Alas, it was finally time to go back to Mexico. This was not my original plan. Before my surgery the plan was to go to Belize and then onto Guatemala. My surgery changed things. Because I spent 2 months at home recovering from surgery, I needed to get my motorcycle out of the country fast. However, I hadn’t seen everything in Mexico I wanted to.
So I went to Belize to get my bike out of Mexico in time and to see the country. Instead of going into Guatemala today, I was heading back into Mexico. I would go to Guatemala from Mexico.
Ride to the Border
As I packed up to head back into Mexico I realized I was going to miss Belize. It had grown on me. The people were really nice. Often people said hi to me as I walked the city. And they didn’t even want anything. I was also going to miss Spoonaz and my server Jolene. And my morning coffee at La Petit Cafe. Oh well … leaving places and people is part of my life as a traveler.
Like every day here, it was hot in the mid 30 degrees C. However, once I started to ride it was OK.
I just hoped the newly updated Belize maps would be a lot better. They were. That is until I reached the border town. Once again I got twisted around. My GPS lead me down to a dirt road and to a waters edge. It was up to me to find the border on my own. It really wasn’t that difficult. I just followed the main road north.
It was now time to do the border dance again. First the Belize border.
I pulled into the parking lot at #1 and went into the building at #2 to go to immigration. However the first booth was to pay $40 US worth of tourism departure fees. Good thing I had US money as I didn’t have enough Belizean dollars left.
After that is was the immigration booth where I handed in my departure form. They directed to teh vehicle booth in the far building labeled #3 in the photo. This was the same booth I attended when I entered the country. There I handed in my Temporary Import Permit and passport for them to cancel the permit. It was pretty simple. They just stamped over the passport stamp where they documented the import of my motorcycle.
From there it was back on my motorcycle to leave. But as I rode down the road I encountered another booth. This one was to check my passport and to make sure I had completed everything I needed to leave. The officer was really nice and wanted to know all about my trip. Now off to the Mexico border.
As I rode up to the border I parked in the parking lot at #2 where I had done all the documentation when I crossed into Belize. I went inside to go to immigration. People were lined up with their entry cards but I couldn’t find any in the building. Huuuummmmm. So I watched where people were coming from with their cards in hand. It turned out there was a building at #1 where a customs officer questions you and hands you an entry card.
Once I had the card I lined up in building #2 with my card in hand. The immigration officer just asked a couple of questions and stamped me in.
Now I had to get my Temporary Import Permit for Mexico. I attended Banjercito to get it. I handed the woman my passport, vehicle registration, my entry card, and $400 US as a deposit. The woman noticed right away that my vehicle registration was a copy. She said she needed the original. Back out into the parking lot I went to get the original registration from my panier.
Back inside i gave it to her and she completed lots of paperwork. This is where it got a bit confusing. First she asked for 500 pesos as a tourism fee. I gave her that. Then she asked for $50 US (in Spanish) for something that I didn’t quite get what it was for. I handed her $60 US and then she motioned something. In the end she didn’t give me $10 US in return and I forgot all about it until I was on my way to Chetamul. So I am not quite sure if I was taken there or what happened. Also confusing was the 500 pesos as I paid it before when I left Mexico and not when I entered. However, I understand it is suppose to be paid when you enter.
In the end though I got my Temporary Import Permit and my tourism card.
As I rode out I passed a final check by customs officers at #3, but they waved me through as they were already searching all the cars they could handle.
I was now back in Mexico
Since I was crossing a border I didn’t plan to ride many kilometers today. So I stayed in Chetamul for the night.