Today was another early start to get our bus to Belize City from Tikal, which is very close to the border. We had planned on trying to stay at the Belize zoo lodge but for some reason our driver wouldn't stop there, even though it was on the way, which was very frustrating as we really didn't want to go to Belize City. Maybe he was chummy with the taxi driver that picked us up in the city...I wouldn't have put it past him!
The journey and border crossing went without a hitch and not long after crossing the border you could tell that you were in another country. For starters, everything was in english, which was surprisingly refreshing. The straight as an arrow road was also a wonderful change. The biggest difference however is the fact that it is very evident that there is much more money here. We saw very few houses that could have been described as shacks. Even the people who did look poor lived in houses rather than the huts that we saw in Guatemala.
After we arrived at our hotel, we headed to the supermarket to stock up on supplies, and we were greeting with some wonderful sights...marmite, ready made pizzas and sandwiches, Dairy Milk and Baked Beans!!! After 3 months travelling we are both beginning to miss certain things out being home, and suddenly we were surrounded by things that made us feel like we were in Sainsburys. Now normally I would not be thrilled at the idea of having to go there but I suddenly felt all warm and fuzzy being surrounded my familiar things.
One other thing that you notice as soon as you arrive in the Caribbean is how nice people are. I mean seriously happy, bouncy, friendly and just cool! Even the bum that approached us for money was great fun, he had this fabulous story, about needing 2 dollars for a bus because he wanted to go to a centre for blind people to try and get some work. His story was so colourful, which he told with so much bravado and he made us smile so we had to give him a dollar!
However, Belize City does have it's sketchy side. While we were sitting having a sandwich, a homeless lady started stripping off in front of us...and I mean completely down to her birthday suit. We were slightly taken aback so made a hasty exit. Then, as we were walking hand in hand back to the hotel, a guy and his mates shouted out to Ian "better keep a hold of her, I'm coming to get her!!"...not very nice. We decided to buy a pizza for dinner to cook in the hostel and not venture out again until morning!!