Sermon on the mount... with Machetes!
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Where I stayed
After we arrived in Livingston we were surrounded by a group of dudes all trying to encourage to go to this hostel or that hostel. It was obvious that we had arrived during the low travel season as all the hostels in the area were desperate for lodgers. We scoped out several Hostals and finally settled on a
reasonable inexpensive place with no frills but with a friendly staff. Never in our collective lives have we grown
to appreciate the delicacy that is 'Central Air'. Hot and humid, that’s how I will remember
Livingston. That night as we tried to
sleep, under the large metal ceiling fan that appeared to remove itself a
little from the ceiling on every rotation, we were covered in a nice sheen of
sweat and bugspray
The following morning we got up pretty early, mostly because
it was too hot to sleep, and took a jungle tour that provided a brief jaunt
around the little village before heading into the Jungle. Our guide pointed out several species of
Flora and Fauna that was native to the area… or so he claimed. We hiked up and over and up again some of the many hills in the area. When we reached the top of one particular hill, our guide introduced us to an angry (or drunk)
farmer who rambled to us for about 20 minutes. None of us were ever really sure what he was talking about, but we were able to make out a few mumbled words:
Some girl becoming pregnant, possibly by a tree
Veronica (biblical or local, dont know which he was referring to)
and Fidel Castro
We still aren’t sure if he was preaching the gospel, or filling us in on
town gossip, either way, we were all relieved when he put down his machete
Eventually we came to a river where we all climbed aboard a
canoe and our guide paddled us up the river and through the mangroves. After our canoe trip we had a 30 minute walk
along the beach and ended up at a local watering hole called Siete Altares, or
Seven Altars. The Seven Altars is a
series of seven waterfalls and pools that you can climb over and swim in. Unfortunately for us the town hadn’t received
much rain recently so there were no waterfalls to speak of. The last watering hole however was full and
fresh, and most importantly, it was cold. We stayed there for about an hour and
all that was left was the looooonnng
walk back to the hotel. Much to our
relief, the guide had a arranged for a taxi to pick us up at the halfway mark
so we got a reprieve for the last few miles
We decided to wrap it up and head to the Belize the
following morning. Abby wasn’t feeling
all that well so she had Jim and I go to dinner without her. We found a little place that wasn’t too far
from our hostel that served a local dish called Tapado. We had each commented earlier that day that
we wanted to try it before we left.
Tapado is a soup that starts with broth of coriander and
coconut milk. Toss in a little pepper
and some rice. Next, throw in a whole
fried fish, head, fins, and tail included.
Then throw in a whole crab. Then some shrimp. Then some mussels. Then any other seafood bits that you might
happen to have around you. Serve with
garlic bread and beer, and baby, you got a stew going! Delicious.
After another sweaty, bug spray filled night, we headed to
immigration and paid our exit fee and hopped on a boat bound for Belize.