Monday, October 21, 2013

Belize III

After San Pedro I continue on the boat to Corozal, but nothing especially strikes me here so I spend one night and then do the tour to Lamani, a Mayan ruin.  There’s a nice river trip on the way and we spot some wildlife here too, the most interesting of which is the “Jesus bird,” called such because it can walk on water:

There are also trees covered with cacti, which are interesting.  Our boat loses it’s propeller at one point and we have to be towed by another company’s boat to a pier at a Mennonite farm until someone can get down the road with another propeller for us.  Luckily all the tourists on the boat have a sense of humor and no one minds much.

Lamani is interesting and we have a good guide to tell us a bit about Mayan culture. My favorite bit is the faces: What is most compelling to me is how nature takes everything back eventually:

We are in a jungle here (technically, I think, it’s not a rainforest?), and there are howler monkeys everywhere. Boy are they LOUD. It sounds like a cross between someone trying to start a rip-cord lawnmower and the MGM lion.

 Another thing is that everything is BIG here, including the insects!

The view from the top of the pyramid is spectacular - my photos can’t even do it justice.

After Lamani, I take a bus to San Ignacio (unfortunately, because there are only a couple of major highways, I have to go back through Belize City, which is basically the wrong direction). They are getting ready for their independence day celebration, hence the banner. I find it quite amazing how much Belizians love puns involving the name of their country:

Before leaving Belize, I go to the Independence Day celebrations.  Everyone in town is out in the streets, there’s tasty street food everywhere and plenty of makeshift bars.  Despite all the drunkenness and the huge numbers of people from various races and walks of life, everything is peaceful.  I don’t even see a single fight, and I can’t help thinking that if this were Baltimore City, someone would have been shot.  The best moment is three people, including a Rastafarian and a Gringo tourist, in the street playing the djembe, with a very intoxicated very old man who looked like he stepped out of a 70’s blaxsploitation film doing the pelvic thrust in time to the beat.  And I'll leave you with that hilarious image until next time :)

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