left Vancouver on Tuesday Sept. 26th. It was very hard to get organized
at the end as a bunch of things kept popping up delaying us...
During our last week in Vancouver, we were sooooo busy emptying the
house... we made about 3 trips to Salvation Army with furniture and
lots of other stuff. On the last Friday before leaving (Sept. 22),
Freightlink (company shipping our stuff to Belize) came by and picked
up our 38 pieces to take to their warehouse, crate and ship.
Finally, on Tuesday (2 days later than planned), we were ready and
started loading the truck. Well, we had too much stuff and had to
shrink down some more... When we left, the truck was still way too
full for the long drive ahead, so we headed for Freightlink, which
fortunately is located at the Canada/USA border. There we had to repack
a bit, adjust inventory/packing list, and gave them an extra 10 pieces
to add to our 38. Once that was done, the truck was looking much better
and we could actually see through the back window! But now we still
could not cross the border as we had to have a detailed list of each
box contents in case they requested it. So we went to have dinner
and revised our inventory list. We finally crossed the border at about
8 pm. We had no idea how long it would take... as they could easily
decide to empty the truck and go through every boxes. Anyway, the
guy came out and we handed him our passports. He asked where we were
going and we told him "we are moving to Belize". He then
asked what we were going to do for a living and a few other questions...
After barely 5 minutes, he said; you guys are crazy, good luck and
have fun. He gave us back our passports and waved us through. He never
even looked in the back of the truck! One down and two to go. We were
ecstatic and were hoping all borders were going to be as easy as this
We then drove to Blaine, just 2 minutes in, and took a little motel,
the Anchor Inn. In the last week we had had very little sleep because
of so much to do and the high stress level. But now that we were in
the states and on our way, we could not wait for a nice relaxing long
Wednesday morning we slept in a bit, had a nice breakfast and got
on the I5 heading south. We stopped in Seattle and visited with Becky.
Becky used to work at Don Foster's in Cayman. We worked together for
about 6 years and had not seen each other for about 9 years. So to
say the least, that was a very very nice visit! At about 3 pm we left
Seattle and made it to Wilsonville, OR.
The next day, back on I5 all the way to Grants Pass, OR. There we
took route 199, very windy road through high mountains, heading west
to the California coast. 5 minutes after Grants Pass on 199 (Redwood
Highway), the traffic came to a stand still. There was a really bad
head-on collision a few miles ahead and we had no idea how long it
would take. So I got my camping chair out and did my nails! We also
socialized and met some nice people. We were there for 1 1/2 hrs!
We reached the California coast at Crescent City around 5 pm. We headed
south on 101 in thick fog. But the view was still beautiful. We drove
another 3 hours and stopped at the Best Western in Arcata for the
night. Along 101, we stopped and watched 2 large elk play and lock
horns... they were very very close and we got some great shots!
Friday 29th, we got up to a cold and muggy overcast day. But fortunately
it cleared up! A beautiful day driving along the coast. We drove through
the "Avenue of the Giants" and did the tourist thing of
driving our truck through a giant tree for $5.00! That day we were
planning on sleeping somewhere just before San Francisco as the next
day we were going to a Garden Party in Santa Cruz at Robert's, the
guy we bought our Belize property from. Robert is Rosanne's brother,
Rosanne who is buried on our land and so is now family! We got near
San Fran around dinner time and stopped at a Best Western. They were
sold out and told us that most everything around was also sold out.
The traffic on the highway was super heavy and people were driving
like crazy. So, we decided that the best way to get out of this mess
was just to get back on the highway, drive like nuts with the rest
of traffic and go through San Fran. So we took the Golden Gate bridge
in the dark and missed the view... oh well, we'll have to go back
some day!!! Anyway, after San Fran, we got on the highway to Santa
Cruz and were expecting to find a hotel along the highway, as there
are always plenty of them. Of course, since it was late and we were
tired, there was nothing... we ended up driving all the way to Santa
Cruz. We took the first motel we found and passed out! The next morning,
we took it easy, checked out and went to Robert's. Santa Cruz is a
very beautiful little town and houses are also very cute (World War
II Era). We found Robert's house no problem and were there around
1:30 pm. When we got there, the party was well under way and there
was lots of people, all super nice artist type people. So interesting
we never even took any pictures as we were too busy chatting! Since
we bought the property in March 2005 we had been in contact by phone
and email, so it was very very nice to finally meet in person! We
stayed over through dinner and I had quite a bit to drink... we had
a real blast! Around 9 pm, I got in Robert's car and Steve got in
the truck with Paul. We drove to Ocean Pacific Motel where Robert
treated us to a nice room for the night. The next morning, we had
a great brunch with Robert and Steve. We left Santa Cruz around 1:30
pm and headed south and east. We made it to Mojave, CA by 7:30 pm.
Monday Oct. 2nd, getting on I40 heading to Dallas to visit with the
O'Neals! For the next 3 days, we stayed on I40 and went through Arizona,
New Mexico and Texas... doing anywhere from 75 (the speed limit) to
90 mph thru the desert. The drive was fast and smooth and the scenery
was beautiful. We arrived in Dallas on Wed the 4th around 4 pm. We
stayed with Robert and Susan for 2 nights, and on Friday the 6th we
headed to Houston. In Houston, we had an appointment at Discount Tires
to replace our standard tires (we chose Houston as we have friends
we wanted to visit with) for mud ones since 90% of the roads in Belize
are not paved and the road to our property is more like a trail! And
during rainy days, it gets quite muddy. So on Friday we got our tires
replaced. Then we found out that we were pulling to the right quite
a lot, so on Saturday we went back to Discount Tires. They rotated
the tires a few times but the problem persisted. They then concluded
that one of the tires is probably faulty but didn't know which one.
So they decided to order 4 new ones and replace them all. This delayed
leaving Houston by a few days, so we relaxed by the pool at the hotel,
had a few dinners with Tommy and Bonnie, and also had one dinner with
Jeff, who is actually a Newfie! Finally, on Wednesday the 11th, we
got the new tires. With Tac’s (our truck) new shoes and a wheel
alignment, we finally got on the road around 2:30 pm. We drove to
Kingsville, which would be our last night in the States before crossing
Thursday Oct. 12 heading to Brownsville, TX for the Mexican border.
To drive into Mexico, you need to buy Mexican insurance, which I had
done over the internet in Houston. But before crossing, at the border
you also need to buy a Temporary Import Permit for the vehicle. From
my reading in Forums from people who have done this trip before, you
can never know what to expect... it can take a full day or just a
few minutes... Well, we were in luck again! I got all the papers done
in about 15 minutes and when we drove through, the guy barely looked
at our papers and waved us in! The entire process took a maximum of
30 minutes. So now we had 2 easy crossing, and one more to go, entering
Belize. We were wishing for same luck for sure!
Mexico, haaaaa! The first town/city we came in to is called Matamoros.
In Mexico, we found out, the road signs are rare and not very precise.
Anyway, we immediately got lost!!! After going around for about an
hour, we finally got on the right road. Our itinerary in Mexico was
to follow the east coast along the ocean (Gulf of Mexico). The roads
were quite good, but very narrow. The little towns we drove through
were that, very little towns and not much in them! The scenery for
the entire drive was really beautiful and we didn't have any problems!
On the second day, after sleeping in the town of Altamira, we got
on the road around 8:30 am. The next town, which seemed to be quite
a good size, was Tampico. We were hoping to miss it by staying on
the highway. In no time we were past Tampico without getting lost.
We were super happy and gave each other the high five! A little while
later we realized we were heading the wrong way. So we turned around
and headed back to Tampico. Following the signs, we entered Tampico,
and got lost! We stopped at a gas station and asked for directions.
A nice man who was fueling his truck told us he was going that way
and that we could follow him. He was super nice, making sure we were
following, and lead us on the right road! That second day we drove
all the way to Veracruz. Since we didn't want to get lost again, we
slept at the first motel at the entrance of town since the highway
we were on was the same one we wanted to stay on for the next day.
This motel in Veracruz, Maxim's Motel, was quite unusual. It was a
gated compound... we drove in and each accommodation had a garage
with an inside staircase leading to the room above. It was very very
private once your garage door was closed. We got upstairs and the
room was super nice and clean. We started looking around and it looked
a bit different from regular rooms... lots of mirrors, very hard bed,
kleenex dispenser mounted into the wall next to the bed, very roomy
shower... when I pressed the power button on the remote, hard core
porn came on. On the back of the door the room prices were listed...
there were a price for 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours etc. up to a full
night! On the desk there was a menu for room service and from this
menu you could also order condoms!!!! There you go, we were in a sex
motel!!! Throughout Mexico we stucked to the nicest, toll highways
(Some of which would turn to crap with absolutely no warning... it
really sucks when you are cruising at 60 mph!!!). In all we had a
total of 14 tolls. We spent 3 nights in Mexico and on Sunday Oct.
15th we crossed into Belize.
At the Mexican border we were supposed to return our Temporary Import
Permit for the truck, but the office was closed for the day. So we
decided to enter Belize anyway and figure out later on how to return
the permit. Belize was not as easy as the US and Mexico, but it still
went quite well. They did look through the truck, but with our inventory
list, they didn't search too much. The lady who took care of us said
that she would give us a break and not charge us duty on anything.
So about an hour later, we were in Belize and driving toward home!
That day, since it was already 4 pm, we spent the night in Orange
Walk. We drove to Barton Creek the next day and finally unloaded Tac.
We also removed the canopy and felt so much lighter!!
To return the Mexican permit, we had to drive back into Mexico, which
we did on November 7th. We crossed the bridge, got an officer by the
truck, got our cancellation document and drove back into Belize. All
in all it took about 10 minutes! What sucked is that to do that we
had to drive about 3 hrs to get to Corozal and the Mexican border!