Seventh leg Belize City finally

Belize City Finally

Today I’m heading cross country to Tuxtla Gutteria because I was told it was an airport of exit/entry so I could clear Mexican customs, overfly Northern Guatemela and on to Belize City.

Guess what! It’s not an exit point and I have to fly to Villahermosa. Tuxtla is surrounded by high mountains and the clouds rise to over 12,000 feet between Tuxtla and Villahermosa so I climb and come right down after I pass the mountains and the whole flight only lasted 25 minutes including a climb to 12,500.

Now the fun begins. I want to get to San Pedro today and that’s why I got up at 5:00 am.

Besides all the usual paperwork I had to deal with Mexican customs and immigration, one of which dropped my laptop and damaged it. They put it back in the case while I was on the other side of the plane keeping the gas kid from gouging the s**t out of my wing.

The stupid b*****d writing up the gas invoice purposely took almost an hour to write up the bill so I was forced to spend the night there. He knew I didn’t want to fly over jungle or mountains at night.

The Hilton was just down the road so I asked the cab driver to take me there and he just ignored me in order to get the bill up to $150. Some Mexicans are just a******s and I met more than my share of them here in Villahermosa.

Now that the bill was up I asked him to stop at the Best Western, which didn’t look too bad from the outside. Not only was it expensive, it was dirty, the internet didn’t work, its bars were closed. Worst of all it was incredibly noisy and I didn’t sleep at all. Another bad experience.

Time to leave so I file my plan and since I had done all the other BS yesterday I’m off. It’s pretty good weather today I’m away before the big buildups start, but by the time I get past Guatemela they’re getting bigger. Around 30-40 miles out of MZBZ I descend through a hole and visibility underneath is unlimited. MZBZ is in the distance and the coast and city are just a few miles further.

I call approach and next thing I know I’m parked on the ramp and 4 customs people are headed out to greet me. They all introduce themselves and we shake everyone’s hands. Actually a great introduction to Belize. Turns out 1 is customs, 2 are porters, and 1 is the quarantine/spraying officer for the agriculture department.

They make me nearly empty the airplane but to my surprise they tell me not to bother removing the bag containing my bike. They allow me to leave some bags containing oxygen tank, underwear, socks, cd’s, and misc other stuff. Beats me.

We go inside with my stuff which has already had a cursory inspection on the ramp and no one seems to bother with it now. I’m taken into the agriculture office where I’m charged $15 for spraying my airplane although I didn’t see any evidence it was sprayed.

Next to immigration to get my passport stamped and they put my airplane in the passport, I guess to make sure I take it home with me. They send me up to the aviation dept to make sure my documents and the scam insurance are in place.

Here I make a terrible mistake. Instead of just showing the proof of insurance, it’s attached to another page that I used in Mexico, which doesn’t specifically name Belize.
It’s after 10 pm in London but after 5 hours and dozens of expensive phone calls, the underwriter is contacted on his cell phone.

He is unbelievably cooperative and goes somewhere to fax through an authorization. This is now 10:30 pm his time. Even if insurance is a scam this is the best service I’ve ever had from anyone, and no charge.

I’m finally cleared to go to San Pedro and I away I go after giving the 2 porters $50 (a weeks wages for 1) for all their help and support. They truly were great ambassadors.

Next arriving in San Pedro Ambergris Caye

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