Yesterday I planned a morning water taxi to start my trip to Orange Walk, Belize. Sugar City. An area of agriculture – primarily sugar cane – Spanish speakers, food, Mestizo culture, rum, Maya sites like Lamanai and the unofficial capital city of Belize’s Independence celebrations.
Many will attest that the parade on September 21st in Orange Walk is the best in the country. But since I will be enjoying my “home town parade” in San Pedro that day, I thought I’d check out some of the build-up. Check out the fair and the rides, the decorations…and how Orange Walk was preparing for the big day. Belize’s 33rd birthday.
But first, I needed to get there.
We pulled into Belize City at about 11.20am and caught a taxi over to the bus station. An 11.45am local bus was practically empty and waiting. Almost too good to be true…
It was the local…which means it can stop anywhere and everywhere. But luckily, once you get past Ladyville, this area is pretty sparsely populated.
Five BZD dollars, and about one hour and a half…I saw the big sign. WELCOME TO SUGAH SITI.
Why thank you. We passed one of the large cane fields and the sugar refinery.
And I check my watch as soon as I got off the bus. Not bad. 3.5 hours seems like nothing to me these days.
I walked towards the town center. I have only been here one time before – but again, I was surprised by how big Orange Walk is.
A full blown fair is set up…that includes the BIG ferris wheel. The one that made me excited, then slightly scared and then sick a few months ago at the Belmopan Agriculture Show. This thing ain’t for pantywaists…
The town hall is looking beautiful though the main road is under heavy construction. Just one more week…in fact FIVE DAYS…before the big parade.
A short drive away – the hotel gave me a lift – I was on the river. With lily pads, tons of birds and hardly a person in sight.
And two of these enormous green iguanas were perched on the rocks. And I was able to learn a new thing about this species – while getting the crap scared out of me.
These things can swim! I was creeping, creeping, creeping up on him to take a photo – thinking there wasn’t really anywhere for him to run to. When I got about 10 feet away, I squatted down and this thing dove into the water. Fully underwater and swam to the other side of the river.
Underwater. Creepy is what I have to say about that.
I’m off to eat one million tacos and to explore Orange Walk today. Over and out.
Oh…and note: Most hotels in Orange Walk are already sold out for this weekend and the bus is going to be PACKED. Plan accordingly if you are coming for the parade!