Archive for May, 2013

Posted: May 30, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel

10 Reasons to Retire in Belize

By Kathleen Peddicord | U.S.News & World Report LP – 20 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/10-reasons-retire-belize-170330217.html

We enjoy seeing this , but now the secret is out !

 

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I was taken aback immediately to my school days when I saw the first old Blue Bird school bus rolling through the Belizean countryside. With their bright colors, roof racks, ladders and souped up engines and transmissions these old buses will get you just about anywhere you need to go in the county. It’s funny after carting thousands of US school kids around for years these buses are shipped to Belize, painted , modified and take on a second life as public transportation. I will remind you that these buses are not air-conditioned, comfortable and are noisy. Some actually refer to them as the chicken bus. However I did not actually witness anyone with a chicken on the bus, but it does seem plausible.
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Regular-service buses stop anywhere to drop and pick up passengers. Express buses, ­sometimes air-conditioned, have limited stops and as a result are quicker and usually less crowded. They cost a bit more but it’s worth the extra few dollars, especially on longer trips. The 86-mile run from Belize City to Corozal, for example, takes about 2½ hours for BZ$14 on an express, or 3¼ hours for BZ$10 on a regular bus. In general, you pay about BZ$5 per hour on express buses and BZ$3 per hour on regular buses.

“A three hour tour”

Posted: May 16, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel

“Five passengers set sail that day for a three-hour tour. A three-hour tour. The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the” …
Belize 2013 Expedition 403 I was trying to shake the theme song from Gilligan’s Island from my head, but it was not working. You see normally I’d like to kind of have a good idea of where we’re going, However in this case that was not happening. Things in Belize work like that. Lets just say you are planning to go to the local hardware store and get a bottle of silicon. Well low and behold on your way you meet up with a friend who happens to be going the same way. You strike up a conversation and find out that he is going to get some silicon to fix and seal his boat. Now somehow you all are both convinced that you have to work on this project together and it’s going to call for a test ride after you are done. Belize 2013 Expedition 414

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So began a jungle river excursion. Enjoy and stay tuned as more adventures unfold here in magical, mystical Belize. You’ll be amazed at what we saw.Belize 2013 Expedition 413

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“It’s my money and I want it now!”

Posted: May 13, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel

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The Belize dollar (BZD) is Belize’s national currency and is pegged at the U.S. dollar at 2 BZ$ to 1 US$ since the 1980s. U.S. dollars are generally accepted throughout Belize because of this peg. It is considered a waste of time to exchange USD to BZD. Belize dollars are also easily accepted in towns outside but close to the border of Belize.

The 1 dollar note has an underwater scene printed on the back side and a stork on the front. The 2 dollar note shows the Mayan ruins of Belize and a fauna. The 5 dollar shows the medallion of Christopher Columbus and St. George’s Caye. The 10 dollars shows buildings of Belize. The 20 dollars shows the animals of Belize as well as a jaguar. The 50 dollar note shows bridges of Belize, a boat and a fish.

The Belize dollar and all coins of Belize are printed at Thomas De La Rue Ltd. All banknotes of Belize feature Queen Elizabeth II; Belize being a member of the British Commonwealth; the Queen being the Head of State.

A special thanks to Chef Bourque and Urban Treasure Hunter

Posted: May 12, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel

Last year as we traversed the Southern states of Louisiana and Texas we met up with some wonderful people. Even though we wrote about them here on our blog, for some reason we could not post videos. Well persistence has paid off and we have found a way to get it done. Please watch, share and enjoy our encounter with Chef Bourque of Lafayette, LA and the Urban Treasure Hunter of Houston, TX. For the best tasting Cajun food in the south and the best treasure hunting techniques, training and adventure these southern gentleman are the best in their fields.

Dear Chef Bourque and Urban Treasure Hunter, we salute you and look forward to seeing you all again as we head out for out Sayulita , Mexico 2013 Expedition in the fall.

Please see these videos here:

 

How’s that Howling working for you ?

Posted: May 9, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel
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“Oh my, what the heck is that ?” The hair on the back of our necks stood up as we sat there in amazement trying to figure out was it a Howler Monkey or a Jaguar. I mean they (Howler Monkey’s) really sound pretty menacing. But, here we were, we had finally made it down this bumpy, rutted six mile trail from the Southern Highway to the visitors center of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve.
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See, since turning off Southern Highway and onto the trailhead that leads to the entrance of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve, I instinctively locked the doors, turned off the radio and sat straight up in the driver’s seat. I didn’t know what to expect and got myself ready for any surprises that may come . Would a Jaguar pounce on our vehicle and rip his claw through one of our tires disabling us , or a gang of Howler Monkeys jump on the roof rack and hood, and demand food as we drove slowly down the dusty, rutted six-mile road to the base camp. As we drove deeper into the jungle, and began to cross small streams, kicking up a trail of mud and dust, I had to turn on the vehicle headlights as the canopy of the jungle turned a pleasantly bright day into darkness. Now things were getting spooky! “You hear that?” I asked Tammy. I knew what I was hearing was the distinctive sound of a Howler Monkey in full roar. It’s nothing like you’ve ever heard before, the roar of a Howler Monkey, it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Quickly I halted the vehicle, cut off the engine, and we sat there in disbelief at how loud and deafening the roar was from a creature so small. This was just the beginning and we had not reached the parks official boundary line yet. After driving which seemed like an eternity we reached the parks visitor center and had a sigh of relief. The visitors center was just like a jungle lodge right out of an African safari movie. With a thatched roof museum and interpretive center that houses all things Jaguar, we made our way in and decided whether or not if we wanted a guided tour or to take one of the many well-marked trails through the Jungle. After being assured we would not encounter any wild creatures that may size us up for lunch, we took the trail leading to a waterfall. This trail we were told was rigorous. Great we agreed, we had been training back home doing stair climbing at the gym, running and sprints, and knew we were up to the task. We were told by team members of Central America Overland Expeditions that we would want to be in good shape for the expedition that we wanted to do in Belize. Climbing ruins, kayaking, hiking and many other activities requires good physical stamina. As we hiked several miles through the jungle, it was surprising how cool it was, as the jungle canopy kept the temperature lower than being out in direct sun. As we climbed the trail we crossed streams, rocky outcroppings and traversed a rope bridge. Stopping occasionally to drink plenty of water, we’d pull out the binoculars and try to identify some of the many birds we saw. Finally arriving to the waterfall, it was refreshing and oh so cold. Although we did not see any Jaguars because they are nocturnal, it was fun to think they were watching us. If you’re planning a trip to Belize the Cosckscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve is a must do.
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Bowled over on the Peninsula !

Posted: May 5, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel
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Lets see, there is diving, fishing, snorkeling, jungle river excursions, caving, bowling……..” Bowling” I said in disbelief ? ” Pardon me ” I said to Scott. ” But did you just say bowling, you want to go bowling?” Yes he said affirmatively. For some reason it never dawned on me that in the entire country of Belize there could be a bowling alley. I mean the county is basically beaches, jungles and hundreds of islands out on the barrier reef. So how is it possible that there is a bowling alley here in this adventure paradise. Was he pulling my leg?
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With the theme song of the US Air Force going off in my head ” Off we go into the wild blue yonder ” we get into the truck and head to the “bowling alley”. Not knowing what to expect, it was hard to relax on the drive down the one lane peninsula road of Placencia and expecting to see a real live USA type bowling center. Well to my surprise, there it was, and I had actually passed the place a few times driving up and down the peninsula and had not given much notice to sign. I mean really, who expects a bowling alley in adventure paradise. But here it was, a small nondescript brown elongated building that could have easily been dismissed as a warehouse or storage facility. But let me assure you, once walking inside it’s no doubt a wonderful bowling center with all the familiar sounds of the balls rolling down the lanes, the fun, the loud roars when someone makes a strike. And duh, there were signs and a bowling pin out front that says ” Jaguar Lanes ”
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What a pleasant surprise to find it was actually league night and many expats were enjoying themselves in this great little 4 lane bowling center. As we pulled up our seats at the bar to order food, we were met by Bob who had many great stories to tell us about how he ended up here in Belize. One story I won’t forget is about the time Bob drove back from Belize to Florida hauling a boat. He got stopped in Louisiana by a state trooper , gave him his Belize drivers license and the cop wanted to write him a ticket so bad, but didn’t because he couldn’t believe he was hauling a boat all the way from Belize, through Mexico and over to Florida. I kinda shortened the story here, but to find out the real funny scoop, you gotta come here to Belize, do a little bowling in paradise and talk to Bob. Cheers!
You can learn more about the Jaguar Lanes here :http://www.belmopancityonline.com/bowling.aspx

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All cranked up in Xunantunich Belize

Posted: May 5, 2013 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel
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Well kinda sorta almost! You see there are not many roads in Guatemala to start with and if you’re heading east out of the country there is only one road you can take, CA13 which becomes the western highway once you enter Belize. So, being very familiar with Belize and enjoying ourselves a lot while we were there, we took the western highway, and headed back to Belize. With such an extensive list of things to do, places to see and experiences we wanted to enjoy, we headed back in the direction in which we came and made our first stop in Xunantunich.
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Xunantunich sits atop a hill overlooking the Mopan River and the Cayo District. You can see right back across the border into Guatemala as well as a clear view for many miles around. As major ceremonial site built on a natural limestone ridge during the Classic Period. The site is composed of six major plazas with more than 25 Maya temples and palaces.

“El Castillo” (the Castle), the largest pyramid at 130 feet above the plaza, has carved friezes on the east and west sides. The frieze on the east has been preserved and covered with a fiberglass replica of the central mask representing the sun god flanked by the moon and Venus. Xunantunich is directly across from the village of San Jose Succotz. It is easily accessible by a public  hand-cranked ferry over the river. Vehicles are ferried over one at a time for the 1-mile drive/hike to a parking lot where you will find the visitors center. We had fun on the short ferry ride across the river and the attendant let one of our team members, Tammy, try her hand at cranking the ferry across.
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Xunantunich is also listed as one of the most impressive ruins to visit in all of Belize and we were not disappointed. With many displays about the site, it’s history, purpose, archeology significance and discovery we enjoyed our time walking about the site.
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Stay tuned and thanks for traveling along with us as we make our way back down to southern Belize.
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