Day 63: Guat’s up?

Day: 63 - 26OCT13
Hopkins to El Remate, GT - 136 Miles


Today I would be crossing over into Country #5: Guatemala! I spent some of the early morning uploading some blog posts and researching the border crossing. It wasn’t raining yet but as I made my way out of town it started to drizzle again 😡 I hoped it wouldn’t be pouring rain on the Hummingbird Highway.

Gtm_26Oct13_001
Signing the guestbook at the Tipple Tree Beya and leaving my decal in yet another country
Single lane and very narrow bridges
Very narrow single lane bridges on the Hummingbird Highway

It was mostly overcast conditions as I made my way to the border.. but at least it wasn’t raining.

Gtm_26Oct13_003

Just before the border, I stopped for lunch and to get my paperwork sorted out. Exiting Belize was really quick and easy..

Gtm_26Oct13_004

..however, getting the moto in Guatemala turned out to be a minor pain in the ass. I knew what I had to do but the issue was that Guatemala requires copies of your passport with the stamp in it and they don’t make copies. So off I went to the copy stand right next to the customs building to make copies.. only their machine wasn’t working. So then I was directed to go about 250m down the road and across the bridge.. Okay..fine.. So I find the other copy shop and of course they’re closed. Great.. now what.

All this time a young boy was following me around, hoping to be my ‘helper/porter’ at the border crossing. This is very common in Central America and they do this in hopes of earning a few bucks. When I first arrived, I told him I understood everything I needed to do and didn’t need his help, so he buggered off for a while. Well, he was back following me now.. He probably knew all the copy shops around wouldn’t be able to help me.

So I had just finished trudging about 250m down the road in my full moto gear.. in the tropical heat and humidity.. and I still had no copies. The boy, Alex, offered to help me out.

Me: Okay.. Where’s the next nearest copy shop..

Alex: About 2km into town from here..

Me 😡

Alex: I’ll hail you a cab to take you there. The taxi will only cost Q20 (less than$3USD) for a round trip

Me: Ok, Fine! You go watch my moto while I’m gone.

So I get in a cab and we drive around the Guatemala border town looking for this copy place (I’m still not sure I’m actually in Guatemala legally at this point). About 10 minutes later, I have copies in hand and I’m back at the border. Not really a big deal but it was more time than I wanted.

The rest of the border crossing was mostly uneventful, however I had the slowest and most incompetent customs official processing my moto paperwork. He took nearly 30 mins to complete a simple task.

Alex, my helper. I gave him Q20 (less than $3) for his time. He was happy.
Alex, my helper. I gave him Q20 (less than $3) for his time. He was happy.

After getting back all the paperwork, I was a free to cross into Guatemala. I used these border crossing guides and they were spot on, so no need for me to reinvent anything here.

http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=19863379&postcount=351

http://liferemotely.com/trip-shenanigans/guatemala/150-belize-to-guatemala-border-crossing

The ride from the border to where I had planned to stay for the night was only about 60km, so it didn’t take very long.

Gtm_26Oct13_006

I arrived in El Remate at the Hotel Casa de Don David. I heard about it from a few other riders. This place is right on Lago Peten Itza and has an amazing view of the lake.

Gtm_26Oct13_007

My first Guatemalan beer: Gallo
My first Guatemalan beer: Gallo

I’d stay here for 2 nights so I could fully explore the Tikal Mayan ruins tomorrow 🙂

Leave a Reply