After four days at Isla Aquada we decided to get an early start for Chetumal. We left 6:30 AM on Sunday morning and had good roads and light traffic all the way. We got to town around noon and saw a Propane/Butane place. We were down to 1/4 tank and needed more before heading to the coast. Believe or not he said none would flow into the tank. In Mexico they use Butane instead of Propane. So we left, found a bank machine and nice big grocery and a Pemex for gasoline.
Well as careful as I am, they scammed me at the Pemex. He stopped filling twice and re-zeroed the pump. He had trouble adding the two numbers together and walked away with my money as I waited for change. He walked back and said I didn’t give him enough. I knew I did but I had no way to prove it. No matter how much I protested he refused to let me go without more money. I lost 200 pesos, about $15. It broke my heart but I learned a good lesson. Don’t get distracted by the other employees talking with you. Never take your eyes off the total and if he stops just pay and move on to a more honest place. He hadn’t even come close to filling my tank.
We found a nice place to camp in Bacalar right on a large lake. There was a small camper from Minnesota camped there. I was planning on staying a few days but kept worrying about getting more Butane. I thought that the problem may have been that my tank was warm and Propane has a much higher vapor pressure than Butane. If his pump didn’t put out enough pressure it wouldn’t open my tank valve. But since it is cool in the morning we went back to the gas place.. We got there about 8 AM it filled it right up, maybe I was right. Now that I have mostly Butane it shouldn’t have the problem.
We debated should we head back to the campground in Bacalar or continue on to Xcalak. It was early and we were anxious to get there so we headed for the coast just North of Belize’s Ambergris Cay on a beautiful coral reef. We decided to drive into Majahual first to take a look at the hurricane damage from 15 months ago. The town was primarily a Cruise Boat stop with a pier big enough to hold 3 large ships and all the amenities in town to keep the boat people happy for an afternoon. It was wiped out totally including the vegetation. They were slowly rebuilding the place. The dock was supposed to reopen in November.So off we went on the beautiful 50 miles of smooth paved road to the little sleepy town of Xcalak. There are a lot of North American expatriates here. We had the name of a gal who was house sitting a small home and living in her trailer. She said the owners were coming in a week but we could stay as long as we leave before they arrive. It is a paradise. We are right on a white sand beach beneath some tall coconut trees, with enough sun to get plenty of power for my solar panels. No hookups but a nice bath & shower.
Map – Bacalar to Xcalak