Tuesday, November 18, 1997
I took a second-class bus to Chetumal, near the border of Belize. A couple (He- English, She- Australian.) I met on the bus led me to a budget hotel they had stayed at once before. For about $6 I got a cold shower and a mattress that I had to sleep on one side of so the sharp spring protruding from the middle would not remove a kidney while I slept.
At the hotel I met a 20 year old girl from Honduras (Marissa) who had recently been deported from the U.S.A. She immediately turned around and was heading north again. She had already illegally crossed 3 borders- Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. The only one left was ours. Marissa took me to the park downtown, where they were having a festival celebrating the culture of the people from the islands offshore. All along the coast of the Caribbean, from Mexico to Costa Rica, many of the people are descendants of slaves who were either freed or escaped from the English. Many had intermarried with the indigenous, and the culture there is quite unique. There were several musical and dance performances this night in the park, and their music was really cool. It rained off and on, so we often had to duck under the shelter of the many vendors canopies. It was a very nice evening.
The travel guides don't have a lot of good things to say about Chetumal, but I found the city to be enjoyable. It isn't a destination in itself, but a good stopover.
No pictures today, but the rest of this journal is full of 'em, and many are STUNNING. Please continue.