A few days of sightseeing in Houston Texas

A few days of sightseeing in Houston Texas

This is part of the London to Belize and Guatemala trip December 2019.  http://dickandsuegotravelling.com/2019/12/detroit-usa-to-belize-2019.html

To be honest the only reason we are in Houston is that I want a steak meal and Delta were doing a deal there when we used the rest of the flights. So here we are for 3 nights and looking forward to a bit of sightseeing in Houston .


Hotel in Houston Texas

Having flown from Belize via Atlanta on Delta we were glad to get off. As it was a domestic flight we collected the luggage and were on our way quickly by cab to the hotel. We are staying for 3 nights at Baymont, by Wyndham Inn and Suites, https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/baymont/houston-texas/baymont-inn-and-suites-houston-hobby-airport/overview which is near the Houston Hobby airport, and close to restaurants bars, etc. Taxi fare was about $18 US. 

Baymont, by Wyndham Inn and Suites, Houston Hobby Airport
Baymont, by Wyndham Inn and Suites, Huston Hobby

We got to the Baymont, and thought ‘Don’t be swayed by first impressions.’ This is a typical downtown US Motel. Close to the motorway / Freeway, and close to shops. Any sightseeing in Houston will need to take place a long way from this motel.

We had a double room on the upper floor, if you had the window open (Good mosquito sheets at the windows) then the noise of the freeway drowned the television. There was a fridge, microwave, huge bed, with an ice machine on the ground floor. However the room and the staff were fine.

No bars near the hotel!

It now being 9.30 pm on a Saturday night I thought we could walk to a bar for a drink. No bars nearby! However there was the biggest Walmart known to mankind just across the way that shut at midnight. A quick walk over there to buy beer and food. There is a 24 hour gas station across the road with a small grocery shop. A Starbucks and a Subway restaurant are nearby.

The following day we awaken to a foggy cold day.

I had conducted some research before I got to Houston and found out that the authorities encourage everyone to drive their own cars everywhere. There are buses, but no actual airport shuttle buses, or underground system. Having said that, the centre of Houston is only a couple of miles in either direction so walking is not a problem, it is the rambling sprawl to get to town from your hotel which is a problem. The other difficulty is that there is no tour bus this time of year. I get the impression that only business people go to Houston, hence no tour bus, etc.

Smallest house in Houston. http://dickandsuegotravelling.com/
Smallest house in Houston.

Brunch at Saltgrass, Houston


We can get to downtown by two buses which will take about 90 minutes or get an Uber cab. We do the latter. The Uber taxi was about $15 US each way. Get dropped off about 1130 near The George R Brown convention centre where, we find out later, a TwitterForGood convention meeting is in its last day. Interesting. We pop into a steak restaurant, Saltgrass, https://www.saltgrass.com/  for brunch.

Saltgrass Restaurant Houston

This is located just under the convention centre on Avenida De Las Americas, We end up having a big bunch. Between us we had steak and fish. Very nice but far too much food for that time of time. The check was around $70 US. Expensive brunch.

Steak and mushrooms Saltgrass Restaurant Houston
Steak and mushrooms Saltgrass Houston
Fish at Saltgrass Restaurant Houston
Fish at Saltgrass Houston

Bike Barn Cycling

We then take a slow stroll to the Bayou Buffalo Park to see about a bicycle tour for tomorrow. We had read that Bike Barn at Bayou conduct a bicycle tour of Houston for $50 US each. https://www.bikebarn.com/about/buffalo-bayou-rentals-pg1892.htm The office is closed, however, we get to go on a 30 minute tour of a Cistern water reservoir. This is based next door to bike barn and is well worth the 30 minute free tour.

Cistern Water Reservoir 

https://buffalobayou.org/visit/destination/the-cistern/ This was an internal water collection point where water was stored for domestic use. Can’t imagine how much water it actually held but it was huge. Lots of pillars made up the building. It was a beautiful place in a weird way, very atmospheric, with good acoustics, amazing echo chamber and, when the torchlight was shone in a particular way, showed superb reflections of the pillars in the 18” deep water which is constantly kept in this now decommissioned reservoir. If you dont do any other sightseeing in Houston make sure you go her, and it’s free on a Thursday!

The Cistern Bayou Buffalo Houston
The Cistern Bayou Houston
The Cistern Bayou Buffalo Houston


Cocktails in Houston

After this we strolled to the aquarium but didn’t go in. Instead we returned to Saltgrass for one or two of their cocktails. We had Frize Rita, drinks – frozen margarita and sparkling rosé, and some beers. Not cheap again, $55 US. 

Frize Rita Cocktail Saltgrass Houston


Beer at Saltgrass Restaurant Houston




Indian meal at Mogul Indian Restaurant Houston 

That evening we head for the Mogul Indian restaurant,1055 Bay Area Blvd,
77058 Houston, Texas https://www.facebook.com/MogulIndianRestaurant

Mogul Indian restaurant,1055 Bay Area Blvd, 77058 Houston, Texas

An Uber ride away, for a small supper. Huge place. We were the only two in there. The food was very good.  Lovely people and a good dark beer. You have the choice of A La Carte and buffet.

Mogul Indian restaurant,1055 Bay Area Blvd, 77058 Houston, Texas
Mogul Indian restaurant,1055 Bay Area Blvd, 77058 Houston, Texas

Sightseeing Huston by Bicycle

Friday is our penultimate day in the US before heading back to London. A serious bit sightseeing in Houston is required. We get an Uber into town and then walk to the Bayou Park area for a pre arranged bike tour at 1430 with Bike Barn at Bayou.  I emailed the bike company the day before. Bayourentals@bikebar.com The bike tour with Jeffrey Bussey at Bikebarn https://www.bikebarn.com/about/buffalo-bayou-rentals-pg1892.htm was very good.

The bikes had brakes and gears! Amazing. We went along the Bayou, into downtown, in and around. It was really good. About 8 miles were covered, apparently. Geoffrey told us some interesting facts and old wives tales. Excellent couple of hours. In fact this was better than any tour bus!

Bike Barn Bayou Tours Houston
Bikebarn tours Houston

Steak Dinner at Perry and Son

That evening Uber took us to Perry and Sons market and grill. I had a delicious filet mignon steak. and few beers. There appears to be several Perry and Sons. Great food in a relaxed atmosphere.

Flight Home to London

Although we flew into Hobby Airport, south of Houston, we left the much larger George Bush Airport https://www.airport-houston.com/ in the north of the city. There is no shuttle bus, you have to get two normal buses to connect between the airports. We went by Uber and it cost around 35 US. There are only limited hotels and bars close to George Bush Airport so either stay in town or try to fly from Hobby airport.

Flying into Atlanta with Delta we had a short connection time for our Virgin Atlantic VS104  flight to Heathrow Airport. The Virgin flight was almost empty, the food was atrocious. Not sure what this was. The food was served as plain as shown. There was no appetiser, no rolls. Not good. 

Horrible food on VS104. Virgin Atlantic ://dickandsuegotravelling.com/
Horrible food on VS104. Virgin Atlantic

Welcome Home!

The Bamboleo Inn, Belize City, January 2020

The Vista Restaurant Ladyville



Hopkins to Belize City

Travelling from Hopkins Beach to The Bamboleo Inn Belize City, although a short distance (In American terms) involves driving back inland and coming out again, so the trip takes around 3 hours.


The Bamboleo Inn, Ladyville

Today we are staying near the airport in The Bamboleo Inn, Ladyville, Belize City,  https://www.bamboleoinn.com/ for our departure tomorrow. Our hotel is fine but not as close to the local amenities as we had thought. If you look on Google maps it seems to have bars and pizza restaurants nearby. They don’t!

Bamboleo Inn Ladyville Belize City Belize
Bamboleo Inn Belize

The Bamboleo Inn, Belize is run by a husband and wife that live opposite, where co-incidentally there was a wild crocodile on their lawn! Nice! The Bamboleo is a cross between a hostel and a hotel. There is a communal meeting room on the first floor, the room of which is surrounded by bedrooms. We had 2 very nice rooms on the ground floor. The husband keeps his sailing boat moored on the canal next to the hotel.

Sailing boat Belize City
Sailing Boat Bamboleo Inn Belize


Local Amenities

When we booked the Bamboleo it looked as though there were more amenities around, how wrong were we! But then we were only there for 1 night. The large supermarket was about a 20 minute walk away. There were a scattering of bars on route to the Sky City Supermarket that seem to only open during the day, and then only on certain days. The Sky City Supermarket, Ladyville caters for all requirements, so no problem there. There is a local, smaller, supermarket closer, the Yan Chen Store, but this appeared to be closed and service was through an iron grid window.


The Vista Restaurant, Ladyville,

On the way back we popped into a small bar, which had the character of a Gnat, The Vista Restaurant, Ladyville, Belize.


The Vista Restaurant, Ladyville,
The Vista Restaurant Ladyville Belize City


This place appears to mainly cater for take away and we were a novelty using the bar. As you can see the bar is a tadge barren. To get served you have to ask through an iron grid window. Similar to above. I now start to wonder if this place is dangerous.

The Vista Restaurant Ladyville Belize City
The Vista Restaurant Ladyville Belize City
The Vista Restaurant
The Vista Restaurant Ladyville Belize City



Late afternoon we return to the hotel and chill, until around 7 when we took our drinks upstairs to the communal room and met the other residents. There is a Pizza delivery service, Breda O’s Pizza Hut, Ladyville, Belize. The landlady took our order and we paid on delivery. An easy day.

To be fair travelling from Hopkins Beach to The Bamboleo Inn Belize City was a fairly easy trip, made easier by a driver of course!

The following day involved a short ride to Belize airport where we went onto Houston, Texas, via Atlanta. Our friends flew back to London

This is part of the London to Belize and Guatemala trip December 2019. http://dickandsuegotravelling.com/2019/12/detroit-usa-to-belize-2019.html


Hopkins, Belize

Hopkins, Belize

This is part of the London to Belize and Guatemala trip December 2019.

Today we travel to Hopkins Beach, Belize, staying at The White Horse Guest House, Hopkins, Belize for a bike hire for a few days.

Travelling to Hopkins Beach, Belize from Guatemala border

Pick up was at 7.30am with Roberto from Jets Shuttle, Belize https://www.shuttlebelize.com/ and we quickly crossed the border into Belize. No payment to leave Guatemala. We met up with Josh from Jets Shuttle Belize, who was taking us to Hopkins. We stopped off on route in Belize for a breakfast of fried beans, some form of ‘mystery meat’ and Jacks, which is some form of doughy deep fried diet busting food. 

Traditional Belize Breakfast

Driving to Hopkins we cross through the deep jungle of Belize arriving at Hopkins around 3 hours later.

Hopkins, Belize, is very quiet, the bars are few with a number of high end resorts to the South of Hopkins.



The White Horse Guest House, Hopkins, Belize, 

We are staying on the beach front at The White Horse Guest House, Hopkins, Belize,  https://www.whitehorseguesthouse.com/ run very efficiently by Angel. He actually gave us a full briefing re location of restaurants and bars, facilities around the hotel, and how to get around before he gave us the room keys. White Horse Hotel Hopkins Belize is a really nice hotel. The rooms come equipped with fridge, TV, mosquito nets on the windows (Without any holes in them), a front communal patio, own part of the beach which was manicured, and close to bars and restaurants. Hotel White Horse Hopkins Belize is a great place for a few days.

The first night we went to the bar next door, Ella’s Restaurant Cool stop, http://www.ellascoolspot.com/ the choice was limited and I had Jerk Shrimps and rice. It was nice but could have done with more food, the price being around $10 US.

Ellas Cool Spot Hopkins Belize
Ella’s CoolSpot Hopkins Belize

There is a Chinese supermarket close to the hotel which stays open until 9pm. We stocked up with wine beer and spirits. They sold expensive craft beer at around $5 US a can. The local beer and wine was a good choice and not at all expensive.

Kat’s coffee shop

The following day we had coffee in Kat’s coffee shop then I popped into a local bar on the main road, close to the hotel, named Virge’s diner, a wooden shack off the main road, for a breakfast burrito,

Breakfast Burrito Virge’s diner Hopkins Belize
Breakfast Burrito Virge’s bar Hopkins Belize


Virges bar, Hopkins Belize

Virge’s bar, Belize is run by Michael.

Virge's Diner Hopkins Belize
Virges Hopkins Belize

This is a traditional Belize bar, not a great choice of beer or food, a TV in the corner with fuzzy reception. Lots of children running around, and a lady that looks similar in build to the one off of Tom and Jerry. Happy days.

That evening we ate at Virge’s diner Again great food, limited menu and to be honest limited food. We had to eat the potato chips when we got in!


Bicycle hire Hopkins Beach

A new day, and a new adventure. It started with me trying to hire some bicycles and failing miserably. Some had expensive mountain bikes, some had bikes but only for the top end resorts, but finally I went to the Bar Ella’s CoolSpot, Hopkins, next to our Hotel White Horse. They had some bikes for $15 US a day each bike. Beware the bikes don’t have gears or brakes! To stop the bike you pedal backwards and it stops. There are no hills so no brakes or gears required. Yes I know it all sounds a bit dodgy, but it was OK.

From top to bottom of Hopkins take about 30 minutes on a bike. There are 3 parallel roads, that run alongside the sea. The nearest to the sea is the main road connecting the various hotels and bars. The other 2 ‘house’ the locals. On a first glance the roads and the people living nearby look a bit dangerous but after a while you realise these are some of the friendliest people you will meet. Clearly a requirement at each house is to have sound system greater than their neighbour, and to demonstrate the sound quality at all times. We identified a suitable resort to relax for the following day. Belizean Dream.

The rules in Hopkins are that if you buy a drink at most of the hotels they will give you a sun bed and towel and you can relax all day.


The Curve Bar, Sittee River Marina

We headed as far south in Hopkins as the bumpy road will allow, Stop off at a gift shop. Lots of local wood has been changed into masks, animals, bowls. There are paintings, jewellery, clothing. All very nice but none have my name on. The tarmac road then stops and we’re cycling on red, heavily impacted sand/rocks. and ended up at Sittee River Marina. We get to The Curve Bar, Sittee River Marina.

Curve bar and restaurant Hopkins Belize
Sittee River Curve Bar
Curve bar Hopkins Belize

What a beautiful place, there are about 30 boats moored there, the Curve bar and restaurant and not much more. We order breakfast burritos there with 2 coca colas and the check was about $30.

Breakfast Burritos Curve bar and restaurant Hopkins Belize

Not a cheap place but very pleasant. Also about 15 minutes cycling from the White Horse hotel. Lots of small motorboats are moored and we watch the birds flying around. No crocodiles are spotted. This bar has a lovely feel but I wouldn’t want to be there after dark as I can only imagine the mosquito activity.


That night we ate at Michael’s Virge’s bar again. I had a vegetables only meal, more food when I got in as still hungry!

Virge’s diner Hopkins Belize
Virge’s bar Hopkins Belize


Peers Place, Hopkins

Breakfast was taken a short walk along the beach at Peers Place, Hopkins, https://peers-place-restaurant-and-bar.business.site/ This is run by a German man and his Russian partner. I have a very nice Mexican extravaganza between a seeded roll.  Huge meal, very tasty.

Mexican Breakfast Peers Place Hopkins Belize
Mexican Breakfast Peers Place, Hopkins,

There are lots of trips you can go on, from snorkelling to wild life treks. Iguanas appear to be the wildlife of choice here.

Igunana Hopkins Belize
Igunana, Hopkins, Belize

We cycled down to  Belizean Dream. resort. Bike parking is no problem. A pleasant stay for a few hours supping cocktails and beer watching the pelicans dive into the sea for their lunch.

Belizean Dream Hopkins Belize
Pelican Hopkins Belize


Belizean Dream Hopkins Belize
Belizean Dream Resort, Hopkins, Belize


That evening we returned to Peers Place Hopkins and had a great meal. There was plenty of food on this occasion. Whilst not local food, the food was great. I had Hummus type nibbles to start followed by a tuna salad. Hit the spot.

The following morning we took an early breakfast at Peers Place. I had the farmer’s omelette. Huge breakfast. Sue had a tuna bake thing, which was equally huge.

Farmer’s omelette, Peers Place, Hopkins, Belize
Breakfast Peers Place Hopkins Belize


Around 10 we were collected by Josh with Jets Shuttle, Belize and driven for about 3 hours back to our final destination in Belize, at Belize city at The Bamboleo Inn, which is close to the airport for our departure for a few days in Houston USA tomorrow.





Flores Guatemala, January 2020

Flores Guatemala.

This is part of the London to Belize and Guatemala trip December 2019. http://dickandsuegotravelling.com/2019/12/detroit-usa-to-belize-2019.html

Border crossing

We travelled from San Ignacio for about 30 minutes to the border, located at Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Belize, and  Melchor De Mencos, Guatemala.

A number of ‘horror stories’ are told on the internet about border crossings and we anticipated that this crossing would not be any different. However when we got to the border, at about 9 am mid week there were no queues. We paid $40 US (Cash) each to leave Belize and got a receipt which is a nice touch!

We walked across ‘no man’s land’ approx 100 metres into Guatemala. Entry was quick, and we were met by our transport, the Guatemalan part of Jets Shuttle. The transfer to Flores was about 1 hour 30 minutes. A distance of about 60 miles.

Shopping in Guatemala
Shopping in Guatemala

We were booked into Hotel Del Patio just on the very outskirts of Flores. 

Hotel Del Patio, Flores, Guatemala

There are 2 Hotel Del Patios in town, ours is not to be confused with Hotel Del Patio Grande, which a number of taxi drivers wanted to take us to. 

Within the grounds of Hotel Del Patio is a very nice courtyard with the rooms surrounding that wouldn’t be out of place in Italy.

The enclosed gardens at Hotel Del Patio Flores Guatemala

Our room had 2 double beds, unfortunately the view out of the window was overlooking someones washing line. We were on the first floor and there was a meeting area with hammocks and tables and chairs. Although breakfast was not included there was a great restaurant.

We didn’t watch too much Guatemalan Television as it was very ‘local.’

Guatemalan Television

The only downside to the Hotel Del Patio, Guatemala was the location in that it was 200 metres away from ‘civilisation’ and the walk back in the dark could be problematical withe the wrong people about! 

There is a busy shopping centre with ATMs and supermarkets about 200 metres away on route to Flores town. 

Flores, Guatemala

The main reason for visiting Flores is to see the UNESCO heritage island village which is easily walk able across the bridge from the above shopping centre.

street scene Flores, Guatemala
Flores, Guatemala

In total about a 10 minute walk from the hotel to Flores. Coming back in the evenings we took a taxi for the equivalent of about $4 US to the hotel. There are many Tuk Tuks in the area. They seat 2 people and charge around $1 US per ride around town. Why walk?

If you are worried about the language barrier then fear not as both English and Spanish are spoken here.

Flores is located on a lake. We went onto the island and found one of the many water taxis to take us around the island, then to the local zoo on another island, the local museum and a gentle ‘drive’on the lake lasting around 3 hours for $10 USD each for the 4 of us in our own private charter. 

Private charter boat trip, Flores Guatemala

There are a number of privately run ferry operators which the locals use to maximum use!

Private ferry Flores Guatemala


Bars and restaurants, Flores, Guatemala

In the evening there are a multitude of bars and restaurants to choose from. We also tried ‘street food’ which is available half way along the Island bridge however I found it very bland, but great value. One restaurant we returned to on a number of occasions was La Villa Del Chef, https://villadelchef.com/ Calle La Union,Petén, Flores, Guatemala.


La Villa Del Chef, Flores

Here at La Villa Del Chef a meal for 4 with drinks lasting several hours came in at $70 US for the 4 of us. Excellent

value. A meal of note at Restaurant La Villa Del Chef were the shrimp skewers.

Shrimp Skewer, La Villa Del Chef, Flores
Shrimp Skewer at La Villa Del Chef, Flores.


If you like real ale then Cool Beans, Flores, https://www.facebook.com/coolbeanstikal is worth a visit. The Cool Beans restaurant is a bit basic but serves great beer! Whist you are there you have togo to the gents toilet, it is both indoors and out!

Indoor and outdoor toilet, Cool Beans, Flores,


Indoor and outdoor toilet, Cool Beans, Flores,


Tikal, Guatemala

A visit to Flores Guatemala is not complete without a trip to the Mayan ruins at Tikal, Guatemala.

Ruins Tikal, Guatemala
Forest canopy Tikal, Guatemala


Weird tree Tikal, Guatemala

These ruins are not quite up to the ruins at Seim Reap in Cambodia, however not far off, but like everything in life you get what you pay for. We arranged a private transfer for the 4 of us with our own guide, lunch, and soda and water along the way. This trip was $100 US each, however was a very rewarding day out.


The next day we return to Belize and head for the small tourist area of Hopkins.