It was a rainy drizzly tropical day in Belize.
A day that those who live in rain-prone areas like Ireland or England would call “Soft.” The rain didn’t pound, but it was there.
But our tour was going anyway, and we were not about to let a little liquid sunshine stop our day to explore!
This was the day we had chosen to take a river excursion by boat ---finally ending up at the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha.
I have to admit, there were several things about Belize that I didn’t know. I didn’t even know where to locate it on a map before this trip. I thought it was out there….in the ocean somewhere. I knew that it was a hot spot for scuba diving because I remember my uncle Fred telling me about it years and years ago.
I thought it was an island!
It is not!
Belize is the only country in Central America whose official language is English, though Belizean Creole (Kriol) and Spanish are also commonly spoken. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.
Boating out with our tour toward the mouth of the river Wallace!
Did I mention it was raining??
You, too can own a cheap poncho for the low price of $2.00!
I think the vendors made a killing on plastic ponchos this day!
There is some opulence ---
But there is also a lot of poverty. It’s hard to describe – when you visit tourist areas that are so overladen with fancy goods for tourists ((I got really tired of seeing INTERNATIONAL DIAMONDS in every port….give me fabric instead!!)) But outside of the tourist areas, life is hard. I think the most interesting thing I learned was that Belizeans don’t get home loans…they build their homes as they can afford them. So you will see a plot of land with cinder block foundation that looks like it has sat for a number of years. When the owner has some spare money, he will buy the materials to add the walls. When he has more money, he adds something else. Hopefully by the time they retire they have their house ready and paid for.
Drift wood and open water!
Heading up river!
I don’t have the best eye sight when it comes to things in the wild. I had to have the crocodiles pointed out to me several times….Honestly..unless I was right up on it I couldn’t see it! It’s a good thing I’m not traipsing along the shore.
There were manatee, dolphins, many many birds in all of their varieties, and monkeys – oh, and bats!
At this point there were no photos being taken by me because I was trying to keep my $2.00 poncho and my Belize hat from flying away!
This is what I came to see! This was the HISTORY I longed to experience!
Ancient Mayan civilizations!
This is the “Temple of Masonry Affairs” the tallest structure of the compound. I found fascinating info here on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altun_Ha
Don’t look now, there is a pyramid on my head!
I try to imagine what this was like in ancient times. Who the people were, what they wore, what they ate ---
Group tours took their turns climbing to the top of the tallest temple.
Do you see faces in the stone walls?
Do you now?
I try to imagine this when it was in use, full of brilliant colors ---fascinating!
Side view as we go up…I wonder where that door on the upper left leads?
Oh goodness! Do I dare look down? I’m not to the top yet!
Looking down into the structure, eons old!
The entire view….how amazing!
I made it! I’m on the top!
And yes, the sun is out now, and it is baking hot and humid!
That was a long way up there!
I knew when I came home I wanted to read more about this place, about these people.
Altun Ha, you captured my imagination! It’s an awesome thing to connect with the ancient!
Bye-bye, Belize! It was a great day to get to know you, rain and sunshine and all!
We had a great Quilt-Cam last night! If you missed it, you can find it under the Quilt-Cam tab at the top of the blog! I’m excited to have an idea for a baby quilt for my nephew to be….he’s coming soon! Auntie Bonnie needs to get BUSY!
Hopefully I’ll have time to work on that more today.
The mystery quilt is ALMOST done being quilted…there is binding to prepare! I also want to get that quilting done, get the quilt trimmed, get the binding on, so I can do some hand stitching on it up at the cabin this weekend.
The plan is to make a run to IKEA in Charlotte this evening, load up the van with what I need, and then drive to the mountains from there ---it’s a long circuitous route, but then we’ll have 3 days at the cabin to take care of stuff that needs taking care of.
Later on today I have my 5 minute Power Purge post to share….are you working along with me?
Have a great Thursday, everyone!