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  • Day118

    Next stop: Belize

    January 3, 2020 in Belize ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    New day, new country. We left Chetumal, our last stop in Mexico, and headed for Belice, our 4th country on the trip. Border crossing was easy, none of the scams you read about in other travel blogs happened to us.
    On the other side of the border, we noticed some differences straight away: one was that people talked English (the second official language here next to Spanish). Secondly, the roads were narrow with no shoulder and cars drove much faster - luckily, there's a lot less traffic here compared to Mexico.
    We went on to Corozal, the first village behind the border where we were going to stay for the night with Elden and his family. Elden is part of a network that supports bicycle tourists in Central America and had invited us to stay at his place. Of course, we didn't say no to this offer as it gave us the opportunity to meet locals and our butts another short day for resting.
    As we arrived pretty early in Corozal, we had some time to explore. First, we went to the House of Culture where we met some Americans who now live in town permanently and did some volunteering work. Then we had to exchange some money as we had some pesos left. As the Scotiabank didn't do money exchange, we had to go to a corner shop. I was expecting a huge scam, but actually got more Belizean Dollars than the official market exchange rate. So didn't complain 😉
    Next, we went to the Central Plaza where we could get free wifi to communicate with Elden. As he had to work til 4pm, we had some more time to look around, so we had a beer at one of the bars and went for a swim in the sea.
    The biggest difference to Mexico is the people. In Mexico, people were very friendly, but overall a little reserved. In Belice, people are totally outgoing and touchy - after half a day in town it felt like we knew everyone and had talked to pretty much everyone as well.
    At 4, we picked up Elden at his work at a restaurant where he got us a couple of coconuts including all the coconut meat for takeaway before leaving for his house which was another 2km or so along the road.
    Elden and his family are members of the 7th Day Adventist Church and celebrate the Sabbath as their rest day. It was Friday night, the start of the Sabbath, and they invited us to participate in the ritual of singing chorals and praying which was interesting for us to observe. While they were in church afterwards, we cooked dinner and set up our mattresses and mosquito net in the spare house/room that was available for us. Definitely a day to remember!
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