What a morning! It started off pretty well but went downhill fast. We barely escaped a bad accident in the city of Chetumal, Mexico. The kids couldn’t care less but we three adults are still a bit freaked out. Whew!
Getting thru the Mexico / Belize border crossing was pretty quick. I will break it down below:
1 Mexico exit booth – The guy asked for our passports and visitor permits. We turned them over. Brad lost his original visitor permit but had a photocopy which they accepted with a little persuasion. We had to pay an exit fee because we didn’t pay the entry fee when we entered the country. The total for 6 people was 1500 pesos.
2 The white building on the other side of the exit booth, across the road, is where you take your Mexico car permit, remove the sticker from your windshield, and get your $300 deposit back, assuring your vehicle is leaving the country. Unfortunately we left our car permit back in Morelia so a friend is going to mail it to us here in Belize, ASAP. We will turn it back in when we return to Mexico in a month. Although we may have lost our deposit because we will be beyond the permit date. But our car will have been in Belize all month so it’s hard to say. This was another stress adding to our morning.
3 For Belize entry the first place you will see on your left is the vehicle quarantine area where they will spray your car with a pesticide. It’s just a bunch of little wooden buildings with the sign leaning against one, barely visible. It cost us 89 pesos because we have a larger vehicle.
4 From there you will go to the Belize entry point. They all speak English. I think it’s the national language with Spanish right beside it. Even here in San Ignacio most speak English. So back to the border crossing… everyone was helpful with smiles. A porter helped us and we gave him a tip. We parked and went inside to have our passports stamped. There is no entry fee. Then we went to a second desk and got our car permit. There was no charge. All of us walked thru the building into Belize. Brad drove thru the inspection booth, which only took about 5 minutes, and picked us up on the other side.
5 Our last stop was at the Insurance Company of Belize. The policy was for 30 days and only cost us $30 for our Denali. Brad was preoccupied with our crazy morning so let’s hope that was for full coverage.
From there we drove straight to San Ignacio and arrived about 2 pm. On the way we passed two checkpoints. Both just waved us thru. One guy didn’t even stand up. The roads are paved but not that great. Lots of speed bumps and pot holes. After Brad dropped me and the kids off at our house he went into town and bought some groceries. He paid $20 USD for a large container of Maxwell House coffee! The local coffee is instant only, which isn’t so good. For a jar of Jiffy peanut butter they wanted like $30 USD! We didn’t buy it. Now for a nice oscillating, standing fan we only paid $20 USD. How weird is that? I am quoting US dollars but we are using Belize currency which is 2 Belize dollars to 1 US dollar.
I am so glad to be here and I took pictures on the way which I will post later. We have no internet at our house so I am writing my blogs and waiting to publish them till we go into town for wifi. Because of this, posts are going to be a few days behind. Signing off in Belize, Tina