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.
It was mostly overcast conditions as I made my way to the border.. but at least it wasn’t raining.
Just before the border, I stopped for lunch and to get my paperwork sorted out. Exiting Belize was really quick and easy..
..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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’d stay here for 2 nights so I could fully explore the Tikal Mayan ruins tomorrow 🙂