Initially super scared, we did not have plans to visit Guatemala. One of my friends told me how he got robbed on the bus while traveling in Guatemala. He said that the driver stooped to pick up some additional people off the streets to make extra cash and two guys with guns came on board and took over the entire bus, robbed every body and left him bare naked.
With that in mind we decided to visit at least Tikal, since we heard so many amazing things about Guatemala and Tikal from others, and it was on the way to Cancun, Mexico.
Crossing our first border was definitely an experience as this was a complicated situation. We decided to go with an agency, as crossing the boarder to Guatemala and getting to Flores requires different means of transportation.
So we got into a mini van at 6am, picked up some additional people, drove for few hrs to some sketchy Mexican town with a small house, where we got our passport stamped and our visas taking away. Of course we had to pay our driver 15 pesos each to get through the frontera. Complete bull shit, as he kept the money. Not to mentioned that we already payed 350 pesos to the agency for transport.
We went through the passport stamping and made it down to the river where a guy with a tiny boat took us couple miles up the river passing by hanging monkeys and really dirty yellowish water.
“it feels like any minute a crocodile will attack our tiny boat. Scary!”
When we got to Guatemala’s little hut where they checked our passports, we had to pay another 60 pesos for entering Guatemala. Got on an old bus with dirty seats, it was like 100 degrees, sweating and hot hot hot. Traveling for 2 hrs on an unpaved road and 6 more in paved road, with serious bus shakes and the sun beaming while salsa/regeton music blasting away!
F@#k yeah Guatemala.
Thank god! When we got to our hostel at 5pm “Los amigos” highly recommended by a guy we met at Zipolite beach, we were totally at ease. This hostel was definitely a savior of the day. It was like a small jungle with cabins inside, great vegetarian restaurant and the music just perfect. Many people hanging out on lounge chairs drinking shakes, playing games and just simply chilling.
We booked our transport for next day to visit Tikal and just hanged around the lake and the hostel.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone our Tikal for the following day as I got really sick and this time it was my turn to run to the bathroom every other minute. I don’t think that I’ve ever got this sick in my life. I mean every 30 minutes bathroom run, not to mention that the bathroom was far far away. I had to go through a good looking crowd with a smile and bathroom urgency face on each time.
Why is that so embarrassing? And why in the world does nature allow such urgency!
Two days later, weak and exhausted we visited Tikal. Mayan’s one of the more important ruins that are located in the jungle. Climbing one of the ruins allows you to go high above the trees and admire the sounds of monkeys, jaguars and other strange birds. Quite interesting if only it was not so so so hot!
“Look Iza, she is doing Bikram yoga!” while eating a small lunch on top of the highest ruin in Tikal, a small little girl probably 20 or so but looked 15 started doing Bikram yoga. Awesome, I would have joined her but there was no mirrors!!!
On the way back to Mexico Cancun we prayed that the bus we were on would make it. Or i shall say we prayed that we would make it!
When we got on the bus that was heading through Belize to Chatumel, Mexico we were enjoyed because the only seats left on the bus were all the way in the back. It was once again the same bus that took us to Flores. No AC, small and dirty seats and full of blondes
“Ohh shit, what in the world is going on? I can’t see!! I can’t smell!! My eyes are burning”
It all happened after we drove over a dirt road and all the dust from the back of a burning speed bus made it inside through the huge hole that was right under my seat.
Yep! Only it happens to us!!! The rest of the 8 hrs on the bus we got repeatedly covered with dust. When we finally exited in Chatumel, I turned into a blonde, and my clothes became camouflage, while Iza grew a pimple on her eye that looks at you. Dust ball in her eye! Not funny!
Got on another bus in Chatumel that took us straight to Playa del Carmen, on the bus we almost froze to death. Walked out of the bus at midnight half frozen, but it just happened to be pouring so the soaking of the water managed to defrost us.
Walked a bit to find a hostel, grabbed the first one we came across with.
“We have a dormitory, 16 beds in one room”
We were so exhausted that anything was fine, just need a shower and will pass the f… out.
Woke up after maybe 4 hrs of sleep to what sounded like a motor boat dying. Quickly we realized that it was a snoring sound.
“Omg, you won’t believe it, it’s a woman” hahahah “damn she is freaking loud, never thought a woman can snore that loud”
Laughed at it then we got upset that we can’t fall back a sleep, tried waking her up, but no success.
But it gets better!!!
The one thing that I am absolutely paranoid about is bugs biting me at night. And guess what, they were freaking eating me up I am sure.
“ammm, aga look there is a bug walking on your sweatshirt” Iza pointed at my shirt that was laying on my backpack next to my double bunker bed.
“Ohh my god!!! That is a bed bug!!!” I freaked out!
If there is anything in the world that I hate the most are bed bugs!! I had them one time and I know how damaging they are. Not only to your furniture, but to your psychological state of mind, I away think that something is biting me at night.
Bed bugs are back around my friends!!!!! Be aware!!
They were very popular in the early 1900’s but they managed to get them under control. However with many people traveling they are reappearing in more places then expected. Very easily spread as they only come out in the night when you are sleeping lay their eggs in your clothes and then you bring them back home. You won’t know sometimes that you have them till it’s really bad. They are freaking tough as they can live without feeding for over 6 months.
Anyway, I freaked out, packed my bag and we headed out of that place without paying the rest of the bill. I still have nightmares that they are biting me!
Next day we went to Cancun and the from there bought our flight to Cuba.
(Read previous post for Cuba)
On the hot hot blonde bus with dust.
Iza drinking a mango shake, while planning our central America route
In Flores, Lago de Peten Itza