Nathan, Tracy, Lynn and Dorothy
return to Guatemala for some shopping.
It's our last day in Belize so we've
decided to do some shopping. The four of us and
the Nances decided to go back across the border
to Guatemala. Both the Belizean and American dollar
are very strong compared to the Guatemalan Quetzal,
so our money goes alot further over there. Rather
than go through the exportation/importation process
for our vehicles again, we decided to park our vehicles
on the Belizean side of the border, walk across
and take a taxi to the local shopping area. Since
the shopping area was about a mile across the border
and the taxis were only a $1, Stuart and Judith
went ahead of us while we finished up our border
A Spanish Santana
Series IIA on the street in Guatemala.
We went into Guatemala in order to
get some cool souvenirs and decorations for our
homes. Unfortunately, the part of town that the
taxi dropped us off in was the local shopping area
where they primarily sold underwear, knock off Reeboks
and poorly made soccer balls. We decided to find
the Antigua Boutique, a store which had been recommended
to us by the people at Blananeaux Lodge. After a
series of obscure directions from various locals,
we managed to stumble upon it.
Once inside, we discovered that the
Nances had beaten us to Antiguas and were going
on a major shopping spree, and with good reason.
Antiguas had a huge selection of crafts and hand
made things from the southern area of Guatemalal
near the city of Antigua. They had everything ranging
from colorful placemats to hand carved wooden masks
to musical instruments.
After purchasing our wares, it was
back into the taxis and back across the border.
This time we had to take two taxis again, all of
the stuff the Nances bought occupied almost the
entire back seat of their taxi. Among the cool things
that they bought was a hand made xylophone, which
Stuart claims was for their kids back home. Personally,
I think he got it as much for his amusement as for
theirs, as he kept playing little ditties on its
keys (including, I shudder to mention, the Barney
the hand crank ferry to Xuantanich.
Back across the border into Belize
we decided to visit one last Mayan ruin, Xuantanich.
Our primary reason for going here wasn't neccessarily
to see the ruin, but rather to take the "bridge"
across the river. Rather than construct a proper
bridge, the powers that be decided instead to install
a hand crank ferry to shuttle vehicles and visitors
back and forth across the river... very cool.
Camel and Disco
Stu returning from Xuantanich.
Camel and Disco
Stu depart the ferry, safe and sound.
Tracy and Dorothy stayed back at the
river to take the obligatory "river crossing"
photos - thanks you two. So the Stuarts, Lynn and
Nathan went up to the ruins. The ruins were suprisingly
cool. The major temple, known as el Castillo (the
castle) towers above the area and can be seen from
miles away on the Western Highway. Currently archeologists
are making fiberglass casts of the magnificent frescas
that line the top of the temple in order to preserve
the fragile limesstone rock. According to one of
the workers there, this undertaking will continue
to go on for the next five years. Meanwhile, back
at the river, Dorothy and Tracy made small talk
with the locals and saw large iguanas scampering
up a nearby tree.
After we regrouped, we headed back
to the lodge where most of the group took the rest
of the afternoon to relax, while Nathan spent some
time working on Camel to get it in shape for the
drive home. Sometime the day before we had bent
a tie rod on Camel and despite having a spare one,
we decided we'd temporarily fix the existing one
for the drive home.
Lynn and Dorothy
enjoying cevezas on the deck, their last afternoon
at Blancaneaux Lodge.
We settled up bills with the lodge
so that we could leave early the next morning. The
plan was for us and the Nances to leave early and
meet up with Dustin and Carey in Big Bird up in
Corazol near the Mexican border . The three vehicles
were planning to push ahead and cross the border
back into the US a day earlier than the rest of
the group. That way Tracy and Nathan could be back
in Colorado for work on Monday, five days away.
We really love our jobs. :)
(L to R) Dorothy,
Nathan, Tracy and Lynn sit down for one last
dinner at Blancaneaux lodge.
Nighttime fell and everyone settled
down for bed. Nathan laid in the hammock out on
the deck reflecting upon his vacation when a huge
glowing thing came ripping across the sky. The object
left a massive trail of incandescent smoke that
seemed to glow white. Nathan hollered for Tracy
to come take a look. She reluctantly came out but
without her eyeballs in (her contacts). When she
came back with her eyeballs and saw it, she called
her parents out to see as well. We all just stood
there slack jawed for a couple of minutes watching
the trail slowly dissapate. Unexpectedly, we heard
a loud sonic boom echoing across the jungle. We
went to bed wondering what that could have been,
a huge meteor, the space shuttle, or maybe even
a crashing plane? Whatever it was, it had to be
one of the most amazing things we've seen in our
(Editors note: Resarch after returning
to the US, a bit of research indicates that it was
the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-104)
on its approach landing at Kennedy Space Center