macado's se asia adventure I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.


Arriving in Guatemala

I guessed you could say I cheated and took the non-backpacker way out because I was too stretched for time. I took a puddle jumper flight on Tropic Air from Belize City to Flores, Guatemala which took approximately 45 minutes. The puddle jumper flew over the jungle and just occasionally Mayan ruins could be spotted towering above the jungle canopy.

The fun began before bordering the flight and when I arrived in Guatemala . Unfortunately I was unable to exchange in currency in Belize because exchange counter seemed to be closed on a Sunday. The bigger problem occurred when I got to Guatemala. Although the bank was open they do not exchange Belizean dollars (Guatemala apparently still has a grudge against belize) when I tried to use my ATM card I discovered that the only ATM I could find was out of cash. I was beginning to think I was in a bind until I realized that visa of course is accepted everywhere

Although the bank would not accept my 400 Belizean dollars (approx 200usd) they gladly gave me a cash advance on my visa for 1100 quetzals (approx 150usd) which is more than plenty for two days in Guatemala.

My other problem I ran into was that it being Sunday almost everything was closed so I had to take 40USD mini bus to Tikal from Flores which took approximately an hour and through beautiful Guatemala country side (the landscape reminds me of Cambodia with its numerous farms and lush landscape) the big difference being that Cambodians speak more English than it would appear Guatemalans do.

In the past day I have had more trouble traveling in Guatemala than all of South East Asia. My basic Spanish language abilities are being taxed to their max and utilized to their full limited extent.

Actually I am impressed. I managed to hail a taxi, negotiate a price, request a room for one peron for one night all in Spanish. That's pretty much all of my spanish language skills combined.

Although I thought my next big trip was going to be India I am starting to heavily lean towards backpacking more through Central America. The culture seems friendly. The countries are beautiful and it's reasonably cheap.

Unfortunately I got here too late to really explore any of the park/ruins so that is my plan tomorrow. That also means ill have to spend another night in Guatemala which is going to complicate getting to Mexico on a bus for my flight out. I had hoped to have at least one full day in Cozumel or Playa Del Carmen which at this point won't be possible unless I fly and then even then it seems I'd probably get there in the late afternoon. My flight leaves out of cancun on the 28th at 3pm and I am planning to leave Guatemala on the morning of the 27th if all goes well (which has to because I am due back at work)

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