March 27, 2015: Day 7 in Belize by Luke
Posted by Lauren Rochholz on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 8:37 AM PDT
In search for more ancient Mayan ruins, the PWOB team set off today to the Mesoamerican archeological site called Lamanai. We woke a few hours later than the previous morning at around 7am and enjoyed breakfast made by Ms. Virginia. Speaking mostly for myself, I think everyone was exhausted from the adventurous day we had yesterday on Starfish Island but, we managed to get ourselves into the van and onto our next adventure. Our destination included a one hour boat ride by an experienced tour guide. When we decided to go on the trips to Starfish Island and Lamanai, I was overly excited that we would be able to spend time on a boat and get ourselves on the water.
We stopped at Liberty to switch vans and met our guide, Calissa, who took us to the boats along the New River in Orange Walk Town. Once we arrived, we met our second tour guide, Carlos, who was also our captain for the boat ride. We gathered our stuff and grabbed the prepared coolers of food and drinks for lunch and climbed aboard the vessel. Carlos first headed north to show us the Spider Monkey that lived near by. By using monkey calls and 20 years of guide experience, he led us to the monkey hidden in the trees. Some of us were given bananas to feed him as he climbed down the trees and swung over the boat holding on just by his tail. After we fed the monkey and explored a little bit of the surrounding area we headed south down the river to Lamanai.
When we arrived at the site, we hiked along the trails to six different archeological ruins. Carlos explained how Lamanai is one of the largest sites archeologists have uncovered in northern Belize. It was really a treat to explore more than one site of ancient Mayan ruins in Belize, including "Altun Ha". As the Howler monkeys howled to one another, we were guided to each of the temples and climbed to the peaks to grab stunning photos. On top of the "High Temple" overlooked what seemed to be the whole country of Belize. A full 360 degree view above the trees. It makes sense to build a temple with the country being so flat! The sights were spectacular and well worth the hike to the top. After touring the temples, we had buffet style lunch of rice, chicken, coleslaw, salad, fried plantains, and watermelon. This was the time we also had to check out the small museum on the site and shop in the various gift shops.
After lunch, we headed back north on the New River, spotting baby crocodiles and turtles along the way. The boat ride couldn't have gone any smoother and the breeze cooled us off after the heat of the hikes up and down the temples. Once we returned to our original departure location we headed back to the guest house to relax for the day.
When we returned to the house, everyone settled down and we had a tasty dinner made yet again by Ms. Virginia. For the rest of the evening we hung out, played games, and prepared for another full day at Liberty. I'm pleased to say the trips we have taken allows us to catch our breath from the volunteer work, and explore what Belize has in store for us. You betta Belize it!