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Friday 23rd April - Placencia to Belize City to Dallas
By Claire
Monday, 26th April 2004 06:17

Last night we did the whole supper and internet thing and then stopped at the cash machine to get enought money for the bus. But the cash machine, like many in Belize, did not accept foreign cards. So we were stuck, no money, no bank, no dollars and no way of getting any before the bus left in the morning. Fortunately, and very unexpectedly, the nice guy in the bar at the Pickled Parrot offered to buy a traveller's cheque from us,something no-one else in Belize had wanted to accept. Suddenly we had money again, and could sleep soundly!

The bus left Placencia at 5.30, by which time it was already light and getting warm. The journey to Dangriga took two hours and we had an hour to wait for the 'express' bus to Belize City. This was marginally more expensive, no quicker, but it had a bit of air conditioning and no holes, so it was worth it! Before we reached Belize City, we asked the driver if he would let us know the best place to get off for the airport, and not only did he tell us, he had organised a taxi to be waiting for us when we stopped. When asked by the driver 'Y'raadin laan wit ee?' I could confidently tell the nice man that yes, I did want to share the taxi with Mikey. See, I've learnt a new language too. Pity my Spanish isn't as good, we're going to need that again in a couple of days...

A very expensive taxi took us to the airport and we got there about four hours before we were due to fly, but there wasn't really enough time to do anything else and I couldn't carry my bag too far. Mikey and I put different countries (continents, even) on the exit visa form, under the 'Port of Disembarkation' heading, but no-one noticed. I'm still upset that no-one picked upon me not remebering 'to sing in the space especified for foreigners' in Mexico. We internetted for a bit, sat and watched a bunch of Texans with religious slogans on their T-shirts all promise to keep in touch with each other and take photos in the gift shop, and ate Skittles, which are about 90% artificial flavourings and colourings when made in America. I couldn't decide if it was the red ones or the purple ones which tasted most like Calpol, but we didn't have anything to compare it to, so we may never know. We know how to have fun.

The flight, only two and a half hours, was uneventful (I guess the best ones are) but I'd developed some sort of tummy bug so I wasn't feeling great. The film was Mona Lisa Smile, and you may as well just watch the trailer for 90 minutes, there wasn't much more to it than that. During our airport internet search, we'd found a hotel in Dallas that didn't seem to be too far from the airport and close enough to a mall and cinema for all our shopping needs. Immigration and customs was surprisingly quick and painless, the taxi proved more difficult to find and although we'd remembered to write down the address of the hotel, one driver wouldn't take us because the road it was on went through six cities and we didn't know which one we wanted. I thought we were in Dallas.

It upset me a bit that taxis in the US are so expensive, cos all you really need is a car with brown seats and an accent, but we knew America was going to be more expensive. The hotel had a room for us, a suite, actually, and drinkable tap water, an ice machine, Mountain Dew, television, hot water, air conditioning and a 6ft wide bed. I'd been feeling ill for most of the day so I went straight to bed, but Mikey found the television remote control and played. I think he missed it.

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