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Old 12-20-2011, 04:21 AM   #166
kramnamhoh OP
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belize part 2

My tire held air fine to get me back to chetumal. I’m thinking slime is the best thing ever, until the morning when I find my tire flat again…c’mon slime!! So, I pump it up and off I go thinking I will find a bike shop in Belize City to change it for me.
I arrive right after the import document place opens. She quickly gets my paperwork in order, takes a photo of my VIN number, and sends me on my way. Hello Belize…
The immigration woman that I talk to first is very nice. She asks me all about my trip, and wishes me well. The customs guy is a different story. He acts like the typical lazy as hell southerner, that moves as slow as possible. He makes we wait for moment, even though he isn’t doing anything, and there is no one else there. He expresses no emotion, as he stamps my paperwork and visa. The only thing he asks is how long I will be in Belize. He throws my paperwork back on the counter in front of me, and tells me I am done. I ask where to next, and he waves his hand dismissively and says ‘outside.’ Gee…thanks for the help!
I pump up my tire again, and off I go. It’s gone from 45psi to 20psi in an hour. It might be a long ride to Belize city. At this point the weather looks good and I’m looking to be on time for an afternoon snorkeling trip to see the sharks.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:22 AM   #167
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:28 AM   #168
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'police' checkpoint

About 50 miles into Belize, I come across a police checkpoint. The police man asks me for my drivers license. I give him my AAA international drivers license. He then asks for insurance paperwork. I don’t have any insurance in Belize. Mr policeman then proceeds to tell me that I have to have insurance, and that not having insurance is an arrestable offense. He says that I will be put in jail, that the bike will be impounded, and that the judge will decide what to do on Monday (it’s Sunday now.) He says I will have to follow him back to the station for processing. This whole thing goes on for about 5 minutes of him telling me how bad it’s going to be. Then he walks over to talk with the two other policeman. I check out his vehicle, while I’m thinking about what to do. The police truck is a beat up 90’s ford ranger with police hand stenciled onto the side, but it does have blue/red lights on top. Nice!! Two of the policemen are wearing black pants and a black polo with some sort of official looking logo on it. The other policeman has an outfit on that looks like a Halloween costume for President Kim of north korea. Anyway, north korea Kim comes up to me and gives the same talk about insurance, how I’m going to jail, and how my bike will be impounded. I notice that Kim doesn’t have a gun or a radio. I look back and neither of the other guys have any police gear on. One of them does have a rifle of some sort slung over his back, but it’s on there all backwards for being able to quickly use it. As president Kim keeps giving me the warnings about Belize jails, I slowly pull up my kickstand, then make sure key is on, then check that the kill switch is off, then slowly put bike in first gear and pull in the clutch. The traffic dies down and the other two ‘policemen’ walk over to me. I’m slowly rocking bike back and forth to make sure the clutch is fully disengaged. Right then, ‘policeman’ number one says…’maybe we can make some sort of deal’. I say ‘yeah right’ as I thumb the starter and let out the clutch at the same time, and off I go running from the Belize ‘police’ with a slowly flattening tire, and them still holding my international driver’s license. I haul ass down the road, constantly looking back to see if they are chasing me. After about 20 miles I stop to check my tire….it seems to be holding up, so next stop Belize City. I’m really looking forward to getting to some civilization after that shit!!!
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:32 AM   #169
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belize city...the worst place on earth!!

I stop on the outskirts of Belize city and take some photos of house that are leaned over in the sand, presumably from a combination of poor construction and a hurricane. I start trying to navigate my way to what I think will be the tourist area downtown where my hostel is at. It’s really difficult to navigate because the roads are rough, and most of the street name signs are missing from their post. I stop at a hotel, and the security guard gives me directions to downtown. Downtown looks like a combination of a war torn middle eastern city, like Beirut, and inner city New Orleans. It’s filled with one way really rough streets, and people all over. After about 30 minutes of wandering around in some of the most 3rd world-ish nasty run-down looking areas, I come across a motorcycle rider, who shows me the way to my hostel. The hostel looks like a shack of some sort that you would use as a wood shed on a run-down old farm. I can see the ocean from there and all I see is very dark thunderstorm looking clouds, so no snorkeling today. I look at the time and decide that I might have enough time to make it to Guatemala if I haul ass. So, I get directions from the hostel lady. She says take David to Euphrates to Rocon and I’m on my way. Only problem with that is there are no street name signs left. They are not there at all. So, I wander around Belize City some more trying to find my way out. I see several areas that I’d like to take photos of to show how bad it was, but I’m afraid to stop moving. Many people stare as I go by, some yell for me to stop, some walk out in the road right into my way. After turning back and circling around for way too long, I find a gas station. Great…fuel is about $5.50 a gallon. Guess you pay extra for being in paradise. I fill up my tire again, get directions for how to get on the road to Guatemala, and off I go to get as far away from this place as possible before dark. On the way out of town, I do find a place to stop to take a photo. The highway goes right through the middle of a cemetery, with the burial plots at the edge of the road. Very weird!!
I think about the tourist brochures that make Belize seem like such a tropical paradise. That’s such bullshit. It really is the worst place on earth that I have seen. It takes the place of Klamath Falls, Oregon as my previous thought of the worst place on earth.
You too can experience what it’s like to be in Belize City on a motorcycle. Go to the worst area of some city like New Orleans, Compton or Washington DC. Flash a lot of money to everyone possible, make a lot of noise so everyone knows you are there, and then walk around after dark by yourself. I think that would sum up about how I felt riding around lost in Belize City. It’s a combination of inner city New Orleans, war torn Beirut, extreme 3rd world poverty shanty town, pavement from 50 years ago that hasn’t been repaired since, mixed with chickens and dogs running around, and a healthy dose of nasty French attitude. Why isn’t that on the travel brochures??
I think about the cute young Canadian couple that I met at the border that was backpacking into Belize. What a shock they are in for. At least I have a motorcycle that I can run away on. They are kinda stuck there.
I make it to the Belize border checkout point. I go in and get treated like shit by the Belize officials some more. They make me wait for no reason, throw my paperwork at me, and send me on my way. If I would have known how the process works, I would have just rode right through the border check out point and gone straight to Guatemala. Fuck Belize…I’m never coming back. (unless I’m with someone wonderful that really has to go diving in the blue hole…only for that though!!)
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:33 AM   #170
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my thoughts on belize in one photo

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Old 12-20-2011, 04:35 AM   #171
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not at all pleased about Belize....glad to leave that sh!thole behind...

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Old 12-20-2011, 05:01 AM   #172
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Thanks for the insight on Belize. I'll cross that place off my list for the trip back home. I can have more fun riding around in Chiapas.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:12 AM   #173
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Belize City can be hell. The islands are better. Warning- running away from the so called police might seem like the only way out, but the rules are different there. Luckily you got out of there. Avoid getting locked up, no matter what the cost. It only gets worse if they put you behind bars.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:51 AM   #174
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great ride report! You need to research Insurance needs for different countries, ask at each border. Do you speak Spanish? Es necesario a comprar seguros para mi moto? it is needed in Belize, not for Guatemala.
I was stopped at that same check point and it only cost me 4.00 for the cops lunch and we shook hands after he also said there was no garantee I would not be stopped one more time before I hit Guatemala, I was'nt!
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:05 PM   #175
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so happy to be in guatemala

The border processing takes about 30 minutes….is all in one area….and cost me 180 quetzals. I have no idea how much that is because I can’t find my currency conversion printout. It doesn’t seem bad though. The people I deal with are friendly, and they efficiently get their stuff done. One persistent money changer follows me around the whole time, even though I tell him I don’t need any money, since I brought some for each border crossing. Anyway, he does take me to the front of a short line to get my paperwork done first. Cool, I’ll take the free help.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:07 PM   #176
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guatemala

It’s green here!!! What a change from mexico…it’s green jungle here. I like it!! I have been told by several people along the way how much they like Guatemala. I like it so far. Such a contrast with f’ed up Belize. I feel like I can relax again. I make it to Tikal just as it is getting dark…
I think of how if I didn’t get the flat the other day at the border, how I would have rolled into Belize City right as it was getting dark. Damn, that would have been scary!! I would have ended up at some expensive resort hotel…if lucky!!
Some how along the way of beating down the rough roads, my headlight aim has been fixed!! It now points right where I would want it. I tried everything I could think of in San Miguel de Allende to make the headlight point at the road instead of up into the sky with no luck. I have no idea how that happened, but I’ll take it….
A little way into Guatemala, I stop to get a drink of water by a soccer game. There are chickens and turkeys running around the field with them while they play. It’s nice to be able to feel ok with stopping again for some water since I didn’t feel that way in Belize.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:10 PM   #177
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taking a dump

All is not well in guatemala though. I ride by a dump. It’s a valley filled with garbage all over the place. There are vultures everywhere, and people digging through the garbage. I see several loads of stuff on bicycles leaving the dump while I am there. When I see stuff like that, it reminds me of how good we have it in the USA. No wonder that some of them will walk from here, all the way across Mexico, just for the chance to pick our strawberries for us.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:15 PM   #178
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slime does it's magic....

The slime finally kicks in and seals the slow leak. I filled the tire to 45ish psi, and several hours later, it’s still there. Woohoo…. I am really happy I don’t have to screw around at changing the tube. I would have probably limped along, filling it up every hour all the way to Panama.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #179
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tikal

I’ve been to chicken pizza, tula, teotihuacan, Palenque and now Tikal. I think I like Tikal the most. It’s surrounded by jungle which adds to its mystique. Really cool….
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #180
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these stairs were steeper than they look in this photo
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