An exciting day… I entered Guatemala! After 3700km of running in Mexico it is time to relearn everything and get to know a new country. The big difference here is that I am only go to be in Guatemala for about 10 days. When I entered Mexico it was going to be 4 months and 2 weeks until I came out the other end.
I said this when I entered Mexico but I will repeat myself. It is crazy how much an imagery line can change so much. I crossed the border Ciudad Hidalgo (Mex) to Ciudad Tecun Uman (Guat) and all that divides the two settlements is a river. But the difference are huge. The architecture is different, the people look different, the food is different, the girls even seem prettier– it’s all just change.
When you cross the border you need to try and act as you know what is going on as quickly as possible. You need to minimalise the caught in the headlights phase. When I arrived I had no money and to be honest I didn’t really know what the currency was. When you step out of immigration you are on a mission – find money and find somewhere to sleep and make sure you are not ripped off!
I think I managed to succeed in both areas and within 30 mins of entering Guatemala I had money in my pocket and a roof over my head. While the sun still shone I had a little look around, got a sim card for my phone and tried to adjust. I am not a big fan of border town, though this place does seem pleasant. There are always people lurking around looking suspicious and police seem extra vigilant.
I am looking forward to getting to know Guatemala better. I have heard so many things on polar opposites of the scale and I am just hoping the reference to kind people with big smiles is indeed the reality. So far I have had an equal splattering of “Hola Amigo” and “Oi Gringo!”