Belize City, BLZ to Tikal, GTM

Day – 128        October 29, 2013

Mileage – Day:  148 miles, Trip: 20,528 miles

The rain kept coming and going with intermittent but drenching downpours. Looking at the weather forecast one last time, it confirmed that my dream of going out to the islands was a waste of time.  Best to do it in the non-rainy season.

After getting up, I ran across the street from the hotel to grab some coffee and local cuisine that one can buy at any gas station.  Across the street, I noticed a nice house with a tall wall around it topped with concertina wire that you would find in a prison.  It is unfortunate that those who have nice things in Belize City must protect themselves so much that they build their own little prison.  This is, of course, is pretty typical south of the US border.

House in Belize City

The nice house of Belize City in self-imposed prison.

Getting back to the hotel, I gathered up my belongings and loaded up the Beast underneath the same carport I parked in the night before.  It was time to say a disappointing goodbye to Belize and head to Guatemala.  There were pyramids in the rain forest that I wanted to see.

Leaving Belize City, I stopped by the coast in what seems to be the only nice area of the whole city, but had the same impression as I rode out of it: overall a city of no character and a hole.

Belize City coast

On the coast of Belize City.

As I turned back away from the coast and headed inland, the flat coastline slowly changed to the more hilly terrain and the sugar cane fields turned to cattle grazing fields mixed with large leafy vegetation seen in any tropical forest.  Temperatures slowly dropped to become more moderate and the ride became more enjoyable, but the rain still caused local rivers to hit near their flood stage.

 Highway to Guatemala

Highway to Guatemala before riding into the hills

Highway to Guatemala 2

Highway to Guatemala in the highlands….

Flooding river

…with flooding rivers.

With the more moderate temperature, housing styles also changed to become more westernized.  After passing a house with a Canadian flag, it became more apparent that this is where more of the expats lived other than out on the islands.

house on highway to guatemala

House in more highlands of Belize.

Reaching the border, the process was fairly cut and dry other than waiting for the border agent to get done thumbing through his calendar for 15 minutes… he obviously was a busy man.

Guatemala border crossing

Border crossing out of Belize and into Guatemala.

After the traditional border-crossing two hours, I finally crossed the Belize/Guatemalan border in the late afternoon and headed to Tikal with sporadic downpours along the way.  The roads got a little bit better except for the large sections of missing tarmac, which were replaced with deep mud that made riding a little slicker and a lot more stressful.

With a number of kilometers to go before actually reaching Tikal, I came to the gate of the park.  It was a little before six in the evening and the park would be closing soon.  I continued up the last few kilometers before reaching the main area of the park.  There I got a somewhat expensive room at the Jaguar Inn so I didn’t have to camp in the rain.

Jaguar Inn Hotel sign

Jaguar Inn.

Jaguar Inn Parking

Parking in front of the inn.

Jaguar Inn cabana

Raised path to the cabana.

Jaguar Inn room

Inside the room…

Jaguar Inn sign

…with an interesting sign.

After getting myself situated in the room, I grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant, which was less than busy, and went to bed a little early.  Tomorrow’s sunrise tour started at 4 in the morning.

Jaguar Inn restaurant

Jaguar Inn dining room…

Local brewery beer

…with the local cervaza.


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