Guest Blogger: Carrie’s Whirlwind Tour of Belize, Part One

Hello, fans – I’m another one of Rebecca’s loyal readers, filling in for her while she visits Dirty Jersey (as we Philadelphians call it, lovingly, of course.)I lived in San Pedro for about 9 months last year, and now I’m on the mainland in the Stann Creek district with my man, a couple of cats, dogs, goats, chickens, and some great Maya mountain sunsets. I write about my experiences down here at my blog, Letters to My Friends Back Home – feel free to check it out :)(Note from the Scoop:  Carrie’s blog is as funny as it is informative.  Her Philadelphia meets Central American “pioneer life” in the Belizean mountains and travels on the mainland are fascinating and awesome and sometimes make me feel like I’m living like a “city slicker” on Ambergris Caye.  Follow her stuff…it’s one of my favorite blogs.  And bonus!  She shows pictures of herself AND looks fantastic in a bathing suit.  Enjoy.  And PS…I am including a map of the Belizean mainland if you aren’t too familiar with the layout.)

Back to Carrie:  Anyway – on to the scooping!

One of my best friends is down here visiting me from Pennsylvania, and I’ve been dragging her all over the country for the past six days. I just want her to get a feel for the whole country so that when she comes back in April she’ll have a better idea of where she wants to spend her time, ya know?

I met her at the Belize international airport on Friday morning and we took a taxi over to the Caye Caulker Water Taxi, and then headed to San Pedro for just one night (about an hour and 1/2 long trip). I won’t tell you too much about our 24 hours in San Pedro since Rebecca keeps you well informed about all there is to do there, but I will you that we stopped in at the following places: Lola’s Pub, Crazy Canucks, Jolly Rogers, Legends Burger House, Pedro’s, Wild Mangoes, Ak’Bol, and the Palapa Bar – and we got to see some of the National Sailing Regatta while we walked along the beach…

The next afternoon, we headed to Caye Caulker (about 15 mins by water taxi) – which was super busy with tourists. We stopped at a few hotels before finding a surprisingly nice room at the China Palace Hotel.

Again, I feel like Rebecca has scooped out Caye Caulker very well for ya’ll, and all Kathy and I did, anyway, was continue to drink and catch up on the past 6 months of our lives – so I’ll just share a cute picture of the two of us at The Split

I’m the chick on the left

On Monday morning we left Caye Caulker – we took the water taxi to Belize City, grabbed a regular taxi to the bus terminal, and then hopped on a bus heading to Belmopan. I was planning on showing Kathy around the capital for a little while, but everything – and I mean EVERYTHING was closed for the holiday (Garifuna Settlement Day) so we went back to the bus terminal to wait for the Benque bus to take us to Cayo. While we were waiting, though, we were approached by a very nice taxi driver who offered to take us all the way to Cayo for just $20bz – an amazing price considering that no one has ever offered to take me that far for less than $100bz, ever.

It was so much quicker and more comfortable than the bus, for sure.

I had him drop us off at my friend Marley’s house in Santa Elena and then me, Kathy, Marley, her three daughters and one of their little friends all walked down to the Macal river to hang out for a bit.

The bridge separating Santa Elena and San Ignacio.

looks like a good spot this kid has…

the kids helping me find some nice rocks for my collection

When it was time to go, Kathy and I walked over to the San Ignacio side and stopped for some drinks at the MayaWalk Bar before checking into our room at Nefry’s Retreat – a super cute and affordable place in a residential area right outside of the main part of town

I cannot find the pictures of Nefry’s in my folders for some reason – but if you scroll down through  this post, you’ll see what it looks like.

Here are a few random pictures from San Ignacio…

Under the Hawksworth Bridge.

View of the street from the Belize Coffee Company.
The new Cayo Welcome Center.

The next morning, after hanging out at the Belize Coffee Company for a little while, we got ourselves a ride out to Xunantunich so Kathy could see some Mayan ruins.

The vendors on the way in…

The car ferry to take you across the river to the site.

I’ve climbed to the top of Xunantunich 4 times now, and each time my fear of heights gets a little bit stronger. Both of us, while sitting at the top and enjoying the view, felt a little bit petrified that we were going to fall off and die. There was a tour guide up top named Brown Sugar who promised to catch us if we fell, but that didn’t make us feel much better, and we kept asking him to step back from the ledge because it was freaking us out.

The first view of El Castillo, the largest pyramid of Xunantunich.

El Castillo from the jungle…

Halfway to the top.

Stay tuned over the next few days for Carrie’s further adventure with Sugar Bear and then in Belmopan and “out west” on the Hummingbird Highway AND more…

And ALWAYS check her out on her blog and on her facebook page, Letters to My Friends.

Thanks Carrie, you rock.   And tee hee…Sugar Bear.

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