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Bus travel in Belize

Charley Wolf and his family of three departed the George Herbert Bush International Airport in a carefree and truly lacsidasical mood for Austrians. It was an alien mood indeed, especially in light of their dismay as to why airport security had singled out little Charley Junior to search his shoes. Luckily Gigi Wolf went to great lengths to always make sure her men had cleaned socks.

Following the intrusive and intimidating experience which the Americans claimed was their right in the name of something they phrased "Homeland Security", the Wolfs weighed the pros and cons of the American dream and decided that Mexican side of America would indeed surly be safer any day than Texas.

And so still unbalanced from several dinners seasoned with an abundance of fake Mexican influence acquired at places with names like Chi Chi's and Tijuana Fats, the Wolfs took their ultimate revenge as tourists and left the USA. They were no doubt uncomfortable though adequate rides which in the end connected Charley and the rest of the Wolf family to the last bus of the day. It was a bus heading south of the Tex-Mex border which afforded the Wolfs the bragging rights as they all swore they would never go back to the United States.

Scrutinized and analysed and fingerprinted and catalogued and stamped, the Wolfs were ready to put their ordeal behind them. In time they did, mostly because the Wolfs fell under the kind and watchful eye of the all American bus line scheduled driver, Juan Fernandez. Juan hailed from the Oaxacan Valley, some small unnamed village that everytime Juan spoke of it, a tear would swell up in his right eye but would just come up short of falling upon his cheek. Such honesty in a man allowed the Wolfs to sit back and relax in the awe of what south of the border really stands for.

As mama Wolf and little Charley Junior slept away the miles as they were always known to do on any trip exceeding a time distance of forty-five minutes or more, Papa Wolf sat wide-eyed and terrified as he watched mile after mile as Juan Fernandez talked to the conductor Julio Cho about lost 'corazon' women and past debts left unpaid and fights that were won but never finished. All the while Juan Fernandez smoked what always appeared to be the end or butt of his cigarette on a brand aptly named "Independence" he eloquently manoeuvred the bus through turn after turn, until finally negotiating the border crossing and the two opposing lanes after that, all the way from El Paso Texas to Chihuahua Mexico.

In Chihuahua, the Wolfs took time for two relaxing days taking in the sights and sounds along the dusty side streets of the town. Slowing down to the world enabled the Wolfs as well to slowly get their travel legs firmly planted below them once again. Once balanced, the Wolfs decided it was time to venture back into the Mexican bus service. So they designed their route of choice over watermelon juices and cold cervezas while they practiced their Spanish just in case.

Scribbling their thoughts upon the backside of a napkin in an afternoon cantina in Chihuahua, the Wolfs knew for sure their's was true love. And so they called as they often did an impromptu family hug in the breezeway of the catina to the Hotel Amigo. Upon completion of their affirmation to their unity, the Wolfs smiled and since, have never looked back.

In fact, miles ahead their overland odyssey would take them through sleepy towns filled with smiles and happy families and mariachi bands a plenty, through towns and villages with names like Veracruz, Villahermosa and Merida and Tulum and Chetumal. And it was from the boleto office in the ADO bus station in Chetumal where Charley Wolf purchased the cross border tickets to Belize as his Gigi and Charley Junior gorged themselves upon forty-five cent chicken tacos the Mexican ladies were frying up fresh in the parking lot in front of the Chetumal bus station. The locals say the women have been there serving up the tacos longer than the ADO bus line has been selling passenger sits.

Although the tacos stayed with the family for the rest of the day and into the next, once you turn south from Chetumal, the ADO bus line bids the traveller a farewell, and the bus lines of choice for the land crossing from Mexico into Belize becomes more a matter of options. Checking out with Mexican Immigration officials to the tune of US$25 dollars per person, no matter what age, and into Belize, Charley and the family considered themselves fortunate in a world more and more leaning not so much left nor right but just simply wrong. The Wolfs had resigned themselves to accepting the good and back that life back in Austria had offered, but not complacent enough to accept that changes had to be made.

And so later after blistering hot showers following weeks of cold ones complimented by a change into fresher clothes, Charley, his Gigi and their little Charley feasted upon Chinese fried rice and sesame chicken and hand rolled Mexican burrito style egg rolls in the town of Orange Walk, all within walking distance of their hotel, appropriate named the 'Mi Amor'. The Wolf family and their blazing ear to ear smiles in all their glory insured that by trails end, paths would be cut back and adventures would be had, all in that mystical place referred to on the charts as Belize, the land by the Caribe Sea.


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