Punta Gorda, Belize

Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
Trip End Jan 16, 2013

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What I did
ya axche conservation corridor

Flag of Belize  , Toledo,
Friday, January 4, 2013

I took a local bis from Flores down to Rio Dulce where my plan was to stay for two nights and then get a boat to Livingston to catch another to Punta Gorda, Belize. However I only ended up spending one night in Rio as I found out that the only boat to Belize from Livingston was the next day at 7am.
I didnt really fancy spending any more nights in Livingston but I didnt really have much choice. I found a cheap place to stay and caught up on my back log of blog writing :-)
The boat ride was pretty quick and only took about an hour. Immigration was easy and hassle free and I was able to check myself in Nature's Way Guest House by 9am.
Its not a bad little guest house but if you are looking for luxury then you wont find it here! Rustic and colonial is how I would describe it. I am expecting it to fall apart at any moment. I can even hear the termites eating the wood at night! lol. 

One of the reasons I wanted to stay in PG was I had read you do a Ranger for a Day with a conservation organisation called Ya Axche (pronounced Yaa Shay). I went to their main offices in PG to enquire about doing it on Saturday. I was told that I needed at least one other person to make it worthwhile for the rangers. As I hadn't been in PG more than a few hours I didnt really think I was going to be able to find someone. I went back to the guest house and asked the owner Chet if he knew anyone who might be interested. He thought Michael, a retired guy who was staying at the guest house for 6 months, might be interested. I decided I would walk around the town for a little bit to see if I could find anyone. I approached a group of three people who looked like they were travellers and asked if they would be interested. At first they thought I was working for a tour company trying to sell the experience and were just humouring! lol. They then realised I just didn't have any friends and was looking of someone to go with. They invited me to join them for some food. As we got talking I found out they were all divers on an expedition with ReefCI. They invited me to join them in the evening for some drinks at a local bar and meet the owner. I had a chat with Polly and learnt they seen some whale sharks a few days ago so I decided I would join them for a week. I really wanted to Whale Sharks and thought this could be an interesting opportunity and adventure.

It was a great experience. Myself and Michael, caught the 8am bus to Independence and asked the driver to stop at the field offices of Ya Axche which took about an hour. We were met by our two guides, Marcus and Marcus who were both from the Mayan tribe of Kekchi (Q'eqchi) who live in Belize. They were both pretty knowledgeable with flora and fauna of the jungle. We were stopping every few minutes for them explain what a certain tree was and what it was used for.
We spotted quite a few different tracks on the trail including Jaguar paw prints which was pretty cool. I even managed to spot some they had missed :-)
Sunday I spent relaxing and hanging out with Ariel and Sami by docks. The weather was still pretty bad and wet so there wasn't much else to do. In the evening we went Polly's husbands sons birthday party. It turned out to be quite a fun evening. We played table football with some Belizean kids had a BBQ and ate cake. One of the kids, Alex who had been my team mate on the table football, decided to face plant the chocolate cake as soon as the candles had been removed. Was very entertaining!
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