Cayo District

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    • Day 73

      Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

      April 5, 2022 in Belize ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

      Onze eerste daguitstap in Belize was naar het Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Een hele mondvol... De uitstap was heel duur (welkom in Belize) maar wel mooi.
      In deze regio wisselt de flora af tussen verschillende stukken dennebos en dense jungle, heel vreemd. We bezochten de Rio Frio grot, cascades van de rivier en tenslotte de Big Rock Falls, een waterval van 14m hoog ongeveer.

      In het meer onder de waterval gingen we even zwemmen, en iedere keer als we even stilzaten begonnen de visjes onze eelt op te eten. Niets beter op gevonden dan een uurtje blijven zitten terwijl de visjes ons tot een nieuw persoon aten!
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    • Day 43


      February 12 in Belize ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Today we learned about chocolate!

      The roots of the company we visited are Maya, for whom chocolate was an important part of rituals and celebrations and very different from the palm oil/sugar rich product we are used to from home. We learned about the process of fermentation and roasting before making traditional Maya hot chocolate drink from the roast beans. These are ground to a paste, mixed with hot water and a little honey and chilli and cinnamon. They have been making chocolate this way since 1000 BC!

      The farming cooperative exports beans to Europe. For me, part of travelling is learning about other cultures and traditions and the impact of our actions at home on others. We asked what we, as western consumers, could do to have the most positive impact on the cacao farmers. The answer was to eat chocolate with a high cocoa chocolate, 70% or more.

      Did you know, the name of the company ‘Green and Black’s’ was inspired by Maya chocolate - in Maya tradition they knew where to plant a cacao tree if they found Black soil they planted a cacao bean and if in one week they had a Green shoot appear then it was the spot.
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    • Day 43

      Mountain Pine Ridge

      February 12 in Belize ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

      We had an amazing day birding to Mountain Pine Ridge. This was a full day (6am to 6pm) that we could only access by 4x4 with a guide.

      In the morning we added 9 raptor lifers (most in a 15 minute magical spell of raptor watching) and in the afternoon 6 hummingbird lifers.

      We visited the highest waterfall in Central America at 1600 feet and a beautiful swimming location too.

      If birding is your thing check my blog for more info…
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    • Day 41–46

      San Ignacio

      February 10 in Belize ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Including tonight we have spent 5 nights in San Ignacio. This is a town very close to the border with Guatemala in the Cayo district of Belize.

      The town itself is fairly basic but it has been a great base to explore the region. It was Valentine’s Day today and they certainly go to town on that with roses and teddies everywhere. It is also the local elections and they take the approach of fairly negative campaigning. There are political flags everywhere along with banners slagging off the other party.

      We leave for Guatemala tomorrow.
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    • Day 120

      A cloudy day

      January 5, 2020 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Last night, some people told us that cold weather was coming and it will be chilly in the tent. For us, this actually meant that the tent did not turn into a greenhouse and we could sleep well, and today, it was great cycling weather with 25°C.
      As we didn't know yet, where to sleep the night, we looked for free WiFi in the next village. In Belize, you usually get a connection near some schools and usually the central square. In Burrell Boom, however, the central square was a basketball court where the locals were playing their Sunday morning game. We got some signal close to a bus stop yet (see photo).
      Sunday is also a big day for group cycling. And as there is basically only one paved road in Belice, we met many cyclists, sometimes several times as they were going back and forth on the road. So I guess we now know every road cyclist in Belice.
      Now that we are further South in the country, most of the locals seem of a Carribean background with dark skins and the related temper. Even kids greet is with "Hello my friend, how'r u doin'" and we get involved in conversations every time we stop.
      Once we got to Belmopan, the capital of Belice, we decided to stop at Guanacaste National Park to go for a short walk in the jungle and swim in the Belice River - really nice!
      Afterwards, we had to find a place to sleep which took us at least 3 loops around the city. Hotels were either fully booked (or just closed because it's Sunday - you couldn't tell from the signs) or ridiculously expensive (as it's a government town...), so we ended up in a motel. Generally, it's pretty dead here, as houses are very spread out and there's no town square or real city centre at all. Good we are only staying for the night.
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    • Day 91

      Hallo Belize - ATM Caves

      January 24, 2020 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Gestern ging es über die Grenze nach Belize. Obwohl San Ignacio nur 15km von der Grenze Guatemalas entfernt ist, fühlt es sich schon wie eine ganz andere Welt an. Karibischer, sauberer, amerikanischer... Wir hören nur noch wenig Spanisch hier. Stattdessen Englisch und Kreolisch. Das "Peace" des Rastaman im Laden ließ daher auch nicht lange auf sich warten ;-)

      Heute wartete auch direkt ein Highlight auf uns. Wir besuchten die ATM Caves. Mit Helm und Stirnlampen schwammen, wateten und kletterten wir durch die Höhle, die einst den Maya für Opferrituale diente und nur von Schamanen aufgesucht werden durfte. Die Gesteinsformationen, Stalakmiten und Stalaktiten, aber vor allem die Überreste der Opferrituale (Keramiktöpfe, Blutplatten und Skelette) waren beeindruckend. Fotos dürfen dort keine mehr gemacht werden, nachdem einige der Artefakte durch unvorsichtige Touristen beschädigt wurden. Aber das ist auch gut so. Die Erfahrung ist auf jeden Fall in unseren Köpfen abgespeichert.
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    • Day 92

      Caracol Ruinen

      January 25, 2020 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Caracol, einMaya Tempel / Stadt, die damals mehr Bewohner als das heutige Belize City hatte, hatten wir heute fast für uns ganz alleine ( ok, die 15 Touristen und Horden von Brüllaffen nicht mitgezählt) Auf dem Rückweg haben wir noch einem kleinen Abstecher am Rio Frio Cave und Rio on Pools gemacht...Read more

    • Day 4

      San Ignacio - Day 2

      March 14, 2020 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      It was the first day that we didn't need to get up at any specific time so we lazily lounged around our cabana until about 10:30am. And then hopped in the jeep and drove to Xunantunich, another ancient mayan site.

      To get there, we had to take the world's shortest ferry ride (a statistic i just made up), which holds just 4 cars and crosses a small river and is propelled by a hand crank. And free.

      The actual site isn't as expansive as other locations i have visited, but the main temple was massive. Alexa and i made our way to the top, and on the way up, we noticed some people were focused on the nearby jungle trees. The back of the temple was against a hill so we wandered off to take some pictures of the spider monkeys and some large iguanas. And then continued to the top. It was so high, people at the bottom looked like ants. Mom was pretty knackered from the walk uphill to the site and relaxed in the shade as we climbed up and down the temple.

      When we got back to San ignacio, we stopped at a large market and had some tacos for lunch. As we were eating, we saw Alan and Sharron from Indiana who we met at Lamanai a few days ago.

      Then went back to our hotel and relaxed in the pool. We decided going to Tikal, Guatemala was no longer viable because the border was likely to close soon and we didn't want to get stuck on the Guatemala side. Which was disappointing as it was the whole reason this trip was booked. So i spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out a new plan and where to stay.

      For supper, we drove into town to a really cool restaurant that a few people recommended and ran into Alan and Sharron again. Funny how that happens sometimes.
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    • Day 5

      Jaguar Creek

      March 15, 2020 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      While people back home are making sacrifices like restricting their movement, no large gatherings and only purchasing one package of toilet paper at a time, we too were making sacrifices like not going to Guatemala and instead going to the Belize zoo and staying in a jungle lodge. Painful, i know :)

      I had heard the belize zoo was small but really well done. They were mostly right. Extremely well done and not small at all. It was a zoo for only animals found in belize and was basically set up in the jungle. For example, monkeys weren't in enclosures but in a forest area. And all the animals are rescues from the wild with the goal of setting them back into the wild once they are better and able. Animals include spider monkeys, howler monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars, jaguarundis, pumas, ocelots, tapir, coatis, vultures, harpy eagles, toucans, and deer. And more, but i forget now.

      After the zoo, we drove to the jungle lodge "Jaguar Creek" i booked the evening before. It was in a very isolated location in a heavily forested area of jungle. We had an entire 2 bedroom cabin to ourselves. Alexa and i hiked the 30 minute loop trail through the jungle and then hopped into the creek's natural pool by a small waterfall to cool off, while mom relaxed at the cabin. This place has no A/C, no tv and no wifi, which i didn't realize when i booked it, but its really nice to be out in nature. Mom was perhaps less enthusiastic as it took me a while to convince her there were no snakes inside her mattress.

      Disappointingly, we didn't spot any wildlife here, but we did hear the ferocious roar of the howler monkeys as we went to bed. Hopefully tomorrow we will reach the coast.
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    • Day 23

      Einreise nach Belize & Höhlentour 🦇

      October 30, 2022 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Neues Land, neues Glück: ich bin in Belize angekommen.🇧🇿
      Genauer: in San Ignacio.
      Nach meinem Dafürhalten keine Stadt, die man unbedingt gesehen haben muss. Aber hier ist der Ausgangspunkt zu einer wirklich coolen Höhlenwanderung, die ich heute mitgemacht habe. Die sogenannte Actun-Tunichil-Muknal-Tour; oder kurz: ATM-Tour.

      Die Tour bietet eine Kombination aus Abenteuer und Archäologie-Stunde. Das eigentliche Ziel der Höhlenwanderung sind Artefakte aus der Maya-Zeit - Skelette, Schädel, Opfergaben, Töpferwaren… alles noch an seinem ursprünglichen Platz tief drinnen in der Höhle… und trotzdem für den Tourismus zugänglich. Sehr erstaunlich das alles.

      Maximal 125 Personen pro Tag dürfen rein. Es gibt bloss 24 Guides. Ohne Guide kommt man nicht ins Höhlensystem. Zuerst fährt man mit dem Bus ins Hinterland von Belize. Danach wandert man ca. eine Dreiviertelstunde durch den Dschungel zum Höhleneingang, wobei man drei Mal den Fluss durchqueren muss. Man wird also nass von Kopf bis Fuss. Das ist aber nicht weiter schlimm, denn in der Höhle geht es sowieso drunter und drüber, will heissen: Man kraxelt über Felsblöcke und quetscht sich durch Spalten. Mehrmals muss man auch schwimmen, weil es zu Fuss nicht mehr weitergeht. Sehr abenteuerlich das Ganze! Die Maya-Relikte im hinteren Teil der Höhle sind sozusagen nur noch das Sahnehäubchen der Tour. Alleine die Kletterei und das Vorwärtskommen in der Höhle sind es schon wert, diese Tour zu machen.

      Mit rund 100 Franken fällt dieser Ausflug auch nicht ganz so günstig aus, aber eben: man kriegt dafür auch einiges geboten.

      Fotografieren war nicht erlaubt, daher kann ich hier leider keine Bilder posten. Aber auch die Fahrt zur Höhle war schon abenteuerlich, wie das Video beweist.😊

      Für mich geht es morgen weiter mit dem Shuttle nach Belize City, von wo aus ich mit der Fähre nach Caye Caulker übersetze. Auf der Insel, die bei Backpackern sehr beliebt ist, bleibe ich dann voraussichtlich mal bis Donnerstag.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Cayo District, Cayo

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