A Travellerspoint blog

DAY 32 - San IGNACIO

Skeletons in dark caves you say well alrighty why not....

Actun Tunichil Muknal or to us Gringos shortened to ATM. This day trip was a little on the expensive side but said to be the highlight of Belize so without FOMO (fear of missing out) we had booked to go today. We set off at 830am arriving at our set off point at 930am. We trudged off into the jungle with our borrowed tacky jelly shoes and socks looking like right idiots. I Also had not thought of bringing any of my many dry bags with me so my normal day bag came along with me. Little did I know within the first few 100 metres there would be a river crossing which entailed a swim. Oh well one bag full of water at the other side. It was a refreshing start to our humid jungle trek. After 2 more river crossings we arrived at the cave mouth where we dropped all our bags, downing as much water as we could before our 3 hour long cave jaunt. With crash helmets and head torches alike we walked single file into an hour glass shaped cave opening over a river.

We swam into the cave and pulled ourselves upto the rock face within. As we stepped carefully into the dark shadows the light from the entrance gradually dimmed away. With our head torches on we weaved through low rock formations, waded in ankle, thigh then chest high, refreshingly cool water. In places the cave opened up into vast high ceiling rooms with only a slow flowing stream then it would shrink into a very slender crack in the rocks where you had to turn sideways to fit through.

At about 1.5 Kms into the cave we had to climb about 40ft up a rock face and then we had to take off our shoes to walk the rest of the way. This was so we did not damage the rocks and relics with our skin oils. The guide showed us shadows of the rocks which looked like Jaguars and an old lady which they believe were carved out by ancient Mayans. We saw hundreds of rock formations, stalagmites and Quartz. Truly amazing as they were formed over thousands maybe millions of years.

We then saw dozens of ancient pots and fire pits left in situ for over a thousand years. Two ancient human skulls were also still in tact nearby. Then the finale came where we climbed up a ladder into a cavern where a full human skeleton lay fully in tact. Apart from cut off hands and a severed spine. This young female was a human sacrifice to the gods. WOW

UNFORTUNATELY we could not take any photos as cameras were not permitted due to some plum a few years back dropping his/her camera on another skull causing a huge hole in it. Cheers then.

The route back out the cave was a bit more taxing and we had quite a few tricky spots to get out of but I enjoyed that part as well.

BRILLIANT EXPERIENCE highly recommend to anyone going to Belize (highlight of the whole trip so far)

Posted by Markandmel2016 19:00 Comments (0)

DAY 31 - San IGNACIO

Today we hiked up a small hill by the side of the local Police Station to San IGNACIO resort which had a Green Igauna conservation project housed in their back yard. We paid 9 US dollars each and we had a guide to ourselves. Although it was only one caged pen for the lizards it was quite big and there were over 20 Iguanas all of various ages and sizes. We both got to hold some baby bright green ones and had a huge lizard on our shoulders at the same time. My lizard didn't move an inch and neither did I. The guide was very knowledgeable and it was well worth the money.

In the afternoon we copped a spot by the nearby River whilst snacking and reading the local newspaper. The headlines on the front page covered 3 different murders mainly from Belize city. Described by the writer as the ONGOING CARNAGE in the city between rival gangs.

In the evening, we dined on a coconut curry made by yours truly. Delicious obviously.

Posted by Markandmel2016 18:47 Comments (0)

DAY 30 - SAN IGNACIO

After a 2 hour chicken bus ride we arrived safely into San IGNACIO town and managed to locate our hotel not too far away from the main centre. The vibe here was really nice not too touristy, not too busy and had a nice community atmosphere going on.

We got our bearings in the afternoon and located a fresh food market nearby buying up some goodies for an evening curry prepared in the hoteliers kitchen. Very nice of him.

Posted by Markandmel2016 17:12 Comments (0)

DAY 29 - BELIZE CITY

Stayed in cheap and fairly ropey hotel near to water taxi terminal, the grounds were walled with barbed wire fencing, yikes.
We managed a 10 minute walk to the bus station where we were directed to a local chicken bus outside a nearby school we climbed aboard. Soon after were listening to a big mama of a local lady chimping off about not receiving her dog food from some guy. She practically told everyone on the bus including the driver who did not seem to care but 10 minutes into the journey the bus stopped outside a house on the main road. It beeped its horn several times until a lady came out to speak to the drivers assistant. A few minutes later a large bag of dog food was handed over and the lady on the bus was very happy. Can't imagine this happening in England. Proper community here.

Anyway the reason for this journey was to visit the community baboon sanctuary, which we did and it was fab. It was actually black howler monkeys which we were able to see in the wild. Back to Belize city for more chow mein as closest to hotel without being robbed or shot first.
We did not venture out in the evening.

Posted by Markandmel2016 19:08 Comments (0)

DAY 28 - CAYE CAULKER

Full relax day.
Sunbathing.... Check
Swimming.... Check
Burrito eating..... Check
Cake eating.... Check

The cake man this time rode a girls rusty bike donning a prestige white chefs apron and hat shouting, "BANANA CAKE, COCONUT CAKE MAGIC BROWNIES, SAY THE WORD, SAY THE WORD." You could hear him all day crusing up and down the Main Street.

Evening dinner chow mein takeaway sat on a decaying wicker conservatory sofa on the beach looking at the stars. Romantic.

Posted by Markandmel2016 18:56 Comments (1)

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