Posted by Kevin and Mandy
14.01.2011 - 20.01.2011
We traveled from Tulum, Mx to San Pedro, BZ by bus and high speed boat and arrived to our house "Villa Incommunicado" on January 9th.
We spent the next 5 days hanging out with 12 of our closest friends, relaxing by the pool, snorkeling, playing beach volleyball and a ridiculous game called dipple, which involved finding a toothpick in the swimming pool.
Kevin thought it would be a good idea to shave a mohawk into his head, and Paddy turned this dream into a reality (much to Mandy's horror). The group took a snorkeling trip out to Shark Ally and Hol Chan Marine Reserve and saw large sting rays, nurse sharks, turtles, eels, giant grouper fish and loads of colorful coral. Quite possibly the best snorkeling we've experienced!
The town of San Pedro was quaint and colorful, easily traveled via golf cart or beach cruiser. We enjoyed the locals, which included a diverse group of Garifunas, Mayans, ex-pats and Mennonites (yes, Mennonites!) The week went by too fast and before we new it we were on a boat to the main land, to enjoy 3 days in the jungle with Amanda, Josh, Becky and Paddy. The Belize bus system proved to be an adventure! The buses are converted old school buses, painted in bright bold colors.
We arrived in San Ignacio, BZ on January 14th and spent 2 nights at the Parrot's Nest Lodge deep in the jungle.
We were lucky enough to sleep in the tree house (unfortunately, no photo). We saw some local arts and crafts and tasted yummy food at the Saturday market, and afterwards Kevin and Josh decided that the mohawks were too much, and got their head's shaved in a barbershop. The $3.50 haircuts never looked so good! That afternoon we scoped out some amazing ruins, which we got to via a hand cranked "ferry" across the river.
The next day, we said goodbye to our friends, and realized we were now on our own. We took a tour of an ancient Mayan site deep in a cave, which had other worldly stalactites and stalagmites, artifacts and human skeletons.
The experience exceeded our expectations and a must do for all visitors to Belize! Next day, we crossed the intimidating Guatemala/Belize border and made our way to Tikal, Guatemala in a packed "collectivo," a van made for 12, but stuffed with 21 people. Kevin was crushing an 85 year old Mayan woman and the kids were forced to stand for the entire 2 hour drive. Tikal lived up to the hype and made the difficult journey well worth it!
We decided to do the 4 am tour, so that we could watch the sun rise while sitting on Temple IV, the tallest temple in Tikal, which faced east. It was breathtaking to say the least! Experiencing the earie sounds of howler monkeys and 500+ bird species waking up cannot be put into words. Walking around in the morning fog with no one in the park was amazing!
We are now in Southern Belize, after a 6 1/2 hour school bus ride, and spent 2 days in the lovely town of Placencia. Tomorrow, we are going to travel south to Honduras to spend a week or so exploring the Northern beach towns and Bay Islands. We are having the time of our lives and miss you all!