Leaving day arrived all too soon and it was all systems go. We had breakfast, ensured we had everything and set off. We had a long day ahead of us which would mostly involve lugging our gear around and sitting on one form or other of public transport. First up was our friends car as he had kindly agreed to give us a lift, albeit for a few dollars. Gas ain’t cheap in Belize. He took us to the dock where we bought tickets for our second mode of transport: the boat to Guatemala. The sky was dark. We are in rainy season here so there was a good chance of a downpour whilst crossing the channel in a small vessel.
I left Dom to look after the bags and headed to the bank to change our Belize dollars to US dollars, something which we tried to do the night before but were let down by the lady who promised us an exchange. Whilst in the bank I heard the familiar sound of torrential rain. I pictured Dom in my head, stood out in the wet with too many bags to carry to seek shelter. Poor thing. That is why the bag guarding duty is more hassle than you think. Luckily the customs officials had let her in early and saved her from a good old soaking. For now at least.
Our trip across the sea was looking increasingly likely to be a wet one. Dark clouds and large swell were all that was visible from the dock. No need to worry though. Our boat came to pick us up and we all huddled under some tarpaulin; hidden away from the unpleasant scenes around us, like a child hiding away from a scary scene during a movie.
The trip was bumpy but we made it to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, without sinking or getting drenched. After getting our passports stamped we climbed into the back of a taxi. A family of four joined us so it was a bit of a squeeze; three in the front, four in the back. The health and safety conscious would have had a heart attack. We drove to the border where we got our exit stamps and boarded a bus. The bus took us to another passport control where we paid our entry fee to Honduras. Then it was back on the bus and nap time.
Our next port of call was San Pedro Sula, murder capital of the world, where we had a spot of lunch and boarded another bus bound for La Ceiba. For a city with such a bad reputation, San Pedro Sula has some very friendly citizens. Everyone was super friendly and helpful. Even the large quantity of armed guards and soldiers wore smiles as big as their guns.
It was dark when we got to La Ceiba and so even though our hostel was just around the corner, we got a taxi. The hostel we had decided on no longer exists and so there was some confusion with the taxi driver. This resulted in him trying to get more money off us when we got to a different hostel. I am useless in these situations as I can’t communicate in Spanish. Luckily Dom asked some dude from Paraguay who was at the hostel and had also got a taxi from the bus station, how much he had paid. After a brief argument with the taxi driver we were spared the extra fare. Well in Dom.
After a good sleep and a nice brekkie, we were ready for the next leg of our adventure: learning to dive in Utila. This would enable us to explore the underwater world as well as the fascinating above ground one we have been fortunate to experience so far.