Orange Walk, Belize
Backpackers Paradise might be paradise for some... but we are starving for the ocean. We wake up in the parking lot of backpackers paradise and jack the bus up to tighten everything after our dirt road jitters. The transaxle mount is by far the worst of it, although several other nuts have loosened and our rear safari is delaminating at the hinge. Throw a couple planks of wood under to help lift the transaxle back into place and wrench it down again. We also appear to have an almost flat right rear tire so we air it up before getting underway.Our drive around “downtown” Sarteneja takes only a handful of minutes because there’s only a handful of blocks. We pull out onto the town pier to enjoy lunch and chat with a few locals. The water here doesn’t really feel like ocean as we are really far up what is technically a lagoon, but it almost glows aquamarine and makes for really picturesque views/photos . If we could camp here on the pier we’d be staying in this town for far longer but its a place everyone should have access to and we depart after our food. The bus is desperately in need of fuel so we ask a few locals and finally find the gas station (basically an unassuming pink house with a tank of gas out back). Our fill up costs us 6$usd a gallon, but turns out that isn’t so much more expensive than any other station in Belize.
The only thing worse than finding the worst road of your trip is having to drive it again a few hours later, but we strap everything down and try again to navigate the moonscape without losing any important parts... We make it to the ferry crossing and as were “docking” on the other side who should we see but Nate and Sarah. We didn’t know they were coming today or we would have stayed another night with them. We give them the lay of the land as we know it, steal a few of their chips and depart in separate directions.
We only make it as far Orange Walk Town. Inland still, but Jen read that its the capital of street food in Belize so we figure we can kill an evening here without too much distress. We grab a bite to eat, walk the town and finally find a hotel on the river that will allow us to sleep alongside their restaurant. We pull in, grab a drink and a plate of fried chicken with rice and bean (and habanero salsa) from the bar while updating email and call it a night.