A Long Day of Travelling to Mexico

Still fully in the mind set of waking up at bone crushing early hours, we woke up at 5 am to catch the 6am bus to the El Ceibo border crossing with Mexico. In contrast to what we were told, there is no 6 am bus. This however, meant we had more time for breakfast. So at 7am, our small minivan finally started to head towards Mexico. Even though it is much less-travelled than the Bethel/La Tecnica border crossing, we picked this border crossing because all roads would be paved and we would not have to hassle over finding a boat to bring us over the Río Usumacinta into Mexico.

Roughly 4 hours and 50 Q later, we reached the border. On the Guatemalan side, immigration officers were sitting in a steamy hot trailer. They gave us no problem even though it was just Laurent who handed over both our passports without Emily present, and we were done with all formalities in minutes (despite the fact that the power was out and they had to copy our details by hand), and gave us a cool exit stamp. On the Mexican side, they had us fill in redundant paperwork in a very nice AC cooled shopping mall-sized office, searched our bags thrice, and gave us the world’s lousiest stamp. Welcome to North America.

Map hanging on the wall of the Guatemala Migration Services…we missed the memo that Belize is a province of Guatemala

Once over the border, a van heading to Tenosique was waiting, supposedly leaving every 20 minutes: Pants on fire lie. Laurent first had to run back to Guatemala to exchange our last Quetzals for Pesos, since there was no one willing to do this on the Mexican side, in order to pay for the bus. He could have taken a terrifying chariot-like motor taxi, but he decided against it. Roughly an hour later, we headed to Tenosique and arrived 2.5 hours later (60 pesos). From there, we quickly transferred to a bus to Emiliano Zapata (35 pesos), where we found a cheap and totally crappy bus (385 Pesos) to Merida, our final destination. The alternative here was taking an ADO bus for about 700 pesos from Tenosique to Merida. All in all, this way of traveling was much much cheaper than taking one of the tourist vans from Flores to Mexico, but we surely arrived quite tired. We arrived around 2 am in Merida and quickly made to it to the first hostel we saw open and checked in. The place turned out to be a dump.

Mexican chariots