Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First day in Belize, Mayan Ruins

I think it's Tuesday. 5:30AM I awaken by buses arriving and leaving and the
traffic going by. People are up and about and talking. The birds are up as

My window is not a bit soundproof so I can hear everything.  I guess I am up for
the day.  Time to update my trip report. The rest of the group get here in San
Ignacio at noon.  This place looks even worst when with daylight in the
room.  I guess I will not be having a shower this morning.

The name of the hotel is the New Balmoral. Well maybe it was new when it was build in the 50`s, it's not new now.

7AM, I am going to go out and see if there is anything to do for a few hours and
then get to my next hotel.  Also need to find something to eat as I have not
eaten since 3:30 yesterday. Found a small place on one of the main street.  I
ordered a glass of fresh squeezed OJ and a breakfast burritos for a grand sum of
3.50 Belize dollars that is 1.75 Canadian as the exchange rate is 2 for 1. Keep
that in mind as I will something quote prices in Belize dollars as in $3.5BZ. 
I ordered 4 deep fried fish somethings that someone else had for a 1.25 to top
up my breakfast.

I check around to see if there a half day tours but did not find anything.  I
decided to check out of my lovely hotel and bring my  luggage to the hotel
where  I am joining the group for the next 2 nights.

On the way out of the hotel a taxi driver asked me if I needed a ride.
I asked him how much and he said $3BZ so I say ok since I was not 100% sure where the hotel was anyway.

I asked him how much it would be to take me to the Xunantunich ruins, he says $30 US
He would wait for me for 2 hours while I visit the ruins.

The ruins were very nice.  You are permitted to climb to the top. 
The tallest building is about 130 feet tall. 
When you get to the top there are no rail or anything from stopping you to go
over the edge.  Not for the faint of hearth.  I saw a white headed parrot in a
tree top while I was at the Castillo.  The are about 6 or 7 building altogether
in this site.

On the way to town I asked my driver to drop me off at the Mayan
site Cahal Pech


This site had a dozen or so buildings.  Lots of them had tunnels to them so
it was fun moving from one to the next.  Both site cost $5 to get in.  Very well worth the price.

It is now 11Am so I decide to head back to the hotel.  It must be 85 degrees.
I stop at an internet café an send out a quick email to Wendy and the day 1 report for 50

Join up with the group at the hotel and we went to lunch. I ordered the special
chicken and rice and a soup.  Split pea and pig tail. Eat everything except for
the tails.

I got 15 names to remember and they all know my name already.  So I
had to repeat my story a few times as to why I was not there the first day.

2 choices for the afternoon activity. Horseback riding or cave tubing.  No way I
am going on a horse in 85 degree.  Cave tubing was a great choice. 

We drove for about 1 hours.  Had to walk about 45 minutes in the jungle with the guide. 
He stopped every 10 minutes to point out stuff and explain things.  We saw a tiny
snake about 6 inches long and a 20 years old ant colony.  The tubing lasted
about 45 minutes in the dark and about 15 minutes outside.  We had headlamps to
give us light. We stop on the way back for a pee break and beers.

I think I am going to like this group. 4 Germans, and a mix of Canadians and
Americans.  We went to supper and I had lamb steak for about $10.  Some of the
guys had bought extra beers at the pee stop.  So we gathered in the restaurant
for a few drinks.  I decided to take my bottle of Tequila with me and make some
new friends. Nobody ever had good Tequila before.  There is only about 1/6 of
the bottle leftover this morning.  It was fun.  Got to bed around midnight and
all the dogs in the neighbourhood decided to have a barking contest.  At one
points the roasters even got into the act.  This lasted for about ½ hour.  The
windows in my Cabanas are as sound proof as the last place, Screens with wooden
shutters.  Not sure which dog had the last bark but I was happy at that point. 

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