From Yaxha to Tikal
The last fresh produce has been eaten and the last Belizean dollars are invested in Choco-Croissants from the French Bakery next door. A few minutes later we are at the Guatemalan border. The Belize exit is without any problems. On foot we go to the green hall, where we first have to fill out a questionnaire about our stay in Belize. Afterwards (after paying the exit fee of 40BZ = 20CHF p.P.) we get our stamp in our passport and also carry out Baloo at customs. Before entering Guatemala we drive through a fumigation (pesticide spraying plant) where we are relieved of another 17 Quetzales (Guatemalan currency, named after the national bird Quetzal) = 2,20CHF. What this action is supposed to be good for, we cannot find out by looking at the two mini nozzles that sprinkle our tires with a few drops of water. In the customs building of Guatemala we play the whole game from the beginning: >Fill in the entry card >Let your passport be stamped >Apply for a temporary import permit for Baloo and hand in copies of all kinds of documents (there is even a working printer in the building and they do the copying for us) >Pay the import fee for the car (160 GTQ), which is only possible in the village, which is 20 minutes away by foot OR for an additional fee of 30 GTQ in the wooden crate next door (oh, what?!). We decide for the more comfortable way, get a little clarion for Baloo's windshield and it says "Listo! All in all we enter Guatemala quickly and smoothly. After we have left the first village behind us, the country becomes hilly, lush green and rich in species. Horses trot freely on the road, dogs and pigs cross our way, colourful parrots fly through the picture and monkeys cavort in the trees. The Topes are now called Tumulos and we have to activate our 1x1 when we refuel. Firstly, the amount per gallon is indicated and secondly 1 CHF = 7.9 GTQ is worth. Have fun calculating! At first sight we really like Guatemala. It seems very well maintained and clean. We are curious if this impression will be confirmed in the future...
First destinations for us are Yaxha and Tikal. Let me make it short: These are ruins, temples, complexes, archaeological sites, you name it! ... not the first on our journey, but they are among the most beautiful ones!
Beautiful, because both are located in the middle of the jungle and we perceive an incomparable background noise during the visit. One imagines to be in Zurich in the Masoalahalle. Moreover, we see here so many jungle inhabitants as we have never seen before in any other ruin. Spidermonkeys shimmy a few floors above us from tree to tree, Howlermonkeys scream their souls out of their bodies, toucans fly around our ears and we see the cute pizotes (= coatis) creeping around for the first time.
After visiting the ruins we spend a few days in Flores, a small town on an island at the Lago Petén-Itzá with a Mediterranean flair. A promenade leads around the whole island and there are many charming hotels and restaurants. Some of them have a roof terrace, so that you can enjoy your coffee with lake view. Speaking of coffee. Here in Guatemala we have been finding some really good ones for a long time.
Due to persistent bad weather we stay here for five days. It's a good thing that Alice and Joel are passing through here during this time and so we spend some time with them eating together and a kayak tour on the lake. We met Alice in Tulum at the language school and we already agreed there that we would meet again if it works out. Fortunately it worked out! It's good to be able to exchange information in our mother tongue from time to time and to spend time with like-minded people.
As the first rays of sunshine push through the cloud cover again, we set off for the next place where we will spend Christmas.