Mike and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary at the beginning of the month. The plan originally had been to drive up the coast of California and stop for various hikes and sight-seeing along the way. Mikey changed up the plans (with enough warning for me…as you all know that I dislike surprises a LOT) and we flew to Belize instead! Such an incredible treat for us!
I’m not even sure how to describe Belize or our feelings about this country. It was beautiful. Very beautiful. And we absolutely loved our experience there. It’s considered a developing country and was definitely very poor. I’m not sure that we ever saw a building taller than about 4 stories and we drove from nearly top to bottom and side to side…in 4 incredible days!
I think what stood out to me the most about Belize was how small it is. There are four major roads in the country and very little that could not be seen from one of them. I LOVED this! We didn’t need to go off-roading to explore or try to find places (with one exception as you will see soon), nearly everything we had researched or heard about we saw on one of those roads with very little effort. At one point we saw a truck with a sign talking about some kind of ministry and that same day we drove right by the ministry. And you could ask someone in a village about a place you were trying to find and with no exception, they knew where it was and could point you in the right direction.
Our 4.5 days in Belize (part 1):
Sunday: arrival and drive through Belize City and to the only golf course in the country. Played a little golf before sunset:
Monday: breakfast in the clubhouse and then golf (got caught in the rain):
Awesome moments caught on video (having a hard time getting them both to load, so we may have to try to do a YouTube link at some point):
That afternoon we went to Xunantunich, an awesome Mayan ruin. This was incredible! We were rained on again, briefly, but still made it to the top. It was rainy season in Belize, so we were prepared! But I believe this was the only other time (besides golf) that we got caught in the rain! In order to get to the ruins we had to take a hand-cranked ferry over the river. They required that I get out of the car so that if the car accidentally went into the river they would only have to save Mike.
This is the part of our trip when things got interesting…. We attempted to find a Mennonite community, but the signs were very sparse. We saw a road that went directly to the river, and forgetting our previous experience on a hand-cranked ferry, we assumed that was surely not the right way. SO, we went down a super muddy hill instead…and also dead end-ed at the river. Thankfully Jr. was there fishing. He spent the next hour (maybe more??) helping us push our supposed-to-be-4-wheel-drive-vehicle into someone’s yard and eventually out of the mud pit. WOW. He was using his machete to cut down weeds and tree branches and whatnot. He was awesome and we truly could not have done it without him.
We made it back to the golf resort for steak dinner with a bunch of people from the US and British Embassies. Phew! It was a wonderful first full day in Belize.