Friday, July 3, 2015

Go to Guatemala? Don't Mayan if I do!

Ok, Last Central American pun for awhile.

Today was spent exploring the Mayan Ruins at the site of Tikal. My morning started at 7:15 when my tour guide picked me up at my hotel. We made a couple other stops picking up a few other people who were joining us for the trip to Guatemala and Tikal. We were only about 30 minutes from the border so we quickly filled out our immigration paperwork and enjoyed the short drive.

Once we got to the border, we had to walk through immigration and meet our Guatemalan driver on the other side of the border. A law passed many years ago forbids Belizean tour guides from driving Belizean tour groups through Guatemala. Our driver was very nice and very knowledgeable. As soon as everyone made it through customs, we were on the road. It was about an hour and a half to entrance of the park and then another 20 minutes to the closest point where a car could get to the ruins. We jumped out of the van and started hiking. About 20 minutes in, we came across our first pyramid. From this point on, I am just going to show mainly photos with little explanation. This is a fantastic site and is something you should try and see if the Mayan culture interests you and you are in the area.
The first pyramid we came across. Thought to have been built around 770AD. The stones in front are altars that were used for sacrifices.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

No Pictures? I can't Belize it...

I spent today at the Actun Tunichil Muknal Mayan site. ATM is a system of caves that have recently been rediscovered in the Cayo District of Belize. This system of caves has a ton of Mayan artifacts in it, including the calcified remains of about 17 people. It is thought that this was a major religious and sacrificial spot for the Mayans somewhere in the period of 700 - 900 A.D.

There are no photos allowed within the cave system since some idiot of a tourist dropped a camera on a thousand year old skull, shattering it, back 2012. So, that means I have nothing to post from inside the cave.
The road that takes you to about 1.5 miles from the entrance of the cave. You hike the last mile and a half through the jungle.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Don't stop Belize-ing

Today started with me waking up around 7:30 very sore. Most likely from the extremely bumpy boat ride I had yesterday out to the dive sites. I rolled out of bed and headed out the door with the intention of going and seeing Godfrey and his nephew Tucker at the restaurant I ended up at a few days ago. I jumped on my bicycle and headed to their place. When I got there, there was a sign that said they were closed until Friday morning. Luckily, Godfrey was inside eating breakfast. I stopped in and said hello and caught up with him. They had shut the restaurant down for two days to head to the mainland and get some new equipment on a barge for the restaurant and hotel. They had arrived to the mainland too late and were not able to get room on the barge coming to Caye Caulker. Godfrey had to head back to the mainland and try again for the next couple days. After we caught up a little, I headed out to find some some breakfast. A place down the block called Marin's had been recommended to me, so I stopped in for some breakfast. I was the first person in and had my choice of seating. I grabbed one overlooking the intersection and ordered some fresh OJ, some coffee and one of their specialties; lobster and eggs with fry jacks.
2nd Floor restaurant, 'Marin's'
Overlooking the busy intersection of Caye Caulker

Lobsta' and eggs with fry jacks and OJ

Do you Belize in Magic?

Today was my last full day on Caye Caulker. It was also my first full day as a certified scuba diver. It was an amazing experience! I was able to book a spot of a dive boat that was heading out to do three dives.

My alarm went off at 4:45am. I rolled out of bed, stretched and filled up my water bottle. I packed up more GoPro gear, grabbed my dive bag, and headed out the door. I got to the boat just about 530am. We were scheduled to have the boat packed and be out on the water around 6. I checked in and helped myself to the fresh Belizian coffee and breakfast sweet breads they had available.

Monday, June 29, 2015

It's Un-Belizeable!

This morning started nice and early. I attempted to catch the sunrise but it was cloudy to the east. On the other hand, I did get to see a lot of the fishing boats leave the island to head out. That was pretty neat. Most of them were small boats that only had two or three people in it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I can't Belize I ate it all!

Lobster Fest...

© Christopher Moeller
Lobster Fest @ Caye Caulker

After relaxing for a bit to get down to the island speed, I headed into 'town' where the motto is 'Go Slow'. It was tough to do at first, but after some practice, I think I am getting better. I rode my bicycle in and found a coconut tree to lock it up at. Then I started to wander around. I started about halfway up the island and headed north towards the 'Split'. Lobster Fest is the opening of Lobster season in Belize. The festival started Caye Caulker about 20 years ago and has spread into a three-weekend long party. One weekend on the mainland, one weekend at Caye Caulker and another at San Pedro. By pure timing luck, I booked my trip to Caye Caulker the same weekend as their Lobster Fest.

Better Belize It!

Don't worry, I have many more puns coming at you.

Yesterday started with a 4am wake-up call because I had the bright idea of booking myself a 6am flight. It ended up all being worth it though. The first part of the journey was like any other travel day. Get up, get in the cab, wander around LaGuardia, buy a newspaper and then wait and watch everyone try to push themselves onto an oversold flight not realizing that they are not going to take off until everyone is on board. No need to push. My flight to Atlanta was very uneventful. I landed and transferred over to the international terminal to find out that I was bumped up to first class. Not a bad way to travel.

© Christopher Moeller
Just a little bit of blue while over the gulf