December 18, 2011 Xunantunich Maya Temples and transfer to San Pedro
Waking up to our beautiful scenic view of the Cahal Pech Resort was so amazing and was the perfect start to today’s journey in San Ignacio, Belize. We had breakfast and took a few pictures before departing our hotel. We took a short ride to Xunantunich (Maya for “Maiden of the rock”) which is near the western border of Belize and Guatemala. We climbed a few temples, walked through the rain forest, stopped to see ants carrying leaves to their home to use it as fertilizer for food, and saw the sensitive mimosa. It was very interesting to see this plant, as it shrivels up when touched and goes to sleep. Some people use mimosas to help with insomnia or sleep disorders, which I will need after today’s long journey. We then climbed the second highest temple in Belize! It was amazing and took little effort to climb and once we reached the top we took pictures, then saw the wall carvings on the temple and climbed back down. We got back on the hand cranked ferry to cross the Mopan River while our tour guide Randy turned on “crank that” by Soulja boy. We then headed back to Belize City and took a 1 hour and 15 minute boat ride to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where we will be staying for three nights.
Greetings from Belize, Thavina Ounnarath
December 17, 2011
The first stop in today’s journey was to the Belize Zoo, according to Randy, this particular zoo is unique due to the fact that the animals are in their natural habitats. Throughout the zoo, we saw different and interesting species of animals that we have not encountered before. The highlight of the zoo was being victims of Junior, the JAGUAR! Professor threatened us saying that this could be our punishment for doing wrong during our stay in Belize.
The next destination was zip lining and cave tubing at Cave Branch Outpost . There were 7 different zip lines for us to zip down, all at different speeds, heights, and lengths. The tallest of which was about 700 feet with a speed about 30 miles per hour. We both felt like Tarzan racing down the line through the jungle. After zip lining, we had lunch and off to cave tubing we went! The hike was exhausting, going through the jungle and battling with the currents of the river. The hike was all worth it since the view of the cave tunnel was breathtaking. Traveling with the currents and ripples in the cave was enjoyable. We saw bats and other things by using our imagination, such as the three witches and the jaguar staring us down from above. Once the tubing trail ended, it was not the end of our adventure. Mostly everyone jumped from a cliff into the river, which was an adrenaline rush.
To end the tiresome day, we had an hour ride to our new hotel on top of the hills, Cahal Pech Resort. The view from our patio was magnificent because it was overlooking the village.
From Steven Cao and Lisa Nguyen
Yesterday our flight landed in Belize, and ever since the arrival at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel we have all become friends and created many memories in only the beginning of our great adventure together. Last night Shawna, Ben, and Javon decided to take a little swim in the beautiful pool while Thavina and Patty dipped their feet and talked. And yes, it was raining and cold, but that made it even more exciting!
On this trip to Belize there is Professor Harris, Randy the tour guide, Patty, Lisa, Steven, Javon, Thavina, Shawna and Ben. We are driving up to New River Lagoon and riding a boat up to Lamanai then driving out to see Almun Ha. A few amazing things we did was hold a baby crocodile, feed bananas to Spider Monkeys, barter with the natives, climb steep temples in the rain, watch a Jesus Christ lizard run on water, slide down the side of a Mayan mound as a short cut and see a double rainbow.
Even though we were all exhausted from exploring the tops of many Mayan temples, the night is still young so we decided to all go swimming and eat by the poolside. After dinner Ben went and grabbed a deck of cards and him, Thavina, Patty, Javon and Shawna played a long game of Spoons, that was filled with many laughs to the point of tears and injured hands. The victor was Shawna with her quick ninja like skills, and her winning prize was to pick a victim to throw in the pool. Her choice: Ben. Now that the day is over we are all going to write in our journals and pack up our belongings for tomorrows adventures!
Quote of the Night: Inspiration – Forest Gump
“There are table spoons, soup spoons, tea spoons… that, that’s about it.” – Ben
Created by Shawna Grace