So, like I said, we made it to Cancun this morning and hung out at the hostel we had stayed at when we first arrived. Then we went to the mall just to have something to do, and we got a fish foot spa thing, where you sit and put your feet in a fish tank with the fish that eat your dead skin. That was fun. Then we took a taxi to the airport (because since we were still a little sick we didn’t feel like walking to the bus station or waiting around for a bus that would take twice as long, and it was only around $15 total for the both of us to take a taxi so it was worth it.
Then at the airport I thought I could get away with taking a few bottles of hot sauce I got for my dad, in my carry on. But nope, they found them, so I had to throw them away. No big deal. Then at the duty free shop I just bought some more hot sauce, but then during our layover at Ft. Lauderdale, when we had to go through security again, the stupid people there opened up my sealed duty free bag and was like, “you can’t take this, it’s too big, you have to put it in checked luggage.” Meanwhile, we were seconds away from missing our flight so I was like, screw you guys, it’s just hot sauce, throw it away…That’s so dumb. Like I would somehow have time between running to catch my connecting flight to put a bomb or drugs in my hot sauce…stupid, stupid, stupid. But whatever, it’s just hot sauce…
But anyways, continuing on with our Ft. Lauderdale experience. I was satisfied with Spirit Airlines, until this happened. So we arrived at the airport on time, but then there was construction going on at the airport, so it took maybe 5-10 minutes to get to our gate….then we only had about an hour from the time our plane let us off til our next plane took off. Spirit Airlines does whatever they can to make money and they don’t like their planes to just sit there. The plane that took us from Cancun to Ft. Lauderdale was the same exact plane that was going to BWI. And it just so happened that about 4 or 5 other flights landed at the same time, and the connecting flights all departed around the same time. Getting through customs and passport control was fine and dandy. There were automated machines and the line was moving super fast. Then we got the baggage claim area and since we didn’t have luggage we thought we had a minute to spare so we went to the bathroom really quick, and we were literally there for no more than 2 minutes, then we got in line to go through security (again…why? I don’t know, STUPID). So to go through security and check our bags and body scan everyone, they had 600+ people line up in a single file line with ONE person rechecking boarding passes for the 10th time and letting them into the TWO bag scanner things. And by the time these 600+ people got through passport control and customs, we ALL had connecting flights to catch within the half hour. 600+ people had to go single file in half an hour. LOLspiritairlinesyousuck. When we were almost done customs before even getting to the baggage claim area our flight already started boarding. The single file line stretched through the whole, very large baggage claim area and wrapped around one of those zig zag line divider things several times. At the pace it was going it would’ve taken more than an hour for everyone to get through. So everyone was screaming and frantic and stressed because everyone was late for their flight. All the customer service people were running all over the place and being yelled at by hundreds of people at a time. So we went through the long line and at 8:15 when our flight was supposed to depart, we only made it to the zig zag part of the line. So we flagged down this one guy to see if we could bump up in line (because they were doing that for people all night) and this dude was obviously fed up with life, and he was like “the flight to Baltimore is gone”)…then we were like uhhh is he being serious? There’s at least 20 people in front of us that are on that flight too…then 30 seconds later, we flagged down another customer service person, and she was nice and bumped us all up in line. Then we went to security, and the tray with my phone and passport and hot sauce was missing and I was scrambling to find it, and I found it sitting in the place where they have to double check it…and they’re just sitting there doing nothing, and I’m like, “well are you going to check it? I’m literally going to miss my flight” and they literally were saying “m’am, we don’t care if you miss your flight”. Meanwhile they’re moving slow as molasses, and the guy in front of me was frickin’ idiot and was trying to smuggle 4 large bottles of rum in his carry on and was holding these TSA people up. Finally a few minutes later they got to my stuff and, like I said, she was like “you can’t take this”…so I told her to throw it away and I sprinted to my gate and just barely made it. Like as soon as I sat down in my seat, the plane started taxiing onto the runway. Needless to say, I won’t be taking Spirit Airlines again unless it’s a nonstop flight and I’m still poor, or the layover is more than 3 hours and I’m also still poor.
Haha, so I hope you enjoyed my very long description of my airport experience.
Also, me and my friend have a self-confirmed case of traveler’s diarrhea. #travelprobs
So you know that chocolate cake from the market that I mentioned at the end of my last post. Well we got sick from it. We both woke up around 3 am and felt like total crap and spent the next 3-4 hours in the bathroom. But even though we felt gross all day it worked out perfectly. We were literally sick minutes before our bus to Belize City picked us up at our hostel, but as soon as it got there we were fine for the 5+ hour bus ride. We were totally out of it but were fine and didn’t need a bathroom during the ride which was great.
After a couple hours we made it to the Belize border and we had to pay a Guatemala exit fee and a Belize entrance fee. I had looked up the fees the night before and when we got there it was higher than I expected and we didn’t have enough money. So the conductor guy from our bus took a taxi with us to an ATM so I could get cash. But then I had to exchange some of it to Belize money and the rest to Mexican with that conductor guy who was also a money changer. Well I was so out of it and not thinking straight and I barely had enough energy to stand or even talk and a little later I realized he cheated us of a little more than $30…but oh well. I felt like death. But then when we went through Belize customs there was no one at the place where we should’ve paid the entrance fee so we just skipped it and went on the bus. You win some and you lose some, but it all worked itself out. Then we had to wait almost an hour for these two girls to get through customs. I don’t know what was wrong but I don’t think I could’ve sat on that hot bus another minute.
Then we went on to Belize City and I slept the whole way. And in Belize City I got some more cash to pay our way back to Cancun. Then we took a taxi to the bus station and we got there around 1:30. I already knew that we would have to sit there all day and wait for them to start selling tickets for the night bus at 5:30 and then wait some more for the bus to leave at 7:30. This whole day was spent waiting and waiting. So we were a couple of hobos and slept on a bench til 5:00, when I got in line to be the first one to get a ticket. Because if we didn’t get a spot on that night bus, we would’ve been screwed and missed our flight home. Luckily we got a ticket so all was well. We were still feeling like crap and we’re completely exhausted even though we slept all day. The night bus was comfortable though and there was A/C. We had to stop 3 times in the middle of the night though. Once to leave Belize and go through immigration. Another time to go through immigration in Mexico. And another time to buy our bus ticket for the rest of the journey back to Cancun.
Then at like 3 am I had to pee so bad and the bus bathroom was locked. So I had to hold it. I almost cried. Then I fell asleep so I could ignore the fact that my bladder was gunna explode. Then we stopped in Tulum like more than an hour later and I ran off the bus and went to the bathroom there. Ugh there’s nothing worse than hold your pee for an ungodly amount of time. I’m traumatized.
Then we got to Cancun and now we’re back at the first hostel we stayed in and we’re laying in the hammocks in their garden for a few hours. Then we’re probably going to go to the mall and then head back to the airport around noon.
When I woke up this morning I felt much better and I’m back to normal. I can’t wait to go home tonight. When I was planning this trip, I kept thinking 2 weeks wouldn’t be enough especially since I traveled for 2.5 months last summer, but 2 weeks was perfect. When I look back on the first few days of the trip it feels sooooo long ago. 2 weeks is long enough to see and do a lot and travel a great distance, but it’s also still short enough where you can take the time off work without having to quit your job to travel. Also, it’s long enough for you to be “ready” to go home by the end of the trip.
Sorry, I forgot to update and the yesterday I didn’t have wifi all day.
So, two days ago we got up at 4 am to leave for our Tikal tour at 4:30. We arranged for the tour at our hostel. It was about $20 for the tour guide and transportation from the front door of our hostel to Tikal. And $20 for the entrance fee to Tikal. Paying for a tour guide here was worth it because the site is so huge.
Right before our tour was about to start, our tour guide started feeling sick, so he handed us off to another guy, who just so happened to be recommended to us but someone we met in one of our hostels, so it worked out perfectly.
We saw tons of wildlife, and our tour guide even woke up a howler monkey for us which was really cool to see…they’re not morning people. Haha. Tikal was really cool and we got to climb up a ton of temples. It was amazing to climb on stuff that was built close to 2000 years ago. And crazy to think that everything we saw was just a tiny percentage of everything that still has yet to be uncovered. There are thousands of buildings under years of dirt and jungle.
After our Tikal tour we went back to Flores and we were tired and starving, so we took a tuk tuk across the bridge to the mall. It was a 5 minute walk but we took a tuk tuk instead. Haha. Our driver was probably like, “wow those Americans are so lazy.” Haha. I went and bought some prescription meds for my friend. It’s crazy that I can just walk into a pharmacy and ask for a particular prescription medicine and they will give me as much as I want. Insane. But now my friend will have a years supply of medicine for cheap. Then we went to Pollo Campero for some Guatemalan fried chicken. After that we walked around Flores some more and went shopping to buy gifts for our family. Then we walked around Flores some more and stopped by this market where a bunch of ladies were selling food and drinks. They had cakes and little dishes and it all looked so good. We each got a piece of chocolate cake. It was good…but more on that on my next post.
We saw tons of spider monkeys this morning at Tikal 🐒 #exploretheyucatan #travel #guatemala (at Tikal, Guatemala)
This morning we took a collectivo taxi into San Ignacio town and checked out the farmers market going on there. It was your typical open air market and there was a lot of produce and clothes, and a few souvenirs as well. We just checked it out and bought some fruit.
Then after browsing the farmers market we got a taxi to take us to the Belize/Guatemala border. There was this building there where we went through immigration and paid our Belize exit fee. Then we walked a few feet outside of that building and went to the Guatemalan part of the immigration and paid our Guatemala entrance fee. After paying our fees we only had $20 US in cash to get the both of us to Flores. It was kind of exciting trying to get from point A to point B with a limited amount of cash.
We crossed the bridge into Guatemala and there was a little town there. And I was expecting a little bus station or bus stop since this was a major travel route, but nope, nothing. Just a bunch of people that didn’t speak English. And even though we had spent 6 days in Mexico and got better with Spanish, it’s like we forgot it all because we were in Belize for a few days where everyone spoke English. So it was so weird going from a place where everyone spoke perfect English to walking a couple hundred feet across a bridge and absolutely no one speaking English. We asked this one taxi driver how to get to Flores and he wasn’t understanding that we wanted to find the bus station. He kept thinking we wanted to take a taxi there which would’ve cost a lot because it was so far away and we only had $20. But finally after trying to get our point across that we literally had no money and couldn’t take a taxi, he finally got the picture and was like “ohhhh well there’s a chicken bus if you go down this road” so we walked maybe a quarter of a mile and we asked someone else where the bus to Santa Elena/Flores was and he pointed to this little red van on the corner. We were expecting a big school bus but it was just a van. So we got in and it was pretty crowded and it took us forever to get there. Okay maybe 3 hours, maybe 4 but it felt like an eternity. And on top of that it was down pouring the entire ride there so the driver was going soooo slow. But we finally made it and when the van dropped us off we took a tuk tuk to Flores island in the pouring rain. Our driver had trouble finding our hostel but he was so nice and kept asking people where it was. The people here are so nice.
Luckily the rain stopped when we got to the hostel and we were able to walk around the island. It’s so cute. It’s on an island in this beautiful lake and all the buildings are just so adorable and there’s lots of cool restaurants.
While we were walking around, we saw three groups of people that were on the water taxi to Caye Caulker. It was crazy.
After having a late lunch we walked across the bridge to Santa Elena and went to the “mall” there where I got some prescription meds for my friend…without needing a prescription. Haha. Then we stopped back at our hostel and we met a guy there and ended up walking around the town a little bit. We went to this cool rooftop bar and as we were sitting there my friend Bitsy spotted this guy that we roomed with in Caye Caulker, walking down the street. She didn’t even see his face, she just recognized him from his walk. So she ran down to catch him and he ended up coming up with us and hanging out. It was so crazy. He wasn’t even supposed to be here today, he was heading another direction. Then we went to this other restaurant that we thought was cute for another drink. And then walked around some more. And before parting ways we added each other on Facebook. It’s so crazy how you run into people while traveling.
Tomorrow we’re getting picked up from our hostel at 4:30 to go on a morning tour of Tikal! We’re excited!
I got a Lifeproof case. I was contemplating getting a GoPro, but after going back and forth I decided on spending $80 for a case for my iPhone, which already takes great photo and video, rather than buying at $300+ camera that I would barely ever use after the trip. It was so worth the money.
I got mine from an official Verizon Store (my cell phone provider). When you get it the case there it comes with the water protection program, so should water destroy your phone while it’s in the case, you just pay a little fee and they’ll give you a new phone. So that really gave me peace of mind. I wouldn’t have bought it without that.