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Old 10-05-2013, 07:47 PM   #211
Cal
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Fantastic update! That photo of Flores is great. Guatemala is one of my favorite countries! It has a mystical feel to it! Nice to have your wife come down and enjoy some time with you.
Thanks for the report.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:35 PM   #212
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Fantastic update! That photo of Flores is great. Guatemala is one of my favorite countries! It has a mystical feel to it! Nice to have your wife come down and enjoy some time with you.
Thanks for the report.
I agree, it's a nice way for a spouse to be involved......not much fun for mature spouses to drive thousands of kms on the back of a DR650. I'm telling my wife about this so she doesn't first hear about it when I propose it in a few years!
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:53 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Fantastic update! That photo of Flores is great. Guatemala is one of my favorite countries! It has a mystical feel to it! Nice to have your wife come down and enjoy some time with you.
Thanks for the report.
This Belize vacation was part of the plan from the beginning. We chose Belize because it is close enough to the start of the trip to be able to commit to a date. Further along it may be tough to know where I'll be and when. Also we have never been here before. So far we are really enjoying the place.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:40 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by DRRambler View Post
Day 5 Alturas California to Lake Tahoe California 375km 7.0 hours

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you could actually tweak that broken hook of the return spring with a long nose plier and twist the same hook without the need of a new spring.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:25 AM   #215
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you could actually tweak that broken hook of the return spring with a long nose plier and twist the same hook without the need of a new spring.
yeah, I suppose I could have but I only have baby pliers with me. Had it been critical I would have made it work somehow.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:33 AM   #216
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Day 41 & 42 Lamanai

Day 41 & 42 El Remate to Orange Walk and Lamanai ruins October 3 & 4

We paid the appropriate taxi fare returning to the airport today and had another great flight back to Belize. At the airport we found the Budget rental car office but had to wait for the worker to arrive about 20 minutes later. For our wait, he upgraded us to a KIA Sorrento diesel with a manual transmission from the original little Suzuki. We found our way to Orange Walk Town easily enough and the Hotel de la Fuente was equally simple to locate.

After getting settled in we booked the tour to Lamanai and found a nice outdoor restaurant for dinner. I have read and heard criticisms of Orange Walk but we didnít find any negatives about it and the Hotel was quite good too.

Our boat for the day



To get to Lamanai you can take a 1.5 hour river boat ride or drive a bad 4x4 road. We chose the water method with a tour that included lunch. Our captain was also our ruins guide and he did a great job considering there was 12 of us. This day our group was one of only three in the park. In high season there could be 400-500 people a day so we had a great opportunity to climb temples and take photos without people everywhere.

The boat ride was pretty cool too. We saw a crocodile and fed a spider monkey. We also saw and heard howler monkeys right on the riverís edge. If you have ever heard them youíll know what I mean when I say it is a pretty strange noise they make.

Very high water levels on the New River



Sugar mill









Spider Monkey



Crocodile

















Steep climb



View from the top

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:17 PM   #217
Lano
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Pictures

The pictures of Belize are just great. Have you switched cameras?
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:59 PM   #218
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The pictures of Belize are just great. Have you switched cameras?
I'm carrying two cameras (other than helmet cams). In Belize I have been primarily using my Sony Nex 7. I can carry it everywhere when I'm on foot or in a car. On the bike the Sony is a little more trouble to access so I use the Nikon AW100 quite a bit, especially while I'm riding for the road perspective shots. Also I have a little more time for editing although most of my edits are merely crops. The Sony has a 24 megapixel sensor so I can crop pretty tight.
Lenses are 35mm 1.8, 55-210 zoom and a 18mm wide angle.

Today we went cave tubing and the Nikon AW100 makes a good paddle
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:13 AM   #219
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Day 43 Travel Day

Day 43 Orange Walk to Hopkins Oct 5

Today was mostly a driving day with a brief stop in Belize City just to say weíve been there. After a good lunch in Belmopan we continued on to the Hummingbird highway towards Hopkins. It was a great day for a drive and all told took us about 6 hours to get to the small village. Hopkins is a Garifunka fishing village that is not very touristy but has a few great hotels and very nice beach front. Donít come to Hopkins for shopping but do come for relaxing and a great hub from where you can access all the Belizean adventure activities you want.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:17 AM   #220
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Day 44-46 Hanging out in Hopkins

Day 44, 45, 46 Hopkins Oct 6,7,8

Beaches and Dreams Inn/Barracuda Bar and Grill is owned by a couple that spent 30 years in Fairbanks Alaska. They owned a restaurant there and came to Belize 10 years ago. If you want a laid back vacation this is the place. And chef Tony cooks up fantastic meals in the Barracuda Grill!

Beaches and Dreams Inn













We spent the first few days doing very little. A tandem kayak around the point was great fun but we didnít see any manatees.









Jumping fish look like mini yellowfin tuna







We drove down the coast to Placencia to see what it was like. Itís a little more touristy with big houses and fancy marina communities but still a cool place. We figured it would be very busy come high season.












We met some other guests that wanted to go cave tubing so we offered to give them a ride to the park. The five of us made the 1 hour drive back up the Hummingbird highway to Blue Hole National Park. Our guide was the owner of Belize Inland Tours, a relatively new operation offering an alternative to the big tour company across the street. He arranged lunches that would be waiting for us when the 2.5 hour adventure was over. We hiked for about 15 minutes to the cave entrance and got a little flora and fauna lesson along the way. Inside the cave we walked another 15 minutes before entering the refreshing clear water. I tried to take photos but with nothing but headlamps for light it was difficult to capture the true essence of the cave. Youíll just have to come here and try it yourself.





















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Old 10-14-2013, 07:31 PM   #221
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Day 48 A Few Lessons in Bus Transport

Day 48 Hopkins to Chetumal


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A few more Belize photos





 



Ruger the beach dog





We took our time driving to Belize City. The day before, I installed the spare tire on the rental car due to a flat so I wanted to take it easy on the highway. There was plenty of time when we arrived at the airport so we had a nice lunch and prepared to say ďso longĒ again. Saying goodbye this time was tougher for me than the first time. Itís almost like Iím starting on a whole new trip. I saw Wanitta through security and found a taxi.

The bus station is in Belize City 12km away. I wanted to try and find an express bus that would not make all the little stops. I knew that I could just stand on the road almost anywhere and catch a bus but I wanted to make sure I found the correct one. As it turned out I arrived at the station 3 minutes before a bus to Chetumal was leaving. Unfortunately no express buses were available so I hopped on the regular bus. 30 minutes later the bus stopped right in front of the airport access road where I could have caught it without paying $25.00 cab fare into the city (Lesson #1). In the long run Iíd rather pay a little extra to be certain of something.

My Bus



My view and the co-pilot



Three hours into the trip and we reached Corozol where every passenger but me disembarked. Only the driver and a few bus company employees were on the bus. When we arrived at the Belize border I asked the conductor what to do. He said to take my luggage into immigration and theyíd meet me on the other side. It took about 5 minutes to get my exit stamp and pay the $39.25 USD departure tax. Outside the big school bus was waiting and I jumped back on. We drove through the long zone between borders and stopped at Mexico immigration. Again I got off the bus and was directed by a guard where to go. The bus driver indicated where heíd park the bus to meet me so I proceeded into the air conditioned building. The officer inside spoke no English so it took awhile to explain that I was coming back out of the country tomorrow. She finally issued me a 3 day tourist visa and did not charge me the 295 pesos but I bet Iíll pay on the way out. Leaving that building I continued to where the bus would be but did not see it. A guard showed me into customs where my bags were x-rayed and searched. They told me to wait for the bus there but I saw no bus and neither did the officer. Lesson #2, donít trust the bus dudes to wait for you. The customs officer hailed a taxi for me and I paid 100 pesos to get to my hotel in Calderitas.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:17 PM   #222
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I was just wondering how you were making out. This is my favorite report by the way. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:45 PM   #223
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I was just wondering how you were making out. This is my favorite report by the way. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
well thanks (blush blush) I'm enjoying doing it. I have been having bad luck with internet and uploading photos. I'm in Antigua now for 6 days so I should be able to catch up.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #224
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Day 49 Back to Belize

Day 49 Chetumal Mexico to San Ignacio Belize


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Skelly's resting place for the last 10 days





Today was primarily a transit day but with the twist of a border crossing. I had already crossed into Belize from Mexico on foot 10 days earlier but now I had the bike with me. I arrived at the same spot I crossed earlier and very quickly got my Mexico exit stamp without paying any fee. I'm not sure why, but I failed to photograph the Mexican side of the border. Then over to Mexico customs and the banjercito to process my deposit refund. The lady at the counter said she could not cancel my import papers, I had to go elsewhere. I couldnít understand her, but eventually she drew a map on a napkin and I got the idea. I needed to go to the new border building about 2 km north. Since I was already in the buffer zone between countries I decided to buy my Belize insurance and get the fumigation done. I knew exactly where to go because of my earlier trip through. $14.50USD for 1 week insurance and I think the fumigation cost $2.50USD.



Fumigation





This was the hottest day of the entire trip with the thermometer topping out at 40 degrees Celsius. By the time I got to the new building I was just dripping with sweat. I found the correct place and when I hopped off the bike standing in front of me was Paul and Asli. Another really random meeting in the middle of Central America. The customs lady came out to both our bikes to take a photo of the VINs and I was done. I waited for them while they went through Mexico customs and we all moved on to Belize. Just before the border buildings on the left side there is a parking lot which has money changers on the other side of a fence. I changed all my remaining pesos to Belizean dollars which left me just enough to transit Belize. Then on to immigration for a quick stamp and a 3 day permit. I clearly stated that I was going to Guatemala via San Ignacio (this is very important as I found out the next day).

The Belizean Border building. Immigration on the right, Customs on the left.



There was some delay with Paul and Asli so I found some shade a few hundred meters away. Not long after Asli came walking towards me but no Paul. He had to go back to Mexico and get a stamp that was missing so we waited for him in the 40 degree heat under a shady tree. He appeared about 30 minutes later and we set out.

Looking back north to the Belize/Mexico border



At Orange Walk we parted ways again and I kept moving.

Purportedly one of the residences of John McAfee (Founder of McAfee Virus scan)



Typical Belize highway



Arriving in San Ignacio at about 4pm, I spent about 30 minutes searching and I found the Aguada Hotel for $38US.





The only problem was they were hosting a Christmas party and had closed the kitchen for the night. Another night of trail mix for dinner but the bar was open so I drank my last Belikin beer.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:59 PM   #225
kalahari-k
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Originally Posted by MikeinSA View Post
I was just wondering how you were making out. This is my favorite report by the way. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
Yes, thanks for the update......I was about to ask for my money back!
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