September 23, 2014
... so I decided to stop at the end of town in a coffee shop attached to a gas station. Coffee and gas, kind of goes together. The place was called "Red Cup". But the girls behind the counter were less than enthusiastic. I noticed that the chairs were disarranged, ants crawling on the floor and the tables dirty, when I walked in. Under normal circumstances, I would've walked straight out the door. But, I don't know why, I ordered a cappuchino. It must've been the worst tasting cup of Java I've ever had. I washed it down with a bottle of water and headed East for the Belize border some hours 3 + hours away.
I was about 1 hour in to my ride, when I noticed a single headlight in my rear view mirror. In Mexico, this could either mean, a car with only one headlight, or, very rarely, a motorcycle.
As I had to slow down to maneuver over one of those Topes, I noticed a motorcycle rider a short distance behind me. It looked like a sports bike. It had luggage packed like myself.
He followed me for a good distance, until I pulled over at a gas station. He followed.
His name was Paul. A young rider from Witchita, KS, dad to a 9 year old boy, son of a Japanese mom and white dad, who had started his ride only 4 days earlier, destined for Panama. He was on a Honda CBR 800, and used his 3 week vacation to do this journey...roundtrip! Just out living his dream. Very impressive! And here I thought, I was crazy...
We rode across the border in to Belize together, but with his tight schedule, he had to ride on in to Guatemala the next day. Best of luck to you, Paul and thanks for the company!
The border formalities were painless. Check out at the Mexican border, pay 300 Pesos. Cancel the TVIP = Temporary Vehicle Import Permit at the Banjercito office to get refunded the $300 Bail for "Big Bertha". Obtain a 30-day tourist visa and customs stamp for the motorcycle at the Belize border. Then have a friendly chat with the border patrol officer and you're in Belize. That's it!
Oh, it is also required to buy liability insurance for your vehicle. The insurance agent was conveniently located just a few steps from the customs office. Only 29 Belize Dollars for a 7 day policy. What a bargain!
Welcome to Belize!