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Day 59 - Hopkins

BELIZE | Wednesday, 30 July 2014 | Views [127]

Epic day of transit. Left Guatemala at 5am in a shuttle headed across the border to Belize city. Ideally I would have been able to get out in Belmopan rather than Belize city but I knew I would have no such luck :(

That said, after a smooth border crossing & relatively comfortable journey I arrived in Belize city by about 10.30am. Hit the bank, got a local SIM card & made my way to the bus staton to try & get to the beach town of Hopkins.

I waited for a bus for an hour then crammed into an express service to Dangriga. It's chicken bus style all the way here but entertaining nonetheless.

A few hours of cosy transit & conversation with some locals i hoped to get out at the junction to get a ride to hopkins. The lady I was sitting with wouldn't let me get off to hitch to hopkins despite this being very common. She said she didn't think it was safe for me & insisted I come all the way to Dangriga. This would extend my journey by about 5 hours but she was pretty adamant I take her advice & I was really left with no choice but to stick it out.

Arriving in Dangriga I had already been in transit 10hours. I found a dodgy looking Chinese restaurant a few blocks from the bus station & hung out for a bit. Talking to the owners they told me the bus I needed actually went from the river not the bus station so I headed there to wait.

I had no shortage inheriting friends along the way through town & spent the few hours before the bus hanging by the water with some local peeps. They were a little perplexed about what I was doing hanging out alone on their town but keen to make me feel welcome!

Lucky I got the tip off about the bus from the river too - by the time we had reached the bus station I already had 2 kids on my lap & was sharing my seat with another 2 ladies & a baby. No more passengers collected & no more buses so I was safely on my way!

Arriving in Hopkins I found the Funky Dodo hostel a short walk from the bus stop. Checked in & headed to the balcony for a beer. There were a few other people around - a couple of Danish girls, a Norwegian man & an American guy. We all ended up going for dinner & to see some local drumming at a nearby bar called Tina's place. It was a top night with great company & good conversation.

Hopkins, despite being a quiet town has a great vibe to it & it's a relief to only have to speak English again! The Garifuna culture also adds such a different flavour to other parts of Central America. I'm glad I was able to come to this part as I doubt you get the same experience in the more touristic areas.

 

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