Trip Start Mar 28, 2006
98Trip End Jun 28, 2007
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On the way down here we changed bus at Chetumal, just before the Belize border. We have been travelling on the assumption that as EU citizens we don't need a visa for any of the countries we are visiting (we read it somewhere). "Wouldn't it be funny if we needed visas for Belize" says Marco after getting on the bus taking us across the border, so we check our guide book again. It says Austrians do need a visa for Belize! Whoops! There was little we could do about it now, so we just proceeded to the border. As it turns out the Belize immigration authority weren't too phased and didn't bat an eyelid at either passport so it was all good
Pity the English couple who went before us at the Mexican border, they were convinced by the border guard that they had to pay US$20 for the priviledge of leaving Mexico. He tried it on with us too but Krystyna's insistance that he tell us what the payment is for paid off as he eventually asked us if we were coming back into Mexico to which we replied "maybe" (bearing in mind our discovery concerning the Belize visa) and then he didn't make us pay. We've decided that it's all fairly optional.
We went on the river trip out to Lamanai, it was really nice, we cruised down the river for about an hour and a half to the ruins. Along the way we admired the river scenery. We saw lots of birds but unfortunately no crocodiles. We also saw some locals doing a bit of fishing!
At the site of the ruins we had a great Belizian lunch of chicken stew and rice`n`beans before we set off around the site. The ruins are set in the jungle and from the river you wouldnīt even know they were there. Along the way we saw some howler monkeys that live there! The ruins here were quite important in the Maya culture as the temple here is the third highest Mayan building discovered (of course we climbed it). Our guide knew a great deal about the site as he had actually helped in its excavation. We learned about the Mayan method of new kings building over the top of previous buildings and monuments. This was important in the temple of the mask as there are more masks like the one in the photo (itīs about 3m x 3m), buried under the layers of the temple.
As soon as we got back to Orange Walk we were on the bus for Belize City...