We had an amazing experience our first full day in Guatemala. Up with the sun, at about 5:30,we got around and headed out for a mountain jungle hike. The humidity picked up, but the canopy of the jungle protected us from the sun. It was some of the best exercising we have done in a while. It was beautiful to capture the ray’s coming through the trees, see ornate, damp spider webs hanging in the trees, a spectacular view of the neighboring island of Flores, and breathing the fresh air! All said and done, we were back by 8:30, ready to start the day right after showers! It was so humid in the jungle! Gotta love living Life All Out!
There are 3.5 sq miles of dense jungle to explore with 6 suspension bridges over the jungle canopy! Although we did not see any animals on our hike we did see some bugs & spiders! During the night we did hear the infamous holler monkeys calling out high above our camp!
On the park grounds is also a finca (farm). Horses and donkey are allowed to roam the grounds & camp area. We were treated to the alpha donkey wrangling the horses! He was making all kinds of noise as he chased them thru our camp into the woods and back out then across the creek to where they finally came to a stop!
This is one of our favorite places to camp near Flores! Our 3rd time here and I’m sure we will be back!
The day finally came when we could re-enter Guatemala! After being turned away in March because it was to soon for us to enter again with our truck papers (having just been there in January) we waited out our 3 months in Belize, a U.S. visit and Mexico. We were told in Februay when we tried to leave Belize that we were only gone one month of the required 3 months on our importation. If we wouldnt have turned it in when leaving Guatemala, all would have been fine. Slight delay in travel!
We stopped in Belmopan to fuel up first and met this adorable Mayan man who loved our truck & story. He wished us the best on our travels and welcomed us back in the future!
Once we were in Guatemala it was time to make a quick stop at the Sareta for ice cream! We were in a little hurry because we could see black storm clouds coming in. We made it back to the trucks just as the storm began. It was the worst storm we have driven in to this point! Tons of downed trees and water washing across the roads!
We always love the over night stop at Agua Caliente (hot water falls) just a short drive from Rio Dulce. The kids from the neighboring village always come to our campers to see what we’re up to, to sell us coconuts,banana pancakes, and play.
This time, they were treated to the antics of Bernard Barbour🤔, who imitated every kind of animals you can think of, chasing them around the campsite. They are such fun loving kids. Despite the communication barriers, every child just wants to know someone loves them, and will pay attention to them. Before it was over, we all got involved in acting out some type of animal, chasing them around.
The young girls, were infatuated with Angela’s bright toe nails, and sat on the camper steps, “petting” her nails and asking for theirs to be done.
Our favorite resident caretaker, and security guard is Our favorite resident caretaker & security guard is Frederico. He is 75 years old, and as spry as a 40 year old. He has lived on the river, at the waterfalls his whole life. He attributes his fantastic health to God, hiking, and swimming in the falls. He was thrilled to receive a special VIP tour of our campers as we shared bananas. He has the most Infectious smile, and laugh. He truly enjoys life. I’m pleased to call him a friend, and enjoy seeing him each time.
The waterfalls are absolutely magical! On this visit the water was down a bit and we could see the rock formation & caves we usually swim around. The river is very crisp, and powerful, while the waterfalls are hot and beautiful. The temperatures are fueled by the sulpheric gases from the volcanoes in the area. Some areas, will actually burn your skin, as it is so hot.
I managed to talk Bernard into braving the climb to the top of the waterfalls with me, where I introduced him to the mud bath that locals claim to rejuvenate your skin. The girls opted to forgo the mud and relax in the waters below.
There is a place so amazing, that you can swim in the Caribbean sea, along side turtles, colorful fish, sting rays, and even Sharks! This place is located about 20 miles off the shores of Belize, along the barrier reef. This reef is the 2nd largest reef in the world, and offers the most spectacular views, and experiences imaginable. This is not a staged secured area where caged animals swim. This is the real sea, with real live sea creatures, in their natural habitat. You can imagine the initial apprehension, diving from the boat, into the middle of the unknown, knowing there are sharks and sting rays below. But, I am so glad we took the plunge!
We started the day off leaving Placencia pier with smooth waters in the bay, but as we rounded the point the water started getting rough. We were hitting swells that would make you come off your seat as we went airborne for what felt like minutes!
We managed to slide into the wake of a much larger boat taking out a group to dive. It was smoother in the wake, but still eventful!
We were all glad to see the island come into view after an hour of riding! Once we arrived on the island we took off to snorkel around the island while the crew prepared our lunch of BBQ chicken, potatoes, and slaw! The snorkeling was smooth and easy and we seen lots of small colorful fish and coral the water.
The lobster fisherman will go out to sea for as long as a week at a time and live on the boat or small islands. Two fisherman go in the water at a time. One will swim down to about 90 ft and grab up the lobsters. The second guy is there to pull him up in case he runs out of breathe. Once they have the catch for the day they sit and clean the lobsters on the boats discarding the remains into the ocean. Other sea life come in to feast! We were also told to be careful to leave our flippers on because the turtles will nip at your feet thinking they are conch!
The last couple days have been fairly eventful. We crossed the border Into Belize,visited friends over night in Progresso (Northern Belize), drove 13 miles of pot hole laden gravel roads for an hour and a half, at 5 mph, picked & dropped a friend at the Belize City airport, camped in a Mennonite community in Central Belize, for free at the park, got some welding and maintenance done at a muffler shop, ate a banana split from the Mennonite dairy, drove to Southern Belize to our home for the next two weeks, a house on the Caribbean sea! I’m tired just writing all that! All in all it has been productive and lots of fun. The sea breeze is incredible tonight as we settle in for a welcome nights sleep.
Phew! What a day! After a 2nd great night’s sleep camping on the way to the Mexico/Belize border, we ran some errands and then attempted to cross into Belize.
Lo and behold, a Mexico aduana agent waved me down and asked for my vehicle permit. Since we had only driven to Cancun for a flight, it was not necessary, and I explained it to the agent. She wouldn’t allow it, and told us we had to park the truck and walk to customs office to buy a permit. In the office, I told them the situation, and they said, “you do not need a permit”. We were caught in the middle! Luckily, the agent went to bat for us, and called the other agent to give an ok. The first agent didn’t look too happy, but waved us through. Across the river to Belize!
The rest of the day went smooth. Although we did drive a bumpy dirt road to a hand crank ferry leading to Progresso. Here we met our friends, and long time On the road in Belize contributors, Eric and Cherie. They were waiting for us on the other side, where we followed them to their wonderful home on the shores of the lagoon, for a feast of grilled BBQ chicken, corn, fresh bread, salad and beans! It was a spectacular meal! And even better company! They invited us to stay the night and we obliged! So much to see and do! It’s great to be back in Belize!
After a much anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed visit, with family back home, we are back! We spent a couple of weeks in Michigan celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary & Dylan’s high school graduation as well as a couple of weeks in Georgia taking care of business & visiting family!
We were greeted by Bernard and Tammy, who drove down from Tennessee to meet us in Cancun Mexico, (where are truck has been parked) to continue our trip South, all the way to the bottom of Argentina. Let’s get on the road!! ~angela