Page 54: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
We stopped for lunch somewhere between our hotel and the border. The place on the left doesn’t open until 9:00AM. We were directed to the tables next-door. Two full typical breakfasts of scrambled eggs, ham, refried beans, tortillas, coffee and juice; 40 quetzales, ~ $5.60.
There’s a school across the street. Kids work on desks outside.
A student hammers on a typewriter at the store near us.
Guatemala – Belize Border Crossing:
The 15 or 20 miles of dirt road before the Belize border is in rough shape. I’m sure the deep ruts are from the recent heavy rains. At least today the road is mostly dry.
When the traffic stopped I saw that a line of trucks were in front of us. At a border crossing a biker always rides past the line of stopped and parked trucks and up to the front. Heidi knows this drill. I swerve around and past the trucks as soon as I have an opening.
Locals were swimming in the river below. Belize is looking good...
I park the bike at the border gate and start to run off to the Guatemala immigrations building. Heidi yells out “Your parked out too far” I try to assure her that no one will try to squeeze between these trucks and the bike. When I get back Heidi says 5 or 6 cars squeeze passed, inches from the bike. I get ‘reminded’ that I need to pay more attention to where I park the bike.
We get in and out of the Guatemala immigrations and customs process in ten minutes. On the Belize side the entire process took even less time. At customs everything gets entered on a computer and I receive NO paperwork for clearing in the bike. Riding up to the final gate chief without papers felt weird. The chief asks us “Do you have any fruit, nuts or missiles” We pass into Belize with ease. Again this sets a new record for ‘speed and ease of passage’. Belize, Oh yeah…
Western Belize sounds good and the village San Ignacio sounded like a good place to set up a ‘base of operations’. There are jungles, waterfalls, swimming holes and Mayan ruins all around here. We ride into town and look at a few hotels. We next ride out of town. About a mile over the bridge Heidi sees a hotel sign indicating a pool and internet.
We ‘score big’, hotel Aguada; restaurant, bar and the pool has lawn chairs. The courtyard is filled with tropical plants and a pond. There are birds and huge iguanas everywhere. The bike is good here and so are we.
It’s a 4 or 5 mile hike to a swimming hole we read about. This is where two rivers meet called ‘Branch Mouth’.
We could see a distinct line in the water where the cleaner and greener water from the river on the left meets the darker and browner river on the right. We reminisce about a time years ago when we boated to where the Saint Croix River of Wisconsin joins the Mississippi River and the similarities in the separation line.
5 miles across this bridge is a Maya ruins site. We will do that another day.
Sign in English and Garifuna
Maya site ‘Cahal Pech’:
From top of the center pyramid.
The structures are complex and interesting here.
The buildings are lined with rooms, platforms and passageways.
To me, these are bedrooms in the front and back of this building. Each room is complete with a bed platform, some are king size, some medium and one small. Some rooms have a small arched closet and some have small passageways leading off somewhere.
This room has a dark passageway leading off to who knows where. Bats live down there now.
The front of the main plaza.
A group of young people are engaged in an archeological dig.
Sifting for bones while jamming ‘AC/DC’. Heidi always wanted to be an archeologist, now I know why.
Heidi saw a group of Archeologists silently march off into the jungle carrying shovels and picks. She’s thinking ‘maybe a new find here’ and suggests we wait a bit then follow.
Heidi leads us off. The jungle is dense but the trail is well beaten down. Soon we come to four more trails intersecting ours. We stop to listen for the party in front of us. We heard nothing but birds. I tell Heidi that unless we have orange peels to start marking our trail we should turn back now. She reluctantly agrees. We turn back.
To get back to the hotel we have to walk through town. There are always several places along side the road grilling BBQ chicken, ribs and pork. This place looked established and had a nice seating area.
A lot of drive-ups came here also.
The Ride Continues…….
Continued: -> Page 55 <- ->