We went from a “luxury” lodge in Belize to the Jungle Inn at Tikal in Guatemala. We flew in a three passenger plane and I can’t imagine how we would have managed to schlep all our snorkeling gear and dirty clothes. We were either lucky enough or smart enough to find out about Margie’s Travel Service at the Belize Airport before the fact. We stashed our stuff with Margie at a slightly stiff $5 per day per piece of luggage. Three bags, three days, you do the math. It was worth it!
When we left Belize City for our three-day excursion to Guatemala, we had to pay an exit tax—in U.S. dollars, cash money—of $30 each. When we left Guatemala, we had to pay another exorbitant exit tax and when we left Belize for the States, we would have to pay yet ANOTHER exit tax. One thing and another, we were running very short on cash. If we went to the ATM at the Belize Airport, we would pay a fee to get Belizean money, which we would have to exchange for American dollars for another fee in order to pay the exit fee. The meaning of the phrase “yanking your chain” all of sudden became painfully clear. I was infuriated but how can you fight city hall--especially when you’re a tourist?
We had paid Margie in cash in advance—not knowing that we would be down to our last few bucks by the time we got back to Belize. We asked her if she would give us back the cash and allow us to put the charge on a credit card. Miraculously, she said, “Yes, I can do that.” She not only rustled up enough American cash but she waxed eloquent on Belizean politics for about ten or fifteen minutes. She had something to say, she said it with panache. She is a likable, friendly soul and I’m happy to have met her. And if it turns out that you’re ever in need of her services at the Belize Airport, you’ll be glad to meet her, too.