You better belize it!

Trip Start Sep 10, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Flag of Belize  ,
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mon. 13th This morning we woke in Tikal, got an early morning bus to an intersection to wait for another bus to take us to the border. We walked through customs with only a small annoyance from a greedy offical who tried to get an extra 10 quetzales from Casey. It's not really much money at all but it's the principle of the matter, we owed no money. Casey with a stern voice said 'NO' after that we had no problem walking through into Belize. Changed some money into Belize dollars and off we were to San Ignacio, aka Cayo. I am digging Belize already and that is simply because I can talk to people here, English is the spoken language. Yes I can talk again!! We set up camp on the grounds of a hotel in Cayo and went to explore the town. Belize is pretty different than Guatemala, the people, the atmosphere, and the prices. It is a much more relaxed atmosphere, the people are very nice and the prices are a bit high. After checking out some options for a tour to the Pine Ridge area, something that we could not do on our own, we got a lift from the owner of our hotel (Rodger) to a small mayan ruin at the edge of town. Rodger is a trip, a proper brit to the max. The ruin was pretty cool, some small buildings but no real temple. After walking around the ruin, we went to a hotel near by that Rodger had given us a pass to use the pool at. This was nice as it was a hot day, it was very relaxing to chill in a pool for a while. Walked back to town, ate some dinner, and discovered that we could not get a tour for the next day because the minimum of four people had not signed up.
Tue. 14th This morning was a bit hectic, do we stay and try for a tour tomorrow or do we leave and head somewere else? This was our major problem of the day. Although they were two options that were not bad, it was still a dilemma. Then our hippie camping neighbors asked if we wanted a ride to Belmopan and the Blue Hole national park in their VW. Sure, so we got ready for that day trip. Then just as we got ready, he said he was not going to be coming back to Cayo, now what? Well we ended up getting the ride to Belmopan (the capital city) and got back by bus on our own. The ride there was interesting, the couple was very into politics and anti-Bush which made for a fun conversation. All this while their four year old son slept on Casey's arm. At the Blue Hole national park (not the famous dive site) we took a short hike to St. Herman cave. Using our headlamps we hiked along the underground river seeing some cool cave formations. We hiked right past the sign that said 'Don't pass with out a guide' just a bit deeper into the cave, the best formations were back here. It was a very cool cave. From here we hiked about 45 minutes to the Blue Hole, this is a cenote like the ones in mexico and gets its name from the blue color of the water. A nice refreshing dip in the water and small talk with some fellow travelers. Back up at the entrance we were told we just missed the bus and the next one was in an hour. Just as we settled in to wait a bus passed! We had no chance of getting it by the time we realized what was happening, but we could have if the entrance ticket man had not lied to us. What a pain in the..., so we walked down the road to the bus stop to wait for the next one. Ended up hitching a ride all the way back to Cayo. The guy that picked us up was a guide in training and owned his own Caye (small island). Funny guy with some good information and some warped views but nice enough. Back in Cayo we booked a tour for the morning at a great deal, almost half price. It turned out to be a great day, we were very glad we decided to stay here in Cayo a few more days.
Wed. 15th After french toast for breakfast we got in an old fourwheel drive and headed out to Barton Creek Cave, the first stop on our tour. I felt right at home on the very bumpy ride and Casey was loving it (not really). At the cave we got into canoes and paddled into the cave. Our guide was in the other boat but held onto ours as he lead us through the cave. Each boat had a powerful spot light so we could see the formations, ancient pottery pieces and and an old skull. Very cool cave, especially from a canoe. Our next stop was Big Rock Waterfalls, a very bumpy ride and a short hike down to the river. We had lunch here and swam a bit in the river by the falls. Beautiful spot. The last stop was another waterfall called the 5 sisters named after the 5 falls, Casey counted 7. This stop was short and was meant for us to purchase something from the hotel bar at the top of the falls. We didn't, but hiked down to the falls instead. It was a good tour and a great day. Next stop Dangriga.
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