T – It ended up getting really hot last night. I had the top bunk in our room and the little fan wheezing at me barely moved any air. I would have slept outside but the amazing tropical rain may have grown a little tiresome after a while! Still I slept quite well on and off and awoke refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
We had to backtrack today around 120kms. Our choices were either the main highway or back up the dirt Manatee Highway. We chose the dirt!
The extra rain overnight had turned it into a sticky mess. It was so much fun again! The water crossings were a little longer and a little deeper, but that didn’t faze our little bikes and we splashed and roared our way through.
We made good time on the way back and we were in Belize City by 12pm. I went straight to the company who was receiving our goods and they directed me out of the city to their warehouse where the item was being held for payment of customs and other taxes. What? It is a warranty item that I didn’t buy, that I certainly didn’t buy in Belize.
At the warehouse the lady in charge of customs told us we needed to pay duties and taxes on the value of the item. We had a bit of back and forth and told her we had purchased the thing back in Australia in April and had paid the appropriate taxes back then. Chantelle and I were getting a bit steamed up as there was no way I was paying Belize any sales tax on an item that I already owned. In the end she told us we would instead just have to pay GST on the freight of the item. What? We hadn’t purchased a single thing to do with this unit in Belize. We had paid our shipping to Sena and UPS so why did we now need to pay Belize as well? We went to the payment clerk who charged us a whopping 45% of the shipping costs. We were very unhappy.
It was nice to have our comms back, but we were being left with a bit of a sour taste about Belize. Our experience had shown us that there were hidden fees and taxes in everything in Belize which is what makes it an expensive country. Neither of us had really been feeling the vibe here suited us and both of us were keen for the vibe and insanity of Latin America. With that in mind we decided to head for the border.
We had a contact that we wanted to say hello to on the way but as we had no internet and no sim for our phone we struggled to find a way to get a hold of her. So we set our sights on San Ignacio with the intention of crossing into Guatemala tomorrow.
We know that we will like some places and some not so much. And that is ok, it’s what travel is all about! We are lucky that we have the freedom to just move on if we don’t like it. The people of Belize have been super lovely and friendly and we have never felt unsafe. But its just not for us and maybe its just because we miss Mexico alot. So its goodbye Belize!