Yes, we did it.  Funny blog post name about Belize:  Check!  We spent 4 months in Mexico and, although we loved it, were ready to explore some new territory.

As soon as Ash’s parents were on a flight back home we blasted out of the Yucatan ASAP.  It was time to get on with our regularly scheduled adventure.  Our last stop in Mexico was Chetumal.  After a quick four hour drive on the straightest and smoothest highway we have ever been on we made it to Yax-Ha Resort and Campground.  As we rolled in we spotted Emma, Straight 6 Straight South’s 2F powered FJ40 Land Cruiser.  We backed into a spot beside Emma and finally met Breena and Spencer after virtually meeting each other months before on Facebook.  They had been travelling with “The Suiss” (Martin and Trix) for the last couple of months and tonight was the last night they would spend together before parting ways.  We had a great dinner with them that night before parting ways the next morning.

Chetumal is a great spot to stop before heading continuing south.  The town has everything you’d ever need.  What we needed was to stop at Autozone.  We did a little tuneup on the truck with a cap, rotor, air filter, and oil change before sexying up Little Rojo with some LED lights in the cab and canopy.  We once were blind but now we see!  All of these tasks were broken up with long swims in the pool.

Camping with Straight Six Straight South at Yax-Ha140302_DeskToGlory_Chetumal-1Emma is looking great with her Maggiolina RTT, Rigid light bar, and BFGs140302_DeskToGlory_Chetumal-2Martin, Trix, Breena, and Spencer140302_DeskToGlory_Chetumal-3“The Suiss” were driving this wicked Land Cruiser Troopy.140302_DeskToGlory_Chetumal-4Tune up time140302_DeskToGlory_Chetumal-5Snazzy new LED lights from Autozone!140302_DeskToGlory_Chetumal-1-2We also picked up a sweet new camp table while we were in town140302_DeskToGlory_Chetumal-6

So here’s the deal with the border… there are two.  Our luck brought us to the old border.  Once they stamped us out of the country we tried to cancel our truck import permit.  “We don’t do that at this border.” Pardon me?    We drove into the “Free Zone” between Mexico and Belize and popped over to the new border, easily cancelled our import permit, were promised our import deposit would back on our Visa the next day, and drove towards Belize.  Save yourself a little bit of time by going to the new border in the first place.  Life Remotely’s Belize border section in Don’t Go There.  It’s Not Safe.  You’ll Die is a great guide.  Just remember that their step by step guide is based on the old border crossing.

Next stop:  Fumigation.  We paid the man with the respirator to spray the underside of the truck with something fumigaty, paid him $10BZ, and took a receipt.  There’s no sign so you’ll miss this unassuming building.  Just ask the porter at the customs parking lot to guide you in the right direction.

Heading towards Belize was the customs office on the left hand side.  We pulled into the parking lot and walked into the building.  Here we imported our truck into Belize while the other customs officials checked their Facebook accounts.

Next was to go through the border.  We pulled through the gate, shut off the truck , and were asked the usual questions:  “Do you have alcohol, drugs, weapons, etc?”  Richard quickly blurted, “The only weapons I have are these!” as he makes a couple of fists and punches the air.  I don’t think the customs official thought he was serious because all we heard was laughter.  Sweet.  We opened the back of the truck for them, they gasped at the amount of stuff we have, and then waved us through.  Belize!!  The last stop was ICBC.  The Insurance Corporation of Belize.   For $30 we had a month of insurance that would cover us for… actually, we couldn’t get a straight answer about what it covers, but we signed the papers and were on our way!

About five minutes into Belize we were back on dirt roads.  The truck was happy to stretch it’s legs again and we were happy about the change in scenery.  Finally we got to ride on a hand-crank ferry we had been reading about for ages!  It was the operator’s first day on the job so we were happy we made it to the other side of the river without hassle.  Another hour or so on the potholed road brought us to Backpacker’s Paradise in Sarteneja… where we were joined once again a couple hours later by Wilson and Sarah!  If you’re staying at Backpacker’s make sure to try Natalie’s cinnamon pancakes with local honey and some of her organic coffee in the morning!  Actually, just order anything off the menu and you will be delighted.

Adding a little excitement to the trip with hand-crank cable ferries!140302_DeskToGlory_Sarteneja-1Chasing chickens at Backpacker’s Paradise140302_DeskToGlory_Sarteneja-2 140302_DeskToGlory_Sarteneja-3140302_DeskToGlory_Sarteneja-6The streets of Sarteneja140302_DeskToGlory_Sarteneja-7


  • Brett

    Thanks for sharing all of the useful things on your blog, it has helped us a tone as we journey from Canada to Costa Rica. All the border crossings details as well as stay stuff has been amazing. Just wondering where you guys got the table in Chetumal (if you remember), we need one but cannot seem to find them anywhere.


    • Rich and Ash

      Hi Brett! Thanks! We picked up the table at the Walmart in Chetumal. Good luck finding one!!


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