Today is Rebecca’s last day with me. Still not sure what’s happening with parts coming up from Guatemala, a bike that barely runs, and my leg looking pretty bad, I’m really worried about being on my own for the return trip to Canada.
We pack up the bike and head out of bombed out hell hole that is Belize City. At the airport we get Rebecca’s flight in order, and I take off to find the Fedex depot to see if any packages have arrived. I’m not sure if they are coming under my name, Anthony’s, or his friend here in Belize City.
At Fedex’s depot a friendly chap explains that nothing has come from Guatemala in the last 2 days, but that there is a shipment coming in tonight, and it will be cleared through customs by noonish tomorrow. I thank him, cross my fingers that my TPS (Throttle Position Switch) is on that plane, and head back to the other side of the airport to say goodbye to Rebecca.
The airport has free Wifi, so I’m able to get some emails off. I don’t want to spend my last few moments with Rebecca fussing over the bike stuff and Wifi, but it’s so hard to focus. After she heads off through security I spend the next half hour making some skype calls to Anthony and Jose in Guatemala. Nobody is sure if the part ended up on plane yet or not. All I can do is find a place for the night, check emails, and come back to Fedex tomorrow.
I park the bike along the fence next to the runway and wave to Rebecca’s plane as she speeds down the runway. Now it’s just me, a scary leg, and a broken bike.
Rebecca’s plane taking off
I know of an inexpensive place 30 minutes north of Belize City that has rooms and camping. Anything will be better than another night in town. Along the way another big CC motorcycle and I are having some fun taking turns passing cars. Eventually he signals to pull into a place, and as I whiz by I realize that he is turning into Slim’s Roadside Restaurant, where we had our first Belizean meal. I gear down, and turn around. I think I’ll have some lunch there as well, but as I pull up something feels VERY wrong with the bike.
A flat front tire. You’ve got to be kidding me. My spirit is about shot. I’m not sure I can deal with this, given the last couple of days. To add insult to injury, it’s another failed valve stem. And, I don’t have a spare. The Garmin Tire Pressure Sensors are putting too much weight and vibration on the valve stems and wearing them through. Garmin will be getting an email.
The only thing to do is dismount the front wheel and take it to a shop. Slim suggests that I take the local bus back into Belize City to Carribean Tire, which I know where it is. Full Riding gear, sweaty from mid-day working on the bike, and now a jammed full bus with no AC. Not good.
While waiting for the bus I decide to try hitchhiking. The third vehicle to pass slows down, stops, and backs up towards me. As I step to the window I’m amazed. It’s Ray, a guy we had met 2 weeks ago AT Slims, who rides motorcycles and is a retired NYC cop. He offers to take me down the road to a mechanic.
Less than 30 minutes later I have a repaired tire in hand, and a ride back to Slim’s from another friendly local. After remounting the wheel, I can finally grab some lunch. Slim has Gibnut (also called the Royal Rat). This may be my last day in Belize, and I have yet to try this local food. It is literally a large rodent that is stewed, and is quite tasty.
The gentle Gibnut (Royal Rat) = tasty!
My day ends with a 2 miles offroad stretch into a nature preserve where my accommodations await me, along with more Belizean hospitality and great food.
So, with Rebecca gone, and a flat tire, the day started off Lemons. But, with a great meal, 2 Belizean friends (Ray & Slim), and a nice place to stay for the night, I’d say I found some Lemonade.
Oh, and the Wifi here works. I found out the bad news. The part has not left yet. I can’t wait any longer. I need to head to Guatemala City myself to get the part. Now I need to limp the bike 9 hours, across another border, into an unknown and rumoured nasty/dangerous country. I really don’t want to break down there. At least in Belize I can communicate in English. In Guatemala, I may be SOL on the side of the road.