to visit. The town is a little pueblo on an island in the middle of Lago Peten Itza, with very neat architecture and a very relaxing atmosphere. It is connected with the larger town of Santa Elena by a very long bridge. Originally Flores was a Maya city-state that remained independent till 1697 (more than 150yrs after the Spanish landed in Mesoamerica). Today it is just a nice place to hang out and swim in the lake, with very friendly people. The nearby ruinas of Tikal are also very cool, spread out over kilometres of tropical rain forest.
Also, I met some very cool people there. An American girl, Gloria, from New Jersey, who I kept meeting at each different pyramid in Tikal, and Mario and Esteban, both from Guatemala, who I shared a lot of beers with at some bar on the bridge. Soon it was time to move on, though, to Belize. I figured it would be a good idea to stay for a day in Belize City, as you have to pay a 15USD fee to pass through the country, no matter how much time passes. I had not done any research on Belize, though, and only the day before looked the country up on wikepedia ;) Turns out Belize City has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. And, yes, arriving there it turned out to be Crazy-crazy place alright. You would have people on the street erupt in bouts of cursings aimed at nobody in particular. While there were some good people too, there really seemed to be a lot of random guys hanging around there. I kind of understood why people where crowding around the bus when I arrived the day before, wanting to get someplace nicer!!!
So, next day, glad to be on the bus back to Mexico, even if it got a flat tire (but the driver was a pro at fixing that). So much better to hang around the pool of the hotel in Chetumal, Quintana Roo! Then it was getting on the bus back to Merida, felt really good to be travelling in the Yucatan again. :) Turns out the American guy is still at the hostel though, there was even a big fight the day before I got back, which landed him and somebody else in prison for a day. Dunno if I will stay there all the time, but anyways it feels great being back here again!!! :)