This morning we left our sweltering apartment in sunny Belize and headed west to Flores, Guatemala. We hopped on the 8:30 am water taxi to Belize city and waved goodbye to the beautiful turquoise waters. When we arrived in Belize City we were just in time to buy tickets for the 9:30 am bus to Flores. We were quite impressed with our timings. The lady at the ticket office said the bus should be in the parking lot by 10:00 am. After waiting around for about 45 minutes a bus finally showed up. We grabbed our bags and headed on over only to be told that yes this is a bus to Flores, but it is not our bus. Being slightly confused we just waited in the parking lot. Soon another bus arrived on the way to Flores. As we made our way over to that bus, again we were told that it was not our bus and that we had to wait.
We took our defeated, tired, sweaty and confused selves back into the bus terminal. After checking that our tickets are still ok, the lady at the counter assured us that the bus driver is on his way and would be here within the hour. She informed us that Mondays are usually the busiest traveling days – that is why the bus is late. We enjoyed the “Go Slow” way of life on the island, but when you want to get stuff done its not really the best moto.
At 11:30 am our bus finally arrived – two hours behind schedule. But we were relieved that we had a ride to Flores. After waiting around for another 30 minutes the bus driver jumped into his seat and we were off. A few miles outside Belize City the bus driver pulled off to the side of the road. Looking outside the window we noticed a lady selling fresh Mangos. Yes, the bus driver stopped the bus to buy himself fresh Mangos. He was very polite and informed everyone of the price of the mangos and asked if anyone wound like to buy some. After he was content with his purchased we were back on the road. 20 minutes later we were on the side of the road again. This time the hot ticket item was toilet paper. He let us know that the price of the toilet paper was 18 Belizean Dollars for 24 rolls, which is about $9. We were pretty impressed with that price and decided that we would stop a bus any day for that kind of deal.
After about 2 hours we arrived at the border. We had to grab our passports and get off the bus go to customs and pay a border crossing fee, then walk across the border and get back on the bus in Guatemala. After about another hour and a bit we arrived in lovely Flores. Flores is a very small city and it is located on a tiny island surrounded by a lake. We grabbed a room at a hotel that the bus driver recommended and after seeing the view we couldn’t say no!
We left our stuff in our room, and went for a walk around town. We found a small cafe and ordered some cervesas and some tacos. The beer and food were delicious and we had a great chat with some people from Australia. After dinner we just walked the remainder of the city and headed back home. We really like Flores and its similarities to older European cities. We will explore more tomorrow and let your know what we discover.