Friday, March 18, 2011

Wending Home

The trip from Dangriga to Chetumal was uneventful, and a little bit faster than expected. When I went through Customs, I did not have enough for the exit fee, but I was able to borrow the extra from somebody else leaving Belize and repay her when we reached Chetumal.

The bus dropped us in Chetumal at a gas station, which was not where we departed from on my way down, so I had no idea where we were. No problem, I just took a taxi to my hostel, for a couple bucks. It was just getting on dark when I arrived at my hostel. The hostel in Chetumal was more like a hotel. I actually prefer hostels with shared dorm-style rooms and public areas to private rooms, because you get more of a chance to meet the other travelers. The restaurant across from the hostel was closed, but there was Domino's takeout just up the street, so I had a medium veggi pizza for dinner. No lunch, so I ate the whole thing.

The next morning, it was very easy to find the ADO bus terminal, because you go out the front door of the hostel, and the terminal is right there, across the street. There is a little park you have to walk through, but no big deal.

I arrived in Cancun in mid-afternoon, and walked to the hostel. It wasn't far, but the directions were not entirely clear, so I was actually grateful for the people who want to help you from the bus terminal for a few bucks. I found the hostel and checked in, and then went out to see some of Cancun.

Because I was only there the one evening and next morning, and because I'm pretty well past the whole partying scene, I stayed downtown and returned to the hostel pretty early, rather than heading down to the beach and engaging with the Spring Break crowd. I found some delicious veggie burritos for dinner and lunch the next day. The hostel served a very light continental breakfast of juice and toast.

I took the shuttle from the bus terminal to the airport rather than paying a lot of money for taxi the next morning. I got off at the wrong terminal, but the airport had its own free shuttle to take people between terminals. I checked in and got to the gate just a few minutes before they started boarding. The plane was in the air a few minutes late, but made up the time and landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International on time.

From there, its disembark, go through customs, reembark, and fly on to the Moline, Illinois airport where my parents were to pick me up. Customs was extremely slow. I got through customs at 7:25, and my flight started boarding at 7:20. I handed over my checked bag to the airline agents again, passed through security, caught the sky-tram to the proper terminal, and made it to my gate just before final boarding call. I think only one person got on the plane after me.

We flew to Moline, and I texted my folks to let them know I was on the ground as soon as we were allowed to turn our phones back on. It was just Dad to pick me up, so he greeted me when I left the secured area, and then we waited for my baggage claim. And waited. And waited. Then they announced that all the baggage had come through already. Okay . . . no luggage.

We waited for them to come open up the airline claims counter, and did the necessary paperwork, then made the drive to Cedar Rapids. Thus concludes the international portion of my trip. I still have the duration of my stay in Cedar Rapids and then my next visit in Utah before my return to Spokane, but I expect to be in Spokane March 27, in time for classes March 28.

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