FOLLOWING THE GRINGO TRAIL:
PANAMA SETS OUT FOR GUATEMALA
El Remate, Guatemala, January 27, 2007 --
Today is Saturday.
I got a lot to report, so I´ll nutshell it:
When I got back to the Seaside Guest House,
Paris and Britney had moved into a double.
Jezebels. They were gone the next morning.
I got on a bus to Belmopan, the capìtal,
from there to go to San Ignacio, higher up
the mountains near the Guatemala border.
In Belmopan, across the street from the bus
terminal and up a flight of stairs is a sub
shop, the first I´ve seen here, where for
nine dollars Bz I got a sub consisting of
roast chicken breast and bacon called The
Biker Chick. Anywhere else in
Belize you never know what part of the
chicken you´re gonna get. You´re lucky if
it´s a drumstick.
The place is called Bag It, and two
wonderful American ladies named Betty and
Carla own and run it. I presume they are
a couple, as they exuded that aura toward
each other that you see in old pairs of
shoes everywhere. They directed me to the
bank, as my energy was running low. [Don´t
go to the Scotia Bank, go to the Belize
Bank as Scotia is invariably a waste of
I went to the bank while they made my up my
biker chick sub, saw a lady selling really
cool primitive paintings and with her
permission took some pix of each. I gave
her a Belizean buck for each of my photos.
Americans are always looking for internet
terminals, and just down the hall from Bag
It, I found internet Valhalla, with each
terminal equipped with microphones and
webcams at about 5 Belizean dollars per
hour. I didn´t have time to explore the
possibilities, however, as I had to catch
the next bus to San Ignacio.
This town is high in the mountains and the
trip up to it takes you through
increasingly lush surroundings. At last we
pulled into the terminal at about three pm.
The Bag It ladies had given me some
information about cheap places to stay, and
I was just getting my bearings when I heard
a girl behind me say, "Haven't I seen you
somewhere before?" Aha! A fan! I say to
myself. "Weren´t you in Hopkins last
week?" she went on. Damn! I say to myself.
Turns out she did look familiar to me as
well, and we right then decided to find a
room to share. We walked up the hill to
the Hi=Et (pronounced "Hyatt", but the
similarity ends there), which turned out to
be full. We were directed to a building up
the street, Elvira´s Restaurant and Guest
House, which had an empty double with
shared bath for about 15 dollars US. We
took it, and as we were unpacking upstairs
I asked my new friend, as Americans are
wont to do, what she does for a living.
"I just moved to Seattle, but when I was in
Canada I was an xray tech."
"Jump back! Me, too!" I said.
"Way! Listen: kVp, mAs, LAO, RPO, KUB,
IVP, inverse square law."
"Whoa! Okay!" she said. Put 'er there, then!"
And we performed the xray tech super secret
hand shake, which even the xray DOCS don´t
know, and the details of which every tech
swears on the bones(what else?) of Herr
Roentgen, never under any circumstances to
reveal the details or even admit the
existence of same.
My new friend Bonnie left to book her tour
tomorrow(Swimming the Lake in the Cave of
the Sacrificed Virgins or something), and I
went to find an internet cafe.
Later we went out for a beer. I got up to
go see a man about a horse, and when I got
back, Bonnie was surrounded by a pack of
slavering Brit tour guides. "Looks like
you've picked up something of a following,"
I said when I could get in a word.
"Well, that's gonna happen if you leave a
girl at a bar alone," she said.
"Well, I´m gettin' outta here. Do you want
to be rescued?"
"Nah. I´m havin' a great time."
"Well, don´t be bringin' no limey sailors
home with you."
"I won't, I swear."
"On Roentgen´s bones?"
"The very ones."
I went back to the hotel and got my
guitar...I wanted to go somewhere and play
me some blues.
I ended up at Eva´s, where the tours form
up in the morning, and laid out my heart to
corwds across the street and in the bar.
I went back to the hotel and arranged my
pills for the morning, took those that
pertain to the night, and lay down and read
about Guatemala. I went to sleep with the
I awoke with the light off. I could see in
the semidarkness that Bonnie was asleep in
her bed across the room. No limeys were
observable. I went back to sleep.
This morning I woke up, packed my backpack
and lit out for the bus terminal after
saying goodbye to Bonnie and having
I caught the school bus to Benque Viejo del
Carmen, where I would take a taxi to the
border crossing into Guatemala.