Stories

 

Mexico & Belize - January 2011


From December 27th, 2010 to January 25th, 2011

GENEVA, December 27th, 2010, 10:27 a.m., -2°C, the major European airports were paralyzed by the recent snow falls ... Our flight was not canceled ...

CANCUN, December 27th, 2010, 7:07 p.m., 25°C, our VW bus picked us up at the airport.

CANCUN, December 30th, 2010, 8:30 p.m., arrival of Dani, Magali, Nina and Ugo, our friends from Geneva on a one week holiday in the country of the Corona, Tequila and Margarita. 10:30 p.m., arrival at destination. TULUM. Let's get it started !

We stayed the week in the house they rented in the pueblo. For New Years Eve, we joined some friends in a restaurant located on the beach which had a flamenco jazz concert.

We spent the week "guiding" our friend around. Relaxation on the beautiful beach of Tulum, visiting the archaeological site of Tulum, swimming at Gran Cenote, bathing in Los Nopalitos lagoon, shopping in Playa del Carmen, Corona and Tequila drinking, discovering new restaurants, etc..

After they left, we stayed another two weeks in Tulum in order to get some rest from the three hard months of work in Geneva :-) and prepared our vehicle in order to hit the road.

Do you remember the story of Chepi, the puppy we found hiding under our car three months ago? (If not, click here to read the beginning of the story). The vet had told us that despite his young age (between 1 and 2 months), he would not grow a lot more and remain a small dog. Three months later, he was unrecognizable! There was no trace of the scratch he used to have on his face, he had grown up and put on muscle. During his stay in the bike shop, little Suzi (another dog) regularly visited him and also managed to get adopted by the Maya family. Both have left the store and are spending happy days in a small ranch three kilometers from Tulum.

    

19 January 2011, we were finally ready to leave Tulum and head south. We spend our last night in Mexico in a small campsite located on the shores of the beautiful Laguna Bacalar. The different blue shades are incredible. If you forget the country where you are, you could be in the Maldives.

    

The next day, crossing the border of Santa Elena to Belize was fairly simple. On the Mexican side, the customs officer requested 200 pesos (16 USD) per person as an exit tax, but refusing to give us a receipt, we denied to pay and got our document back. We paid 200 pesos (16 US$) for one week liability insurance (mandatory for all vehicles in transit). We did the vehicle fumigating (5 US$), then the immigration on the Belizean side which was just a stamp in the passport (30 days). Regarding the vehicle, we received a free 10 days permit (we could have requested up to 30 days) logged in the passport.

It's amazing how different two neighbor countries can be. We went from the Mayan Hispanic culture to an Afro-Caribbean-Maya English speaking culture.

We left our van for a few days in Belize City, in the Radisson Hotel secured parking and sailed to Caye Caulker where we stayed three days. It is a small fishing island (8 km long and 1 km wide) living the Caribbean rhythm. People walk (mostly barefoot), bicycle or move with electric buggies on the sandy narrow streets. The restaurants menus display fish and seafood in abundance. Welcome to the world of reggae and rastas!

    

When we talk about Belize to scuba divers, the first image which comes to mind is the famous Blue Hole. This is a circular limestone hole, 300 meters in diameter, 120 meters deep, located on the second largest barrier reef in the world (after Australia). We experience a first diving day in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve where we got to see eagle rays, turtles, and especially a rare school of Mobula (they are from the eagle rays family, but they look like a mini Manta Ray). The next day we woke up before dawn and sailed the two and a half hours which separate Caye Caulker from Lighthouse Reef Atoll, where the Blue Hole is located. We immersed our self in the depths of this great dark hole up to 40 meters where we zigzagged between the huge stalactites formations. They were formed during the last ice age, when the sea level was much lower. We admired the contrast of these "pillars" in the deep blue light-reflecting the surface. It was a magical dive!

    

Click here to read the following story in Guatemala, El Salvdor and Honduras.

See the album "Mexico & Belize - January 2011"