Thursday, 22 May 2008
Day 8 (off to the seaside)
Well the day started with he option of going to see the park at sunrise, obv I declined this chance and took the lie in (ignoring the black Howler monkeys that woke me up t just after 4 am). Breakfast was in the restaurant at the hotel and was interesting as we were in Guatemala everything was in Spanish and that for me was a problem but i managed to order something and avoid refried beans as they are possibly the most disgusting in the world (well maybe apart from anchovies). Our driver picked us up at just after 9 - he was a little late as the rain and wind had brought down some trees on the road leading up to the site and he had been delayed. I have found to Belizian's to be very organised and as I put it a cross between Caribbean Creole, jobsworthly bureaucratically efficient(English), Latin relaxed and Mayan history.
We did our 2 hour trip back to the border, though that and back into Belize. We now had ahead of us a 3 hour trip down to Placencia and our next hotel Roberts Grove. On the way we decided to stop at Xunantunich another Mayan site. This had the usual suspects of Plaza's, Temples high class palaces and Pyramids. This one was build on the top of a hill and from the top of the temple afforded great views of Belize and back into Guatemala. The deforestation was noticeable and a tragedy but the locals need to be able to farm and therefore eat but it does make a mess. The air was still smokey giving bad visibility due to the fires, but even so the views from the temples above the forest canopy is great. I love the health and safety in Latin America - there isn't any - there are some very interesting staircases that you can walk up with no hand rails or anything to stop you falling a long way. It is how the Mayan built it but i expected to see a hundred American lawyers at to bottom offering to sue someone if you fell.
The trip to and from this site involved a very short trip on a boat the was dragged across by a man pulling the boat along a wire, primitive but effective. We then got back into he van and set off for Placencia, it was a 3 hour trip but we broke it with a quick visit to a pool of water called the blue hole - basically a cliff with a pool of water beneath it, there were a bunch of kids jumping into it and if we were not in the middle of a long trip then it would have been worth joining in.
The hotel is on the coast of the Caribbean sea and is rather posh and will be nice for a few days, before i am off to Turneffe atoll for the diving.