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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Guatamala and Guns

January 30th, 2009 by sunflowers

I am heading into Guatamala today and for the first time on my trip I am not meeting anyone in the next few days so pretty much on my own from here on in, so I am quite nervous. Also I found out that people are allowed to carry guns in Guatamala. Like the US they have the right to bare arms – though how carrying around a weapon that will kill people is a ‘right’ I don’t understand. I personally like the ‘right’ to live and go places where people aren’t allowed to carry a little death maker. Poverty and guns seems like a silly mix to me.

This morning in Belize for breakfast they had Anchor butter. Good to see the New Zealand Dairy board is doing their job.

Posted in Guatamala | No Comments »


Caracol

January 29th, 2009 by sunflowers

Belize is still in conflict with Guatemala but it has been going on for a while. Caracol is a large ancient Mayan city in Belize which was once defeated by Tikal in Guatemala and once conquered Tikal.

A couple cool facts are that the ancient Mayans had a complex reservoir system that still is in use by the nation park and that a lot of the African’s in Belize are from Botswana that also has a Belize.

I also realised that I should read the manual to my camera and those photography books I am packing around as all my Belize photos I accidentally had the fstop set to 1 2/3 darker.

CaracolCaracolCaracolCaracol

CaracolCaracolCaracolCaracol

CaracolCaracolCaracolCaracol

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave

January 28th, 2009 by sunflowers

ATM Cave (the Cave of the Stone Sepulchre) is a vast cave system that has been left with all the Mayan artefacts intact and is strewn with sacrificial bowls and skeletons. But what is really fun is the three hours of wading up underground rivers, scrabbling up and over rock formations, the pitch black and eerily silence except for the sound of water, journey to get there. We had a brilliant guide who pointed out the various foliage on the walk to the cave entrance.

Great day but also my first day back on my own as Stephen flew out today and I now have Guatemala to face. I do hope some more friends and family decide to come and visit me while I am on my trip.

ATMATMATMATM

ATMATMATMATMATM

ATMATMATMATM

ATMATMATMATM

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


Cave Canoeing and Butterfly Ranch

January 27th, 2009 by sunflowers

San IgnacioSan IgnacioRiding around on my motorcycle we went to Barton’s Creek Cave and canoed a mile into a cave used by the Mayans for the ritual sacrifice of virgins (children). They were high born as their foreheads had been flattened at birth.

I don’t blame them for thinking the cave was a holy place as the limestone structures are absolutely amazing. It is hard through pictures to describe the beauty of the vaulted ceilings surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites.

San IgnacioSan IgnacioSan IgnacioSan Ignacio

San IgnacioSan IgnacioSan IgnacioSan IgnacioSan Ignacio

Then we went to a Butterfly Ranch where we were walked through the stages of the butterfly from egg, caterpillar, pupa and finally beautiful butterfly. On the way home we stopped at a modern Mennonite community and went over a crank driven barge.

San IgnacioSan IgnacioSan IgnacioSan Ignacio

San IgnacioSan IgnacioSan IgnacioSan Ignacio

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


San Ignacio

January 26th, 2009 by sunflowers

San IgnacioUnfortunately due to meeting some Canadians the night of arriving in San Ignacio (20,000 people town in the west of Belize, 9 miles from the Guatemala border) and consuming 1 too many Belize beers we had a day lying around the room reading ‘The 8:55 to Baghdad’, a travel book following Agatha Christie’s journey to Iraq (a great read and now I want to go to the former Yugoslavia – maybe another trip that will thrill my mother).

San IgnacioIn the US and Mexico accommodation was my greatest expense. In Belize it is food. Most of our accommodation has been 25 to 30 Belize dollars for two (12.50-15US) but we are spending about 200 (100US) a day on food for two. Sleeping cheap but eating well. Oh, did manage to visit the local Mayan ruins Cahal Pech (they are everywhere around here).

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


12,000 Miles

January 25th, 2009 by sunflowers

Hummingbird Highway was a lot brighter on the way back up north. I also clocked my 12,000 mile.

Hummingbird HighwayHummingbird HighwayHummingbird HighwayHummingbird Highway

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


Disappointed in Dangriga

January 24th, 2009 by sunflowers

There was two things I was really looking forward to seeing Dangriga. A crocodile sanctuary that is also an eco-lodge with a zip line (flying fox) that turned out to have closed a few months ago. And Shark Cave – a underwater cave that sharks hangout in. We went to the only tour operator in town who was suppose to come and give us information about the trip and didn’t show up.

We did visit the Garifuna museum as the town is populated by descendants of Cribs and Awarks, indigenous people from the Amazon basin who intermarried with West Africans and were forced out of St. Vincents a Caribbean island to set up communities in Belize, Honduras and Guatamala. And a cultural centre which was a half fallen down thatched roof hut where they now make drums. It was also nice staying in a cabana within the sound of the breaking waves even though the owner was a bit scary. We didn’t go to one of the main nightclubs at the ‘lodge’.

DangrigaDangrigaDangrigaDangrigaDangriga

DangrigaDangrigaDangrigaDangriga

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


Hummingbird Highway

January 23rd, 2009 by sunflowers

I didn’t see any hummingbirds riding along the highway (it might have helped if it wasn’t raining) but after a warning of a highway full of trucks with steep curves and no shoulders I had a lovely ride along an almost deserted highway through jungle and misty mountains. Passed a lot of citrus fruit orchards.

Hummingbird HighwayHummingbird HighwayHummingbird HighwayHummingbird Highway

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


Tubing through Cave's Branch

January 22nd, 2009 by sunflowers

Cave's BranchToday we are staying at the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary which was recommended by a few people. We did a half-day cave tubing learning about the Sapodilla tree which apparently chicklets (American chewing gum) is made from and that termites are full of protein and taste like peppermint but I didn’t put it to the test.

It was a cruise ship day in Belize so there were a lot of Americans but it was still pretty cool.

In the evening we went for a walk down to the river hoping to hear the howler monkeys (which actually make a loud growling noise) but didn’t hear any.

Cave's BranchCave's BranchCave's BranchCave's Branch

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


Belize Zoo

January 21st, 2009 by sunflowers

Belize Zoo was started as part of a film project and is now a self funded animal rehabilitation centre. The some of the cool native animals we saw were tapirs, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, deer, toucan, macaw, hawk, ocelot, anteater, crocodile and a jaguar. Cool bananas. Steve is figuring out what we should do for his last few days in Belize and has found a cave dive with sharks. I was a bit bummed not to do the cave diving in the Yucatan Peninsula and I definitely haven’t seen enough sharks (I have liked them since doing a shark dive in Kaikorua, NZ) so far so this will combine the best of both.

Belize ZooBelize ZooBelize ZooBelize Zoo

Belize ZooBelize ZooBelize ZooBelize ZooBelize Zoo

Belize ZooBelize ZooBelize ZooBelize Zoo

Belize ZooBelize ZooBelize ZooBelize Zoo

Belize ZooBelize ZooBelize ZooBelize Zoo

Belize ZooBelize ZooBelize ZooBelize Zoo

Posted in Belize | No Comments »


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