Sunday, March 3, 2013

Home Again

True to form, Belize VIP Transport collected us at the appointed time in a Land Rover and we bade farewell to our Coral Cottage hosts, Ian and Lilly.  A twenty minute drive brought us to the Mexican frontier where we paid the $75US fee to exit Belize and filled out the appropriate forms to enter Mexico.  Another short drive then brought us to the Chetumal bus terminal to catch our bus to Cancun.  Chetumal, a city of some 300,000  is the southern terminus of the line on the Gulf Coast of Mexico.  Twenty minutes prior to departure, we were ushered into the plush Ticketed Passenger lounge, checked our bags and soon boarded the modern bus.

The driver had the A/C set to 72F which the passengers universally declared to be too cold. Eventually a compromise was reached and we hit the highway to Cancun.  During the 6-hour run, we were stopped a couple of times by machine-gun wielding, teen-aged, Mexican Marines with sniffer dogs who were checking for drugs.  Delays were courteous and short.  We arrived at Cancun bus terminus at supper time to find it was raining!  Fortunately, our hotel was just across the street from the terminus, so we trundled our bags across and checked in.  The hotel's designers apparently had not been expecting it to rain so the roofed but open-sided  marble stairways were slippery waterfalls.  We ate a pleasant supper in the open-sided restaurant and retired.

The next morning, all bused-out, we opted to skip the shuttle bus to the airport in favour of a taxi and were whisked to the departure gate in no time.  Our American Airlines flight was late departing, but we arrived at Miami in an hour and a half.  There we had to reclaim our bags, even though we were merely in transit, re-check them and pass through Passport Control and Security with 10,000 other people.  This consumed an hour, so after taking the Skytrain to our departure terminal, we only had to wait 30 minutes to board.  That flight left on time and deposited us at Dorval just before midnight.  There we discovered that arriving late meant that there were no lines at Passport Control and we zipped straight though.  Our delight at this happenstance was somewhat tempered by a 20 minute wait at the wrong carousel for our bags.  Eventually we discovered them on another carousel and taxied to our hotel to crash for the night at 1AM.

The next morning, after the included breakfast, we schlepped the bags to the front door and even though we could see the train station 100 yards away, were treated to a round-about 15 minute shuttle ride through the airport and environs before arriving there.  The train pulled in exactly on time, and we enjoyed a quick lunch on the way home.  At the Cornwall Station, a waiting taxi took us the last few hundred yards.

We liked Belize, but getting there and back was a bit of an epic.

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