the wetlands and Diary 4, I now see the
beach and get back in the central part.|
25/1 2020. After a real good sleep (needed after a cold night, one with back-cramps and one with an endless dog-concert), I spend quite some time at the office, catching up on accounting. Then I head out in the nice sunny day. The first target is within the town; Santa Rita, a small Mayan area with a nice pyramid. I also see several Black Iguanas at the sight.
Once more, I try to find the beach in or without town, but it is either mangrove or concrete. Then it is back on the gravel road to the little hand-pulled ferry. The guy have had a busy morning, and I don't mind waiting for a car or two more. I spend the time watching the nicely coloured fish and the aquatic plants along with the mangrove.
Then I head further on bye more limestone roads. It leads through mainly cane fields, and then Progresso.
Progresso is, despite its remote location on a gravelroad, a rather new town with nice small houses. It does have a bit of mangrove-beach out to the huge lake, but not impressive. Next up is Chunox, which is even smaller, but contain of new houses.
The road changes into red clay, and reminds me of Africa. Here are fields with small bean plants, more cane and more nature. Then I reach Shipstern North-Eastern Biological Corridor and despite it does sound entreating, the dense, rather dry forest holds too many mosquitoes to be remotely interesting.
Then I reach my target; Sarteneja, a little but nice fishing village. I find Backpackers Paradise, and it is not bad. I get to share a whole house with Canadian Nicole, and head straight for the beach, expecting nothing special. But am so much in for a treat!
The most perfect Caribbean beach is found here. I make way too many photos, as I stroll along it - and it is worth it. I stop for lunch at a restaurant, but am eager to go on. I follow it to the end, and airport: A bumpy stretch of grass. Back on the backside of town. The ovner of the camp is a famous French DJ, and the national radio are here to do some recordings tonight. Her music is great, and I might even look forward for it?
Then it is half pass five, and I rush - in the car - down to the seaside once again. Here is the only place in the country, where you can experience a sunset, and I won't miss it. It is actually great. Back at the same restaurant, I order a bunch of real cheep vegetarian courses, summing up to a meat-main-dish.
I get way more than I had expected, but luckily enough, Nicole help me finishing up the six plates. And it was really great food! Back at camp, it is quiet, as the gang have gone down-town to find dinner. I finish up work, and join them, when they get back. Awesome rave, great bonfire and interesting conversation. Santa Rita and Sarteneja.
26. It was yet another cold night. I can't say that I am looking forward for the Guatemala mountains at night! I catch-up on a lot of different work until noon. Then I head down-town to try and find lunch. Well, last nights success have to be followed up, and I get a few of the best courses.
Then I head out on the other side of the peninsular to a wildlife sanctuary. Here are quite some volunteers, but none have to time to show me around, and I just leave again. Back at the beach, I try to follow it to the other side, but it a mix of private lots and mangrove. I try further out, but here, new muddy trails leads to newly cut down forest and new lots. I see a single whip-snake and some Black Iguanas, along with Brown Pelicans and other beach-birds.
Home in the late afternoon, and try-out the hammock. Well, I last four minutes. I get a copy of 12 hours of Under The Moon's rave-music, and go home to work, until sunset. It just can't be misses at the seaside! Rave party, Sarteneja beach and sunset.
27. I am considering spending yet one more day here in lovely Sarteneja, but I get too restless. Just as I'm about to leave, Nati invites me on a horse wagon tour. Can't recall last time I got an offer like that, and I'm in. It is way out in the back-lands in a Mennonite wagon by the narrow trails, to pick-up some bundles of fresh grass for the horses. I get to drive the horse some of the way home; a first for sure.
Then I start the long drive towards San Ignacio, and even make it a bit longer (120 km), to see the things I missed on the way out. The first stint is two hours by gravel roads through Chunox and Progresso and then Orange Walk. I see one of the small wild pigs; Belizean Collared Peccary; Tayassu tajacu and a young Grey Fox; Urocyon cinereoargenteus on the road. I pass outside Orange Walk, and them meet the sealed road after 80 kilometres. I gas the car, and set out on the next stint of 210 kilometres sealed road.
It is through the usually boring lowlands, and I tend to speed. At noon, I try a few truck-stops, but they don't have anything without dead animals in. Then a real nice restaurant turns up along the roadside, and I get a delicious burritos and a mug of tea.
In La Democracia I have a choice: A familiar 70 kilometres on gravel or 90 by smooth road. Well, I am driving in a bloody Jeep, so smooth it is. Around Belmopan and then down the Hummingbird Highway once more. It is still a nice drive through the green limestone hills.
Almost in Dangriga, I meet the little track to the Barquedier Water Fall. At two in the afternoon, I am the first guest of the day. It is a nice walk through the dense rainforest, and the trees are overgrown in familiar vines. Huge tree ferns align the tack, and birds are tweeting.
The trail start following the little river, and if it wasn't for the dense vegetation, it would offer some great motives. At the waterfall, three rangers are working on a rock-wall of some sort. Well, they are more swimming in the pond. I make a lot of pictures of the bright white stream and fall, with the black rocks as background.
A bit further down the road, Café Casita De Amour is found. The house it self should be worth a look, but I don't find it that entreating. But they do serve a nice cup of tea. Then I have 100 kilometres home to San Ignacia. I might speed a bit.. I see a sign for Blue Hole, and give it a try. As expected, it is a cenote, and quite nice, as I have it to myself. Well, a deep, blue hole, fed by a underground spring.
I reach my favourite hotel at five, and head out into the town. I find a new, rather tourist-filled street - at least 20! My dinner turns out to be cauliflower with tofu in. Something got lost in translation, I think. I head over to my favourite restaurant and comforts myself with a great Pina Colada Cheese cake. Home to work in the dark.
The North, Hummingbird Highway, Barquedier WF, Blue Hole.
Pass the City Hall to pay, then down-town to organise a ride to Guatemala in the morning. Apparently, I'm to only one, and I don't feel like hiring a minibus all by my self. Shared taxi to the border should only be €2, and the public works on the other side.
I pass the markets place, which is a bit more alive today. Here are some real clean stands with cloths and farm products. I get down to the nice and perfectly clean river, and see some Green Iguanas. Then out on the smooth gravel roads around the town. In Belize relativities, this is highlands - more than 10 metres above sea level.
A huge part of the area I drive around in is farmland, and it is huge farms. This is where the Germans produces the food for the country. I had expected Spanish Lookout to be some sort of town, but it is just some large industries, scatted around some huge, nicely trimmed lawns. Even the huge farms around here are in a pristine state: Newly painted, white fences, trees cut into shape, small ponds and alike.
The fields are sapphire green with cows and great looking huge trees, corn, beans or maizena. I stop several times to have a look at the huge amount of epiphytes in the trees. Then I cross Mopan River with the hand-winched Duck Run Ferry, and find my way back to San Ignacio for lunch. For a first, I try one of the Chinese restaurants, and get a huge mount of glass-noodles with steamed vegetables for next to nothing.
Then I make a large loop to the other side. At first, it is small, partly rotten wooden huts, small fields and endless lines of laundry for dry. After some time, I connect with the "German area", and the roads get smooth, the fields huge and the crops perfect.
I return the car at two, figuring I don't have any use for it until tomorrow at eight anyway. Home for a cup of tea and some work. At four, I head out in the little town again, waiting for dinner time. A loop around the market and the river, then a restaurant. I have seen this town by now - actually; I have seen the country. Road-trip in the German farm-land and a bit San Ignacio.
29. My plan is to catch a shared taxi for the 15 kilometre tour to the Guatemalan border in the morning. I find a taxi with one seat vacant, and drive straight to the border. I'm the only one here, and get through in minutes.
Belize was honestly not the awesome nature
experience, I had hoped for. Way too much is wetland or savannah, with not
that much interesting. The few towns are not that interesting
either, and the beach a joke. I have taken 2521 photos
HIGHLIGHTS FROM BELIZE, driven 2310
myself and spend 4426 BZD; around 15,600 DKK and €2100, which was a
bit more expensive, than the other Central American countries.
Next adventure is in Guatemala.