Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cheery Chetamal

With a desire to see the Tikal ruins in deepest darkest Guatemala, we begrudgingly left Cynthia´s warm hospitality and the Lobo Inn for the Mexican boarder town of Chetamal.

The bus ride was surprisingly comfortable, air conditioned, reclining seat etc and allowed me time to devour my first holiday read Disgrace by the South African writer Cotzee. It is exceptional, won The Booker prize and is highly recommended.

On first appearences, Chetemal seems like a sleepy village full of friendly souls. The buildings are painted bright colours, think lots of oranges, turquoise and yellowy golds(there goes another thing on my list). The town is run down and probably not a place one would normally stop but for it´s proximity to Belize´s boarder. We booked into a very orange, garish hotel, just off the main street and located conveniently next to a net cafe.

We wandered the streets for a while in search of food and some Doxycycline for me. As I booked this trip in a hurry and because my NHS doctor in London would not give me a travel consultation I was not aware that I was in need of malaria medicine in Guatemala until a few days ago.

We approached the first pharmacy and asked for the antibiotic commonly known as doxycyline, we received a quizzical look and tried our best Spanish to explain it was sometimes known as Vibramycin.

The pharmacist looked even more puzzled and started to blush before going into a back cabinet and producing a vibrating condom. Priceless, sometimes you can not even imagine moments so funny. Before I knew it tears of laughter covered all our cheeks and we left having gotten the a big belly laugh.

We leave bright and early tomorrow for Tikal and will cross firstly into Belize before skipping across the whole country landing at Flores before sundown. I am very nervous about tomorrows travel particularly the boarder crossings but have an old travellers soul now and hope it will be smooth, easy and not at all confrontational... I will report back on my safe arrival.

With love to you all.


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