Purely by accident we were informed by a guy at the gas station in Chetumal, Mexico that there would be a biker meeting in Belize City and since we’ve been to a Russian biker meeting before, we definitely didn’t want to miss a Belizean one!
We left Mexico with sadness in our heart because we really had enjoyed the country but at the same time we were eager to discover Belize. Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language but since there would be a lot of Spanish speaking people we would still be able to practice our Spanish. And we would soon discover that the majority there is not hispanic!
Leaving Mexico was fairly easy, we just had to make sure to pass by the Banjercito to get our money back (you have to give a deposit if you want to enter Mexico with your own vehicle and you have to make sure you go and ask for it before you leave). Entering Belize didn’t offer much of a problem either, after the bikes were fumigated, cleared in and we were given the necessary stamps, the only thing we still had to fix was an insurance, but there is an office right next to the border where you can go and get one and it costs 29 Belizean dollar (14,5 US dollar).
Our first impression of Belize is that there seems to be a very weird mix between rich and poor.
You see very ramshackle wooden buildings and a few meters further you see a villa style building with a lot of land around it.
This is the Belizean version of a toll booth. Luckily for us, the guy liked us and the bikes and we didn’t have to pay, he let us through for free!
Kim already has a place to come and work in Belize…
In the country you can find white people and black people and everything in between and you can hear all types of languages. The open spaces you have in Belize compared to Mexico are astounding, but the phenomenal increases in price for everything is also astounding! The high prices make the country less appealing to us and this was mainly the reason why we decided it was best to camp at the biker meeting instead of taking a hotel.
On the announcement that Seb had seen on Facebook for the event, they said that camping was 5 dollars, but it didn’t specify if it was per person or not, but once we found the campsite, they said it was 20 dollars per night for the two of us. This didn’t go well with Seb, so he asked to speak to the manager and to the guy that was organising the event. In the end, after waiting for half an hour and after a long talk, we had to pay 10 dollars for the two of us for 4 nights, so that wasn’t too bad at all, considering the hotel next door was 90 dollars per night!
The first two days at the campsite we were alone, but after that we were joined by at least 10 other tents. We had put our tent right next to the water and had an amazing view every morning when we woke up. Apparently the football field right next to our tent was still in use, because the first morning a lot of cheers and the sound of people kicking a ball around waked us up at 6 in the morning.
Our ‘next door neighbours’ were from El Salvador, Juan Carlos and Kristina, and very soon we became good friends and they invited us to come to their place in El Salvador later on our trip. So you will hear/read about them later also! Kristina on the left, Juan Carlos on the right.
Kristina and Kim a few hours later:
The first real ‘event’ day of the meeting we were wondering where everybody was, since there were only about 10 tents in the camping area and there was nobody at the festival area. After riding around the city for a while, we found out that a lot of bikers were at the hotel, but most of them hung around the Harley Davidson shop because they had put up a place to get free beer, free food and there was really loud music playing. There were a lot of different types of bike there and it was a treat to just walk around and look at the bikes. (edit: and girls)
In the evening everyone came to the festival area to show off their bikes, drink some more beer and enjoy the events that were going on there. At one point they had a carnival group that danced to up beat music and this caught the attention of most of the male bikers because the female dancers were scarcely dressed and shaking with everything they had… It truly was an awesome sight!
After the dancers they also had some acrobats doing back flips, front flips and other very limber things that neither Kim nor Seb would ever be able to do. The rest of the evening they had a live band performing on stage and a whole lot of drunken bikers wobbling around the area.
We had some nice conversations with people from all over the Americas and we ended up staying until midnight talking to lots of people until our throat started to hurt.
The second and last day of the festival they had organized a rally through the streets of Belize City and this was all under police escort. A lot of the streets were blocked off and we rode with around 300 bikers on all types of bikes through the city. The people in the city still knew this from last year apparently because they were all standing in the streets cheering us on as we rode past. It’s an amazing feeling to ride in a huge group like this and to wave to all the onlookers as you go by.
After the rally, we could take a boat to an island called Cay Caulker, which is famous for it’s snorkelling trips in the Barrier reef. On the island itself they also had a DJ playing music and the necessary beer to quench the thirst of all these bikers, but we decided to skip all this fun and take a smaller boat trip into the Barrier reef to go snorkelling.
Kristina (our next door camping buddy) also joined us on the trip, even though she actually cannot swim. The trip took us to three different places, the first one being a 1-hour tour around the reef, to see how you would handle yourself (and seeing as this was Kim’s second time snorkelling and the fear of fishes was still a little bit present, she handled herself very good!). The second stop was a highlight for Seb because you could go snorkelling with stingrays and nurse sharks. The guys on the boat lured the sharks and the stingrays with some fish and after that you could go in to the water, which was waist deep. Seb was the first one in and Kim decided this was the best way of getting rid of her fear of fish; so she got in after Seb. Since the water wasn’t deep, you could just stand there, in between all the sharks and stingrays and from time to time the rays would rub up against your leg. Seb was busy trying to film the sharks while Kim was screaming when the rays touched her legs, but she stayed in the water and even enjoyed being there. The third stop was a free snorkelling stop at the edge of the reef and it truly was as if you were swimming inside a fish tank. You could see one brightly coloured fish after another and they were super close by. The trip was awesome and money well spent and after this, we were just in time to catch the ferry back to the mainland.
On the mainland, they had another party going on in a local bar, but before we went there, we decided to get something to eat. When we were sitting there, Seb was called to the table of a motorcycle club, called Grandes Viajeros (Great travellers) based in Mexico. He had met them the night before and they had talked for a while and Seb had told them that he wanted to form a club in Tenerife (on the Canary Islands) but that he had never found a good name for the club, but now that he saw the name of these guys, he was intrigued, so he had asked them if he could form a chapter in Tenerife. So, after a night of sleep and some debating with the President of the club, they had decided that Seb was worthy enough to carry the ‘colours’ of the club in Tenerife and he was sworn in as the new President of the chapter on Tenerife of Grandes Viajeros. After some more debating and after the fact that the President found out that Kim had ridden her own motorcycle all this way and on all the previous trips, he judged that Kim was worthy of the title of Vice President, so now there is officially a new motorcycle club in Tenerife, consisting of two members, but maybe one day, it will grow, who knows! After some rituals (very secret, so we can not mention this in the blog) we were both sworn in and Seb already got his patches to put on a leather jacket with the name and logo of the club. The president would even send a patch with Seb’s nickname and would also send a second set for Kim. After this it was time for us to grab a drink and join in some fun and games with our fellow club members. In the end, Kim left at midnight and Seb called it a day at 2 in the morning, but the President gave him one of the key cards of their room, so we could go and grab a shower in the morning and get some free breakfast in the fancy hotel.
So, the next morning Seb told Kim the good news and they packed up the tent and went to party crash the breakfast at the Ramada inn. After this it was time to leave Belize behind us and head on over to Guatemala…
Some more pictures of Belize:
If looks could kill…