giving our camera away, we returned to our room and
prepared for going to lunch. Leaving for Belize tomorrow, we
first had to stop at the boat dock and check on the
prices for transport.
Painted map of the
Leaving intriguing Livingston, with its cultural blend of Garifuna, Maya, Caribbean, and water-focused lifestyle.
map shows the route we took from Livingstson, Guatemala
to Punta Gorda, Belize. Livingston is water-locked. The
only way in or out is by water taxi, and transport to
Belize takes about an hour. Prepare to board early
as, in the afternoons, the winds come up making the sea
and a Buga Mama from Livingston
Before signing on to the manifest, you must go to the
Migracion Office in Livingston and pay to receive your
Our immigration officer did not like the
Guatemala entrance stamp we received in Huehuetenango
and shook his head sadly side to side for a very long
to give us heck over our lousy, no good stamp, he
instead decides to let it slide and tells us we owe him
80Q's per person for the privilege of receiving his
exit stamp. This took us a bit unawares (but not
completely, as we always bring money along when dealing
with government officials) because our guide books had
not mentioned this particular fee. Now, it wasn't our
stamp that was crummy, but our guide books instead.
half-hearted argument later, we concede to pay the man
160Quetzales or $10USD per person and receive a "legal
receipt" which he neither stamps or signs.
Instantly he is happy, and we are free to be on on our way.
Packed like sardines we head to Belize!
for boarding the water taxi is 200 Quetzales per person one way, about
$25USD. Fifteen minutes into our passage, the boat's
motor cut out and we sat adrift wondering what fate
would bring next. However, once unfettered from the gods
of the sea, we sped on to
Immigration Office in Belize awaits the arrival of our boat
words of advice.
entering Belize and answering the immigration officer's
questions, be specific. At this time Belize allows a
free 30 day entry visa upon arrival. However, if you say you'd
like to stay "a couple of weeks" or "a few weeks"
instead of precisely saying you want 30 days, you will
receive 14 or 21 days. Go for the full 30 as allowed by
law and not burden yourself with having to obtain a
renewal which will cost you both time and money.
You can get anything that you want
at Grace's Restaurant... except a room.
bounced on the boat and stamped at the Immigration Office, we search for a room for the night. Our plan is
to leave in the morning for a town called Independence,
but first, after scraping salt off our faces, we must
change cash from Guatemalan Quetzales to Belizean
Grace's is a restaurant, hotel, tourist directory and
money changing house.
there at the cash register along with the waitress
checks for bacon and eggs and club sandwiches, you can
change your dinero, your dollars or your Quetzales for
BZD (Belizean Dollars).
However, when we asked about a room for the night, they
told us they were full up.
Charles was the next hotel up King Street and we stopped
by to ask about a room. As luck had it, there were a few
rooms available and at the reasonable price of $20 -
$25USD. They were clean, had hot water and were close to
our leaving point to catch the bus the next morning.
owners were polite and the place was well kept. The
selling point for obtaining this room was they sold ice cream in the freezer of
their hardware store. Having ice cream available in the
tropics is a bonus and a popular feature for the
locals. After bobbing in the ocean for an hour and being covered
in sea spray, this delicious cold treat surely fit the bill.
unpacked, enjoyed our respective French Vanilla
and Cookies n' Cream cones, then went out to see the
you love it? Dean Martin Cafe!
Gorda is the southernmost town in Belize and has a
population of about 4,000. Rain and humidity are at
their fullest here and that fact
creates a very laid-back atmosphere.
stop shopping. Get your travel tickets and laundry done
at the same time.
Gorda or P.G. as it is known by the locals, was founded
in 1832 for the Garinagu who emigrated from Honduras.
After the US Civil War, some Confederate veterans
received land grants from the crown in 1866, but the
community never endured. Though mostly Garifuna, P.G. is
also home to Creoles, Maya, and expats from America,
Canada, England, China, and East India.
Another unique blend of peoples and cultures.
Belize's James Bus Line provides a regular schedule for
getting from town to town.
checked out the bus schedule for our departure the next
morning. Our plan is to take the 7:50 a.m. bus to
pier in P.G.
Fishing has been the town's major industry and
its livelihood for two centuries. However these days,
farming makes an important economic presence as well.
also serves as a tourist hub now because of its
proximity to Maya archeological sites and villages.
Today's menu written in Garifuna English
Walking around town we found several small appealing
restaurants. Asking the locals where the best fare would
be, we decided on a BBQ place for dinner. It was
town clock and tower
Minding our own business walking through town, it
was here that Billy was called numerous names of
questionable character. This doesn't happen everywhere,
but once in a while it still surprises us that young
males assert themselves verbally to strangers in this
speak English, so there was nothing lost in translation,
if you know what I mean.
best thing to do is to keep one's cool and simply walk
away. We don't engage in anything of this sort anywhere,
ever. We don't care who they think our mothers
and fathers were.
you see Punta Gorda on this map of Belize as well as
other well known locations. We
105 Day Adventure by moving on to Placencia,
one of Belize's most famous beach towns!
you don't want to miss
more information, stories and photos of Belize by