Belmopan to Guatemalan border crossing - Central America - CycleBlaze

Belmopan to Guatemalan border crossing

Yesterday was hard, and hot, and rainy.  So I had to call my wife last night and get some encouragement.  She's always good for that.  She said that with 88 miles, feeling exhausted and like I can't go on would be expected, as well as some other things that cheered me up.  I wasn't sure if I was going to ride today, as the weather called for a lot of rain.  It had definitely rained overnight, but was not rainy when I looked, so I left late after a real good night's sleep into a beautiful morning.  I felt re-energized after my wife's encouragement, and PB & flatbread, started to listen to some tunes, and then I got a flat tire.  It took me 45 min to change the thing, as it wasn't seating right, plus it was the back one, so I had to take the panniers off and everything out of them.  Since I was not moving, I was absolutely dripping in sweat - at 8:00 in the morning.

I really liked this stretch between Belmopan and the Guat border; it had a painted shoulder for most of it, and there were small little villages every few miles.  So I stopped at a local market for another Gatorade and snack, then had lunch at a roadside stand - a great chicken burrito few miles later too.  Then off again towards the border.

I ran into another absolutely amazing young 72 year old cyclist named Eric from Manhattan.  He was working on completing his life-long goal of cycling around the world (in parts)!  He had two more countries to go; Kazakhstan and China.  We shared stories riding together for about 30 minutes, but then my stop came up - Xunantunich Myan ruins.

These ruins were extra special because you could climb on them!  Plus, they were the biggest and best I've seen of all four places thus far.  And no tour busses!  Why?  Because you could only get there by a hand-cranked ferry across a river (see video)!  After I stopped and took a picture with my now new cyclist idol Eric, and then rushed on the ferry before it left, I was careless with ear buds and lost them.  I didn't realize until I was on the other side and rode up a really steep hill, and then it started raining (for the first time of the day), so I sought shelter under a large tree for about 15 minutes, then ran back to where I thought I had lost them, but they were gone.  Discouraging thoughts entered my head again, as I could really use those for turn-by-turn directions and tunes.  So I checked out the ruins and then on my way back on the ferry, one of the employees had found them for me - Whoo Hoo!

Finally, off the border station, about 15 minutes down the road.  This one had both countries' immigration in very near buildings - walking distance, like I would expect all of them.  The process was much easier than from Mexico into Belize, but still took me almost 2 hours given the logistics of my bike and bags - trying to get them into doors.  Then I was in the wrong line for a long time.  They sure aren't very helpful at these places.  Then off to my hotel, only about 1o minutes away from the border crossing fortunately, as it was getting late again.  

I have reached a whole new level of tolerance with hotels with this one.  I picked it because there are only a few in town, and as I looked on Google, most of them were near noisy bars.  I learned my lesson with that!  However, as I walked around the main street for a bit tonight grocery shopping and getting dinner, I noticed a dozen or so vendors on the street selling fireworks.  So, it probably did not make a difference - I will not be going to sleep now anytime soon.  As I write this, there is a lot of popping and booms outside.  Anyway, I splurged and got the best hotel room because it had air conditioning (on the second floor - I hate that, with a bike) for a whopping $25 USD - see pics below.

I don't know what kind of Belizean birds these are, but they had the loudest and strangest song.
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Cycling pal 72 years young Eric from Manhattan, close to cycling the whole world.
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Sheep playing chicken?
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They won!
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A few other random roadside shots leaving Belmopan to the Guat border
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Look at that bike lane!
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Belizean shoring
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Glass was the culprit.
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This was my fault here. See how the glass punctured just to the side of the Kevlar bead? Well that's because my tires were not inflated properly (trying to make a more comfortable rider), and as such had a wider footprint. The Kevlar bead does not do much if you have non-Kevlar touching the ground! Word to the wise.
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My new Belizean friends I was talking to outside the roadside market for a while! Apparently, they spend a lot of time here nearly everyday, just talking and meeting people. What a great and simple life!
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Another Egret
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Another gigantic tree
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Belize has much less trash on the side of the road than Mexico. See those bags too that people picked up trash in? In Mexico, they had signs (but did not get a picture) that if you littered, you could get a fine of 200 Pesos! That's about $10 US! That is certainly enough to deter anyone!
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Lime juice and chicken burritos!
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Riding behind Eric for a while where there was no shoulder
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The hand-cranked ferry to the ruins
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Scott AndersonAmazing to see that it’s still here. We crossed this ferry to visit the ruins twenty years ago.
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1 month ago
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From atop the highest ruin at Xunantunich.
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Goodbye border station, immigration, and fumigation!
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My $25 USD room for the night.
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Another new shower valve - but this time, there was only one valve. Yep - you guessed it - cold.
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I wanted to close the window to save the AC energy, but this is what that looked like, and the crank did not work.
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After a cold shower, I went on a conquest to get groceries and dinner. 2 apples, 1 over-ripe plantain, one Oreo roll of cookies (I could not find granola bars at any store!), 2 Gatorades, 2 cakes from a local bakery, potato chips, and tortillas (for breakfast with PB), and 5 chicken tacos for dinner, all for just under $8 USD.
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Today's ride: 38 miles (61 km)
Total: 418 miles (673 km)

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