Helping Hands: Travels with Doug & Dave

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We’ve developed a problem with border crossings over the last month. In short, we were kicked off our direct bus to Belize City at the Mexico border because we hadn’t paid our FMM card. Oops.

When I looked online for information on leaving Mexico, the official website clearly stated ‘there is no exit tax’. But apparently we were supposed to visit a bank and pay a 294 peso FMM fee– somehow different from an exit fee– but realistically just about the same thing. For now on, let’s just call it an exit tax.

Counting our remaining pesos and any loose change, we were 30 pesos short. There was no ATM, they didn’t take cards or other currency– we were looking at having to go back to Chetumal for another night. Then out of nowhere came a pair of helping hands.

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Our new friends, Doug and Dave, lent us the 30 pesos and offered us a ride in their van down into Belize. It was unconventional for us, but the random kindness could not have come at a better time. We drove down into Orange Walk with them, found an ATM, and then found some fantastic Belizean BBQ-style chicken. We sat with them on camping chairs in a dusty parking lot, reading a map and sharing travel stories. We were in Belize City in time to catch the bus out to Dangriga.

A day that started out on a bad note quickly turned into a memorable one- filled with laughter and good conversation. Thanks again, Doug and Dave, for helping us out of a rough situation and showing us so much compassion. Keep in touch, and safe travels!

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