With a wonderful meal in our bellies, we head southwest deeper in Belize, towards San Ignacio. Stopping for gas, and another time for a bank machine, so far everyone we’ve run into has been incredibly friendly, helpful, and polite. We had been warned in Mexico that Belizeans were very rude and abrasive. So far, we’ve experienced the complete opposite. They are very laid back, with a caribean island accent (think Jamaica with less ganga).
In San Ignacio we get completely lost. Most of the roads are dirt and gravel, and there are no road signs anywhere. But, all the people we stop to ask directions of are wonderful, even if we can’t understand some of them because the accents are “so tick mahn, nowa say”. Eventually we make it to the other side of town, and beyond to Clarissa Falls.
Chena, the owner, is so welcoming. That night, during dinner, it’s almost like sitting around the table with family. She’s a complete delight.
The next morning, after breakfast with “momma Chena”, we set out for Xunatunich, some local Mayan ruins. To get there we need to load the bike on a small ferry that is hand-cranked across the river. The ruins are actually quite beautiful, and the grounds around them are better maintained than most we had seen in Mexico.
Our next stop is the Butterfly Farm at Chaa Creek. Inside, we discover that Chaa Creek is actually a jungle resort retreat, and that if you stay with them, the Butterfly Tour and Medicinal Hike are included in the price. We rush back to Clarissa Falls, pack out, and move to Chaa Creek. Chena is a wonderful lady, and I hate to move on so quickly, but this will save us some money. Also, we can stay at their jungle camp which is basically some huts deep in the jungle, 15 minutes hiking from the resort proper, but we can still use all the resort amenities as well!
At this point in the day the heat is impossible. We’re told that a pickup truck will take our luggage to the camp, and despite my protests, they won’t let me drive the motorcycle there. I’m a bit pissed, because now we have to unload everything in the parking lot. Ten minutes later I’m relieved to be in the truck. The road to the camp is axle deep rutted clay mud. No way could I have done this with the bike fully loaded.
We settle into the camp, and I cool off with a damp towel and the hammock. Then there is a rather alarming sound from Rebecca in the hut. “Wolfe, is that a scorpion?”
I rush into the hut and sure enough, on our window curtain, inside the hut, is a 4-5 inch long black scorpion. Well, we did want to camp in the jungle! Now what!? The only thing I can find to deal with it is a broom that is all too short for my liking. And then, while trying to get it to crawl onto the broom, it drops onto the bed, and scurries under the frame. The next 5 minutes is spent frantically moving everything to the other side of the hut, and dismantling the bed to find it. Neither of us will sleep well if we don’t find it, and I’m pretty sure Rebecca won’t be sleeping in the hut at all.
Successfully ushering it outside, we soon meet our “camp counselor”, Desio, who gets some spray to kill it, then laughs once it’s dead as he motions to eat it! He says the sting is a bit worse than a bee, and the area goes numb for a day or two, but it won’t kill you.
With that, we head over to the resort to really cool off. Rebecca is in heaven with the infinite pool, and I’m enjoying poolside beverages as I don’t have to drive the motorcycle tonight!