Road trip to Mayan Ruins

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After a relaxing couple of days enjoying Sheila’s visit we decided to visit San Ignacio and see some jungle. It has to be a quick trip though as we registered Max for the first term in San Pedro High School and he starts this Thursday. Kids here don’t take school for granted with tuition costing over a thousand dollars a year, plus books (about 300.00) and the all-white uniform (200.00), with black dress shoes and belt. We have all given it a lot of thought and hope it will be a good experience for Max. Anyway, more on school another day.

This morning the boat for Belize City was overloaded so about 30 of us were herded onto another boat, only to find that the motor on that boat wasn’t working properly, so back we went to the original boat where we crammed in again and groaned our way out to sea. 1 ½ hours later we docked and high-tailed it on foot the five or so blocks through the dirty, loud, rough streets of Belize City to the bus terminal where we boarded a bus, San Ignacio bound. Sheila has never been outside Canada and the U.S. and justifiably looked especially grateful to view the city through the window from the seat of said bus rather than the open fray of the street. Belize City is an intimidating place.

Saturday is market day in San Ignacio. There are rows and rows of stands with an array of colorful fruits and vegetables and all manner of exotic foods. We’ve entered a world where pineapple and avocados are dirt cheap and potatoes, onions and carrots cost a fortune. For 2 dollars I bought a very large chunk of what I understood to be some dirivitive of sugar cane; turns out it is delectable molasses fudge.

We climbed a very steep hill and visited a 3000 year old Mayan ruin site this afternoon named Cahal Pech. It was magnificent. Like Max said as he spread his arms wide standing on the highest ledge overlooking a courtyard, “A Mayan king could have stood here doing this”. What a feeling! I lay flat on my back on a different ledge that looked suspiciously like a sacrificial alter and thought the same thing. Only it wouldn’t be a king laying there; more like a scared virgin or a slave. Not going to lie – my heart started to pound. Tomorrow we canoe down the Mopan river and walk a “medicine trail” full of herbs and plants used by the ancients. Till tomorrow, adios.

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