A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: larabester

Belize Caye Caulker in the Caribbean

Day 26, 27, 28, 28, 30, 31

The bus from Cancun to Belize City was freezing, long and did I mention cold? I put my hood up and held on to Declan so tight for warmth I might have tried to climb into his body. Didn’t get that much sleep on this bus – again just broken amounts here and there. We were woken up around 3-4am to go through Mexican immigration. Having done my research I knew that they would ask us to pay the Tourist Tax of $30 USD – we however already paid this tax at the airport at Tijuana. Regardless the immigration official told us that we had to pay again, which I already knew was a scam – the immigration officials are very corrupt. We insisted that we had already paid the FVM and had the card to prove it. He then continued to read through all of Declan’s travel documents, including flights totally irrelevant to Mexico as well as his travel insurance. The immigration official was probably just trying to look smart or seem like he had authority – there was no way that I was going to get scammed though! Got through the Mexican broder without having to pay the tax again and was then carted off to the Belize immigration office where we got our passports stamped and bags checked to get back onto the bus to drive down Belize’s dirt roads down to Belize City.

Eventually got to Belize City, hauled the bags off at Novelo bus terminal, a 100% sketchy area. Belize City is not a place you would want to find yourself in after dark. We grabbed a cab to the dock to catch the first ferry out to Caye Caulker – our tiny Caribbean island which would be our home and relaxation point for the next 5 days! The ferry was not the greatest experience! It was jam packed with as many people the company could fit! We were also part of the last group of people to board our tiny boat and had to sit in the middle. Every so often the boat would hop into the air and rather painfully slam back down into the ocean – I was a bit nervous that the boat would tip! Luckily we got to Caye Caulker in one piece! The island has no roads as Western people know it. It is so small that if you look to the left you will see the ocean and if you look to the right you will again, see the ocean! There are 3 main roads spanning the width of the island and all dirt roads and tiny Caribbean-esque cabanas raised up in the air since the island gets hit with hurricanes during hurricane season. There are no cars on Caye Caulker, rather our taxi was a golf cart which we took to our accommodation for the week.
Having done some sweet as research, I had found a place called Sandy Lane, which was close to the Split (the main swimming area on Caye Caulker which is absolutely beautiful) and also the cheapest private room on the whole island! Guess how much I paid each night! I’ll tell you at the end of this blog post! The room had a double bed and a single, no A/C though so it was rather hot but Caye Caulker cools down during the night.
Caye Caulker was the Caribbean mecca that we needed - hot sun, cheap food and drinks, wonderful people, turquoise crystal clear water and a relaxed environment. We did a lot of relaxing on this island. Chilled in the beautiful water at the Split a few times, sunbaked, sat on swings overlooking the Caribbean drinking rum punch, walked around the island exploring every nook and cranny and walking alongside the waterfront all the way down to the tiny airport which is pretty much a dirt strip of land that runs for a couple of meters!
There was a lot of wonderful cheap and fresh food on the island. Declan tried a lot of local Belikin beer. Both of us had lobster almost every night which cost us $10 US for a large lobster each! Back home you would pay more than $50 for the same lobster! We also enjoyed a lot of rum punch which is a story I will save for Declan’s 21st!

Having so much chill time, Declan and I battled each other in a few games of chess with our new Mayan style onyx chess sets we picked up in Mexico City. Declan of course beat me most of the time, however I did win once because he wasn’t paying attention. A win is a win!
On our first day we met a Belize man who had moved to Sweden but was back for a visit. He told us all these scientific theories about how NaCl (salt) is the wonder cure of the century and how the government has a conspiracy where it sprays mist in the sky to stop the sunlight from hitting the earth and a lot of other hocus pocus he mentioned.
The people on Caye Caulker were very friendly and lovely to interact with. They speak like Jamaican people and the island motto is ‘slow down!’ – which we heard a number of times passing by shop owners on the side of the road.


Our room at Sandy Lane cost me $5 US a night! Great value for money and cheapest accommodation I’ve stayed in so far!

Posted by larabester 08:07 Comments (0)

Cancun Round 1 and 2

Days 24, 25, 32, 33

The bus ride over to Cancun from Palenque wasn’t too terrible. Naturally, it was freezing cold and I had forgotten to take the neck pillow out of the bag, managed to get some sleep here and there though. Quickly claimed some free seats to sleep on once people started getting off at Tulum and other destinations before Cancun. Declan woke me up once we reached Cancun, grabbed my oversized luggage and went into the ADO bus terminal to google where our hostel was. Being ever so organised, I went to the ticket office to book our bus tickets to Belize City – there was a gross mistake here though. Instead of Cancun to Belize City she had typed in Playa del Carmen to Belize City! Declan accidently thought we were in Cancun and we got off the bus 90 minutes before our designated stop. It was going to cost us extra money to buy another bus ticket to Cancun – our second travel mistake of the trip so far. Being as resourceful as I am I told the ticket officer that the bus driver told us that we had arrived in Cancun (which Declan says apparently he had) and asked if he could do anything to help us out. 45 minutes later we were on the ADO Platinum bus to Cancun – this is the first class service with personal TV screens and huge lay back seats – we had a great time on that bus! It was my very first upgrade to what was first class and hopefully the first of many to come!

We did not do much in Cancun the first two days or Round 1 as I’ll call it on the blog. Declan was still sick and I had a lot of washing to do…took me a good hour handwashing all my undies and drying them out in the sink – very thrifty! I would’ve liked to go diving in Cancun and see the underwater museum, but I’d have to pay extra for a diving guide since I’m a solo diver (Declan doesn’t have his scuba diving license yet, but soon!) – I’ll go diving in Florida instead! We grabbed food at the local market area in downtown. The plaza was alive with performances and street stalls selling 3 little tacos and a drink for 25 peso! That’s $2 USD! Naturally we also had to grab some churros because hey, who doesn’t love churros…in fact, I have a craving for them right now!
Day 2 of Round 1 we set off to Mercado 28 (market) to find some last minute souvenirs. Having seen the markets in Mexico City and Palenque, I found the Cancun market heavily overpriced with very forceful shopkeepers. I bought a wooden mask in Palenque for 280 peso, Declan got the same type of mask in Mexico City for 500, in Cancun you could get the same mask upwards of 780 peso! This price difference downright disgusted me and we hotfooted out of the market as soon as we could stop getting harassed. Found a cool burger joint with fans and decided to have lunch and a huge glass of mango margaritas! Finished off the day by going to Plaza las Americas – the biggest shopping center in the Caribbean. It too was overly commercialised and tailored to the Americans who come to Cancun to holiday – all very plastic and fake. Having seen what I feel is the real Mexico, I was grossly disappointed by Cancun. I am sure there are a few more places I would like to see around the area, however I do not think that I would readily want to return to Cancun – I dislike it more than LA. I guess it’s something about the commercialised nature of the town which I dislike – it has totally lost its authenticity.
After day 2 we took a bus down to Belize City however I’ll write about this in my Belize City blog post along with the return bus ride. Day 3 on Round 2 was jam packed with a tour to snorkel with the whale shark – the biggest fish in the ocean, which is roughly the size of a bus. We headed out early to the ocean on a speedboat and soon found a large school of these majestic fish. We got to snorkel with it 3 times! We would jump off the boat while it was moving and swim alongside the whale sharks. At one stage we had 3 or 4 of them swimming towards us with open mouths, one even managed to accidently whack Declan on the leg! It really was a surreal experience – unfortunately a lot of the GoPro footage does not want to work for some reason – we think it’s a faulty memory card, but hopefully I can get some files working soon!
After our whaleshark trip we speeded off to another boat where we snorkelled on a reef. I spotted some puffer fish and another large school of fish that I duck dived down to. We ate shrimp ceviche on the boat and had lots of tequila and alcohol – at least Declan did! Finally, we made a stop off at Isla Mujares – which means the island of beautiful women. The water was a rich turquoise blue and beautiful to swim in. We drifted in the clear water eating ceviche and watching the waves roll onto the beach. Overall a very full on day, Declan fell asleep as soon as we reached our AirBnB!
Our last day in Cancun was another early start. We did a tour with Edventure Tours to see the Tulum ruins, snorkel in a lagoon, with green sea turtles and in Dos Ojos cenote. The Tulum ruins were largely unimpressive and overcrowded. Majority of it was off limits to the public and there were just scores and scores of American tourists. Having seen the Palenque ruins and being allowed to walk inside and around certain buildings, the Tulum ruins were a big let down, I would definitely recommend Palenque for archeological buffs! We then headed to Dos Ojos which is a cenote – which I would describe as an underwater river system with caves. Whilst the water was freezing cold, it was also crystal clear and absolutely spectacular to swim in. The deep caverns in certain areas were very dark and somewhat freaky, not sure if I would like to dive in a cenote, but it was a beautiful experience that I hope to do again one day. I have never seen water as clear as in a cenote!

We also snorkelled in a lagoon which wasn’t that spectacular after seeing the cenote, however afterwards we headed to a beach where the feeding ground for sea turtles was located. Got right up close to the sea turtles! It was another fantastic experience being able to sea these amazing creatures up close in their natural habitat in the wild. Finished off the tour by drinking coconut milk and rum out of coconuts – another must have experience!

Whilst the Cancun area had amazing sights and beautiful landscapes off the beaten track, the hotel zone and Westernisation of the town is almost sickening. It was slightly nice to have Mexican people understand English though, but I’d rather have a language barrier than an overly Westernised city.
large_IMG_2633.jpglarge_IMG_2632.jpglarge_IMG_2631.jpglarge_IMG_2630.jpglarge_IMG_2629.jpglarge_IMG_2628.jpglarge_IMG_2626.jpglarge_IMG_2625.jpglarge_IMG_2623.jpglarge_IMG_2621.jpglarge_IMG_2615.jpglarge_IMG_2614.jpglarge_IMG_2608.jpglarge_IMG_2597.jpglarge_IMG_2593.jpglarge_GOPR0514.jpglarge_GOPR0515.jpgAlmost forgot to mention. The hostel we stayed in for Round 1 of Cancun (the Mayan hostel in downtown) was absolutely atrocious. There was no shower head, the light did not work, the A/C made the room hotter – we could effectively have slept outside because the room was at least a couple degrees warmer! Declan also got electrocuted by the wall plug which had wires sticking out of it! Gave the hostel a 1/5 star review on TripAdvisor! Our AirBnB on the otherhand was absolutely lovely!

That’s a wrap for Cancun! Hope you’re all enjoying the blog!

Posted by larabester 06:19 Comments (0)

Palenque - Rural Mexico!

Days 21, 22 and 23

From Mexico City we flew to Palenque, a rural part of Mexico with some fantastic ruins! Packed our bags (luckily), because with all the extra souvenirs I bought my bag easily weighed 15kg more and I can confirm that my luggage now sits at at more than 35kg when before it was at a nice and easy 15-18kg! Declan also has such long legs that it was tough trying to carry like 5-10kg more than him and keep up with his ridiculously fast paced walking!

The flight was half empty so we jumped to the seats at the very front and had extra leg room, which to me felt like heaps but to Declan was quite normal! The Palenque airport is quite good, they only have flights coming in twice a week so service is top notch, they booked a cab for us and so we headed off to the main street of Palenque. Found a cheap hotel for a couple dollars per night with aircon! Thank god! We unfortunately couldn't do much today because we arrived too late to book a tour to the ruins or waterfalls, instead we sat at a second story restaurant sampling all the Mexican food and drinking a wide variety of cocktails.

On day 2 of our rural Mexico experience we had booked a day long tour. Our first stop was the Aztec ruins of Palenque, one of the largest empires of Aztecs in the region due to its source of wage. We had a tour guide with a group of Spanish people and two girls from the UK. Our guide took us through all the ruins and told great stories. The buildings were originally red and the kings and queens each had their own temples with massive steps to climb up on and sacrificial areas. The Red Queen had 2 and the greatest king of the time had 7 people sacrificed after his death! They even showed us where they played the ancient game similar to basketball (like on El Dorado!). The Aztecs also had stone beds, toilets and a sewage/drainage system! Very intelligent designs for a civilisation that lived more than a thousand years ago! Picked up some great souvenirs that were cheaper here than in Mexico City! Two wooden Aztec masks and 2 leather carvings of Aztec symbols! I could've bought more but Declan keeps me grounded!

After this we headed off to Misol-Ha, a famous waterfall about 30 minutes out of Palenque. The bus we took was a minivan which was overpacked with 17 people and no zircon. I was stuck in the backseat with 3 other people squished next to me, sweating litres! We eventually all stumbled out of the van and the girl sitting next to me demanded her money back and said she'll take a taxi back to her accommodation. We unfortunately didn't see Misol-Ha as Declan and I had had no breakfast as all the shops in Palenque were closed before 8am so by the time we got to Misol-ha it was 1pm and we were starving, so we had some tacos instead.

Afterwards we headed off to Azul Agua, a series of cascading waterfalls of turquoise water in Chiapas, about 90 minutes out of Palenque and very rural. We took wooden platforms across the water and had a short tour of all the secluded waterfalls around the area. Had a great time swimming in these waters - definitely rate it as a top experience I've had travelling, even jumped off a small rock into the deep water below! Had a fantastic day here!

Spent the night in Palenque. It's a strange little town where the people all congregate on the street and play music and socialise - a very lively environment which was great! We spent the next day cooling off in the air conditioned room at the hotel, preparing ourselves for our overnight bus to Cancun which we had to board at 9:30pm. Got to the ADO bus stop at 9pm, met 3 couples from Belgium, Sweden and Denmark. The bus was 5 hours late because there were massive strikes on the road so we finally got to board at 2:30am! The bus was absolutely freezing! We eventually rocked up in Cancun, or at least what we thought was Cancun. I had fallen asleep and Declan woke me up saying we're at Cancun - I thought we were in Playa del Carmen but I got off the bus anyway. Turns out that we were in fact at Playa del Carmen and that Declan had been too eager to get off the bus - we were now stuck in Playa del Carmen! I went to the ticket counter and pleaded with the guy to let us on another bus because the "bus driver told us we were in Cancun and that we had paid to get there but instead we were incorrectly informed and got off too early". He upgraded us to the platinum bus service which was equivalent to first class!! A fantastic outcome!

That's a wrap!
- Palenque and water falls
- Souvenirs are fantastic - to Declan's dismay!

- not used to this heat!

- coke everywhere
- margaritas everywhere
- people partying in the street when they finish work!

Posted by larabester 18:39 Comments (1)

Bester goes to Mexico City

Days 18, 19, 20

So we finally arrived in Mexico City at about 12pm. With my big 85L pack (next time I travel I’m downsizing to like half the size – the pack is bigger than me!) we storm around the airport trying to find a Citibank/Banamex to get out some much needed pesos (Mexican currency) to pay for our train ride. Having no internet we also have no idea which train line to get on and which stop to get off. Rock up at the information counter, unfortunately though the employee only speaks Spanish. Having a stellar memory as I do I remember that the suburb we are staying at is close to La Condesa and Roma, so I tell the guy with a Spanish accent that I want to go there and he hands me a railway map and circles the train stop Sevilla – luck be have it it’s exactly the train station I need which is a block away from our AirBnB – now am I good at direction or am I good? Haha We decide to have lunch at the airport because a restaurant has free wifi – I order the cheapest soup on special because I’m a cheapskate. After a couple of minutes I notice that our table did not get bread, so I try to tell our waitress that we want bread but she doesn’t understand English, so I get out google translate and get my English translated to Spanish, shortly after she brings us some bread – poor service but hey, google translate is at least handy!

We make our way down to the train station, costs 5 peso to catch the train one way, this is like 40 cents in Australian money. We get quite a few stares, probably because Declan is so tall and I’m this tiny person with a huge red backpack on – we must look quite ridiculous. The Mexican railway system is quite easy to use, the lines all have pictures on them to show the stops so it makes it extremely easy to understand – we even had to change lines which was easy enough to understand as well! We eventually get to Sevilla and a Mexican man points us to the right direction to Hamburgo Street. It’s about 5pm and the street stalls are alive with cooking tacos and other Mexican foods. Since it’s late Declan picks up some mini tacos from the local taco restaurant which was delicious! If you think you’ve had Mexican food in Western culture then you are completely wrong! Real Mexican food is much nicer and smaller portions – I don’t think I can ever eat Westernised Mexican food again!
The next 3 days we try to see as much of Mexico City as we can. Every morning we stop by the local fruit stand outside our train station and order this huge container of fruit salad topped with natural yoghurt and granola – only for $1.50 US! Spectacular deal! The shop owner even knew our order because we became regulars. Similarly the local taco stand also enjoyed our presence where Declan had become one of the ‘hombres’. The waiter there even practiced more English with us as he tried out his limited English.
Our first day we went to Chapaultec Park to go to the Museum of Anthropology to see Mexican history and Aztec artifacts – it was the first time in my life that I had seen such a large display of Aztec ruins, weapons and ornaments, quite spectacular – I would highly recommend the Museum which costs about $4 US for entry. We also hired a paddle boat for a hour and paddled around a lake and sat at a local street restaurant for lunch.
Our second day was quite busy! We headed to Merced market to check out local fruit and veggie prices! Fruit and veg literally costs a 10th here in Mexico than it does back home! The chicken however sits out in the open air and is not refrigerated – I have however not gotten sick from Mexican chicken yet so I guess the refrigeration doesn’t matter as much as long as it’s cooked properly. We continued our day by travelling to Mercado la Ciudadela, an artesians market with lots of arts and crafts. Having no peso on me we walked around for a bit musing at this and that and deciding what we wanted to buy. We quickly grabbed more mini tacos at the local street stand before heading back into the market to buy what we fancied. Picked up 3 leather bags, a huge onyx chess set, an onyx elephant, 2 onyx Aztec statues, a beautiful tiled mirror, a tiled wooden box and a set of earrings – all for less than $100 US! I would’ve loved to pick up some more local pottery and ceramics – the teapots and mugs with their blue patterns were quite beautiful but unfortunately we did not have time. We headed off to Zocalo, which is the downtown of Mexico City to check out the Plaza de la Constitution (big square), Cathederal and the National palace. The architecture was stunning! In true Mexico City fashion though it started to piss down with rain so we sought coverage under a local shop. The restaurant we wanted to go to was 5 blocks down so we ran down the street, getting absolutely drenched, made a mandatory stop over at this premium ice cream store to empty our shoes of water and then kept running to the restaurant where we sat next to the heater to dry off.
Since our flight changed we didn’t really have enough time to explore Mexico City as much as we would’ve liked, it’s definitely back on my list of places to visit again in the future as I believe it’s a city with much more to offer!

- did not once feel unsafe in this city, police make themselves quite known
- fruit salad for breakfast was delicious
- I love authentic Mexican food even if it is a tad spicy
- having no phone/wifi can be a bit hard sometimes but nice not to rely on it too much
- Mexicans love their Coke
- Mosquitos can be pretty bad here
- Most people don’t speak English
- Street stands are everywhere that sell their food for a really cheap price…just the way I like it!


Posted by larabester 07:30 Comments (0)

San Diego and Tijuana

Days 13, 14, 15 and 16

Days 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 – San Diego and day trip to Tijuana
Since I’m behind on writing I thought I’d just bulk everything together – also internet is shocking so I guess it would be too hard to try and upload stuff when I can barely check facebook or send emails back home.

Started off this day driving down from Bakersfield with Buns and co. We stopped off in Glendorra (where Kent grew up) since he had to get fingerprints for his Australian visa. We ate lunch at the ‘In-n-Out’ – a burger joint with classic American high calorie foods which tasted pretty good! Afterwards we went to the donut man stand which had the most impressive array of donuts I have ever seen in my life – I think I was literally drooling! Spent the rest of the arvo driving down towards San Diego.

Made a stop off at La Jolla in San Diego – it’s a very beautiful beach area with lots of shops and surfing – unfortunately we didn’t get out here or see much of it but I’m sure next time I’m in America I can add a quick stopover ☺

For our first day we (Buns and I) were still with the fam so we saw the USSR Midway airplane ship for a tour of all the planes it had on board as well as what happened below deck. Very insightful! There are apparently more qualified neurosurgeons than pilots who can land on such boats! You have 30 seconds to land and get the hell out of the way for the next plane to come in! All very impressive technology. Declan being the plane geek that he is taught me all about aircraft, landing and taking off. We even got in a plane simulator and shot at enemies and flipped our ‘plane’ upside down – fun ride! The boat’s interior was also quite impressive – they had a chapel, the mess hall was huge (apparently the lines got so long sometimes you would miss getting food!), it housed 4500 crew, 5 physicians and a whole lot of other technicians! We ate dinner at ‘Seasons’ – a very nice restaurant which changes its menu every week depending on fresh produce, as well as every season to reflect the seasonal changes – their desserts were quite delicious and every single meal was less than 450 calories – so very health conscious which I enjoyed!

Afterwards the fam dropped us off at 10th Avenue and G Street so that we could check into our hostel and let me just say it was the worst hostel I have ever seen. They made us pay extra which was absolutely bullshit, not to mention the staff had no idea what was going on, the kitchen was filthy and the plugs in our room kept sparking. The corridors smelt like weed and they even had a long term resident dog. We spent the rest of the night walking around the Gaslamp district which was alive with music and lights and lots and lots of people! We saw a late night screening of ’22 Jump Street’ which was nice!

The next day the hostel didn’t even have the ‘free breakfast’ which was included in the cost because apparently the Belgiums take it all. It’s shit sugary cereal anyway so was not very impressed at all. We didn’t do much this day. Declan had been feeling very sick so we decided to go to the doctors. We had to wait for 3 hours to find out that Declan had gotten an ear infection which meant that we might not have been able to fly out to Mexico City on the Sunday ☹ Pretty much just walked around the Gaslamp district again and grabbed some berries from the supermarket for dinner.
Declan felt a bit better the next day so we headed off to the world renowned San Diego Zoo to check out all the animals and let me just say it really was world class. Excellent bus tours all around the zoo because it’s so large and a wide variety of animals I’ve never seen before! Saw pandas, polar bears, hippos, jaguars, lots of monkeys, Tasmanian Devils and flamingos! We also went to a miniature train collection because Declan loves everything trains, cars and planes! It was a pretty fun day but also very tiring – we had to stop and rest so that Declan could recover since he still felt very sick. Overall a very cool day! The zoo had this thing called the Skyfari which was like a cable car all over the zoo! Cooked a tonne of pasta which could feed a family of 8 and had that for dinner (not all of it! – do not want to turn into a fat American!!!!).
The next day we took the railway to Tijuana for a day trip. Got lots of advice on the roughness of this place, we were going to step into an entirely different world. Left most of my money at home and made sure that I carried everything in my front pockets with my hands around my wallet and phone – also wore very plane clothes and tried not to look like a tourist. Crossing the border into Mexico was very easy – there’s literally a sign that says Mexico, turn gates and a guy leaning against the wall with a machine gun. Had to cross over a couple of bridges, taxi guys hassling you and shop owners trying to force you to see their goods (most stuff was cheap quality tourist goods which I wasn’t that interested in). Tijuana at first was a very disappointing place. We crossed over this bridge which went over a canal which was full of homeless people who spend their lives there – very dirty and poor looking which are horrible conditions for people to live in ☹

Stopped at a Mexican restaurant to grab some grub thanks to Marco the waiter who told us about free tequila, Coronas and nachos – we were sold. He made us wear sombreros and do our tequila shots so that he could take a photo haha We watched the soccer World Cup final in Tijuana drinking cheap $1 coronas and eating burritos – a once in a lifetime experience. Since Tijuana didn’t really impress either of us we decided to head back to San Diego but I wanted to stop over at a specific craft market which wasn’t on the tourist road. I lead us through dirt covered streets and old ladies begging for money. Eventually came across the market (which was very quiet) and found a leather shop which to me was heavenly! Bought this fantastic leather cross body bag for $33! The same bag I could buy for $200 back in Australia because it’s real leather! What a bargain!
Continued on back towards the border where another guy forced us into his shop. Bought some nice earrings and a beautiful sterling silver necklace. I did however use a dirty tactic to haggle the price down even further! The shopkeeper was pretty desperate to sell some things as it had been a very quiet day. Originally he wanted 60 for the necklace alone. Eventually got down to $30 and since I’m haggle master extraordinaire I secretly whipped out a portion of the money in my wallet which was $24 and told him it was the only money I had left – he didn’t even hesitate to take my dirty offer. No hard feelings though.

It took us 2 hours to cross the border back into America. The contrast is amazing. From US to Mexico you can waltz through, heck you could even bring in illegal items because security is non existent! From Mexico to US it’s a whole other game! Got interrogated by the border security officer who asked questions like; ‘Where are you staying?’, ‘How long have you been in the US?’, ‘Whatyou’re your plans for the next week?’, ‘Did you buy any medication in Mexico?’ – I was mostly just worried that he might want to deport me since I’m a foreigner but no such thing happened! Eventually got back to San Diego and had to prepare for our flight to Mexico City that night. Grabbed some dins and packed our bags – pretty much just chilled for the rest of the day – standing for 2 hours in 30 degree heat was exhausting! Got back onto the trolley towards the border, hopped into a cab (crazy drivers) – cost us $20 to get to the airport, massive scam but that’s what everyone has to pay – and eventually got to the airport! We were roped into line at the immigration office – did not release that we would have to pay $30 to get our passports stamped but oh well – took about 15 minutes and since we were surely late for our flight I tried hustling the Mexican immigration officer to work a bit faster. Finished up and ran to Interjet check in, dropped our bags in exhaustion and in Spanish told him that we were on the 11:58pm flight to Mexico City. He looks at our itinerary for a while and signals us over to look at the paperwork – in his best English he says; ‘wrong date, fly tomorrow.’ I looked at him dumbfounded, ‘what the!’ we are meant to fly this day, I’m sure of it! I dig out my own flight itinerary but there it’s written, we’re flying on the 14th at midnight and not the 13th which is the date we rocked up at the airport. I manage to see the amusement in the situation and just laugh, we were so keen to get to Mexico City that we rocked up a whole day early! Our first travel booboo – stuck in Tijuana, Mexico, what people might consider a dangerous border town, definitely don’t want to get stuck there!

Declan runs off to the Interjet counter to found out what we can do about our amusing situation. Couple of options – pay $220 to get on the flight we wanted to be on, stay in Tijuana for a whole day, sleep in the airport – none of these sound like fantastic options. I almost consider paying the 220 to hotfoot out of Tijuana but my thrifty nature kicks in and stops me from forking out the big monies. We go back to check in and with my biggest teary eyes we ask the employee if there’s anything else we could do. He says that if we come back to the airport the following morning that Interjet has a policy where they can put us on any other flight as long as it’s the same day for no extra cost – so basically we have to be back at the airport at 6:30am! Whilst I was happy to rough it out in the airport for a night sitting in the chairs outside Subway, Declan was still sick and preferred a bed to recover in. So pick up another cab for $20 and make our way to the nearest hotel, costing us $50 for the night but at least it had a free shuttle to the airport and breakfast which consisted of Corn Flakes and greasy donuts. Overall a spectacular day – definitely one for the memory books!

- Picked up some nice goods, specifically a leather bag
- San Diego zoo was top notch!
- Grocery stores have everything and anything
- Drive in pharmacies? Okay
- - finally getting out of that hostel
- - berries are so cheap in this country
- - picked up some good stuff in Tijuana

- Tijuana cabs are overpriced and dodgy
- A lot of homeless people (which is not an issue) but something should be done to help these people out

- interesting that most Mexicans speak very limited English, spending a month in Cambodia where people’s English is considerably better I was quite surprised by the lack of English knowledge, but dealing with the language barrier is kind of fun!
- - Mexican people just want to sell you tequila and cocktails the whole time
- - Nachos in Mexico is not nachos in western culture - authentic Mexican is much much better than the westernised stuff we eat back home

Posted by larabester 22:24 Comments (0)

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