When you are honest: Nearly everybody has one of the biggest fears of the dentist. Also Kali was scared, because he had lost a piece of tooth by consuming nachos. Ridiculous, but it’s true! In Belmopan we found a dentist. Repairing would be really cheap, but it takes one week staying at place with not much else to do. And when you don’t like dentists, you are keen when the matter of time takes the decision of you. 😉 Maybe later!
That day we arrived late at the Belmopan Zoo, which was highly recommended of so many people. It doesn’t make sense to pay for entrance and to visit it only for one hour. So we stayed for one night at the Tropical Education Center near. It’s a nice facility, but caravans have to camp at the parking lot and that is not very comfortable. It was only for one night …
Next morning we went to the zoo and were amazed of the variety of animals, which are (mostly) only common in Belize and parts of Mexico and Guatemala. Tapirs, howler and spider monkeys, jaguars, tucans, kinkajous, jaguarondis, harpy eagles, … to count only a few of them. One ocelot (“little” jaguar) was playing with us like a cat. The toy was only a wood stick. Kali fed a tapir by hand and Peppi was glad that his hand wasn’t in the cage of a jaguar, because they are extremely fast. At other zoos you don’t have the chance to get so close to them. It was a great experience!
Near Belize City are not many opportunities for camping, so we stayed at the Old Belize Marina called Cucumber Beach. It is not very special, but the guys are friendly, it is safe and probably the cheapest place for staying in Belize. About 8,40 US/car inclusive hot shower, flush toilets, electricity, WIFI and a restaurant near is great. The next day we serviced our van (changing motor oil, diesel filter, …) there. They even gave us a bucket for the used oil and charged us nothing for recycling.
The same day Kali received the message about the arrival of his new credit card at the Austrian consulate in Belize City. He was tricked at an ATM in Tulum Mexico (Chedraui supermarket) four weeks before. By checking the invoice he was wondering about payments at the Dominican Republic. The insurance is willed to return most of the 750 USD, but it was much paper work and it took three weeks to send a new credit card to a foreign country.
Their tricks are good and you can’t do many against it. (It happened in a supermarket with hundreds of guys and a security guard around!) Only one tip: Check your payments regularly! We are sorry to say, but this was probably the main reason why we stayed lazy nearly three weeks in Belize. After the short visit at the consulate in Belize City we headed west to San Jose Succotz close at the border to Guatemala.
There we found the great iOverlander Cozy Camping campground, which is led by Laurie and Bill, a nice couple from California. Always in a good mood (of course with this great place around) they are looking forward to every new traveler visiting them. We felt so comfortable there! They invited us two times for dinner and we spent all night long talking and having fun. Inclusive headache next day of too many rum consumption! 😉
During the day we visited the Maya ruins of Xunantunich (translated “stony lady”)not far away by feet. Great exhibition with well remained buildings on the top of a high hill! From the summit of the pyramid you have an amazing view all around. Jungle, ruins and howler monkeys again by the way: Isn’t it gorgeous!
We also did a short outtake to the San Ignacio Resort Green Iguana Project. Since 1996 they collect injured iguanas, also breed and prepare them for releasing into the wilderness again. Usually they are really shy, but most of them are used to people. If you like, you can hold them. That was also an interesting experience.
Leaving San Jose Succotz to Guatemala was bitter. It fulfilled our hearts, how kindly Laurie and Bill welcomed us to their home. We never felt so cozy at a place for a long time. Thank you for meeting new friends and please stay so cool like you are! We wish you all the best for your project and many new nice overlanders.