Day 226. Thursday 12th March. Rock Farm Belize to Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala.

Big day today. We were up early, around 7am…:) By 10am we are packed, have said our goodby’s to Jerry, the camp owner and are on our way, the 108k’s, back to Belize City. We have an 11am appointment with Miss Butt at eZone, the freight forwarding agents, to pick up our new fridge. 

It’s a lovely drive and the fridge ‘pick up’ was all very simple and efficient, once the B$600 freight, tax and duty had been paid. About NZ500 or £250. Also the language barrier. Yes they speak English, but with a strong Jamaican twang. 

I hate to think of the total cost to get this fridge! It’s all beautifully packaged and just fits into the back of Poki, along with the failing porta potty (we now have two of each).

As Jen mentioned yesterday, we have the added stress of not knowing if we are going to be let into Guatemala. The Guatemala government have announced a crackdown on the entry of people from selected European countries. 

First though, we are driving to Spanish Lookout in Belize to visit a well stocked supermarket. Sarah & Tim had found it several days earlier. The town and businesses are largely Mennonite, so the food selection is more in tune with European tastes. 

While Jen is in shopping I set about changing the fridge over. Joy, we now have somewhere to keep our perishables stored. Butter, milk, cheese, fruit, meat and alcohol free gin…) 

It’s only about 24k’s to the Guatemala border from Spanish Lookout, but the sat-nav takes us the shortest way, down a rough gravel road that must have taken twice the time to cover the distance. Never mind, we are through the Belize border control, after paying departure taxes and on to the Guatemalan side.

The first check is, a digital thermometer is directed at out foreheads…..our names are entered into a register and ”you can go”, in Spanish.

As it’s the first day of the banning of Europeans into Guatemala, another official wants to look at our passports. Then consults his list of banned countries. There at the bottom of the list is United Kingdom, but after looking at Jen’s passport says “we are free to go through”!  As New Zealand wasn’t on the list we would have dealt with any resistance. The Immigration girl had never heard of NZ and asked where it was. “Don’t worry about it” I said..:)

This virus thingy is complicating travel. There had been some discussion between us on what we do if we are not allowed in, though we didn’t give it too much oxygen. He who dares, wins..:)

We get a very grumpy customs agent and everything is way too much trouble. Money for entry, money for the car approval, money for passport copies etc. After about an hour, we are free. 

It’s 4.30pm by now and Jen finds a camping place on iOverlander, just out of town, at the back of a truck depot. Not ideal but we have no way of knowing whats down the road, so we take it. We don’t want to be looking for somewhere to camp in the dark. Exhausted and after dinner, we are in bed by 8pm. 

While the occasional truck comes in or goes during the night and the dogs and chickens in houses surrounding the yard, have their say, it’s a good night.

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