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  #1  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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Belize Trip

greetings... planning (too much, really) to go to Belize in Dec 08, and need some info from anyone who's spent ttime there.
Going to NW section, north of Punta Gorda, to do some jungling. plans are to camp (save $) with a Clark or Hennessey Hammock, and stay a while, trying to learn some Cakchiquel maya. Will be looking for quartz and amber as a secondary reason. Third reason- explore potential for moving, buying lqand, and setting up a bike rental business.
Prepping a 88' 100GS for the trip. Trying to find a sea shipper to Sou. Mex or Belize to save a 5 day ride from north Fla.
I know spanish well enuf (lived in Mex 3 years in the early 70's). There is dated info on HU, but am looking for more recent data, and your thoughts.
thanks, people!
greg
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  #2  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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If you are planning on crossing from Guatemala into Belize from the Melchor de Menos border (its the only border the 2 countries share) be prepared for the atrocious road on the Guatemalan side.

My impression of Belize was that it would be a good country to make a living in because the economy is strong (it has the strongest dollar in central america) but the bad side is that the divide between rich and poor is greater than I have seen in any country. Driving through the countryside you will get the false impression that the quality of life is high for everyone but as soon as you get to one of the cities you will see how poor many people are.

Everyone knows English but you get the feeling that Spanish is everyones true first language.

The politicians are very corrupt and maybe this could work in your favor. I met a guy from the U.S. who was building a resort and he told me that in exchange for paving a small length of government road the politicians gave him a huge tract of land for his resort.
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  #3  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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thanks, Gato...your info rings true based on my experiences in the early 70's. What my plans entail is to enter via mex, but be close enuf to Gua to be able to access it south of Melchor, but north of Modesto Mendez, on some of the "trails"- basically, my maps don't really show any "roads".
The income disparity may work in my favor, since I will be a gringo, but a retired one when I get there. Live with e locals, but access the ricos for "favors".
Enjoy your trip- I waited 20 years to get back in the saddle to pursue a "spirit quest " begun in the late 60's- just hope I'm not too late.
As Willie Nelson sang, "he's an ol hippie and his life has been a bust...he's just tryin real hard to adjust"
greg
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  #4  
Old 21 Mar 2008
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Trails from Jocote.

You can also do the boat thing to Livingston and Pto Barrios.

In the north, there's Blue Creek w/o customs between MX and BZ.
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  #5  
Old 21 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmpm View Post
I waited 20 years to get back in the saddle to pursue a "spirit quest " begun in the late 60's- just hope I'm not too late.
As Willie Nelson sang, "he's an ol hippie and his life has been a bust...he's just tryin real hard to adjust"
greg

Too much ganja, dude. That was the Bellamy Brothers.
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  #6  
Old 21 Mar 2008
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Smile Crack Up!

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Originally Posted by AndyT View Post
Too much ganja, dude. That was the Bellamy Brothers.
Andy, that was funny!!!! :=) How ya doin. Haven't said "hi" since Dakar Motors". I have done a little riding in the states and Mexico but am headed for Australia on Aug 27th for 4 months. Wanna Go?
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  #7  
Old 22 Mar 2008
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Thumbs up

thanks for the posts, guys,er, I think...livin too long with the Crackers here in North Florida, I guess. Least now I know which album to look for if I want to rehearse the song. Uhh, back in the day it was called mota...
thanks for the tip about Blues creek-bit north, but may come in handy.
Happy trails!
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Old 22 Mar 2008
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La Union is the Mexican town across from Blue Creek Village.

People in Gallon Jug (Barry Bowen's turf) will know other jungle routes into the Peten.

The trail near where you will be in BZ runs out to Santa Ana, GT, not far from Poptun.
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Old 23 Mar 2008
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thanks lr, that is the kind of info I was interested in...seems you and Gato have been around quite a lot to pick up this kind of info.
I know a lot has changed in the time since I was in the area...went there in 1970 with several college guys, and it was pristine then. I am hoping western belize, being the farthest from the tourist interests, might still be that way.
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  #10  
Old 23 Mar 2008
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I guess the Southern Hwy is all paved by now.
From '70s to today will probably seem like a drastic difference to you. At least GT stopped contesting the border, although fairly recently. A bunch of 'Eco' places are now there charging healthy bucks.
Monkey River was the farthest south I ever got into Toledo District. Cayo was my favorite, even some exotic looking wimmins walking about...

Money-wise, I don't see how a person could beat GT. Comparatively speaking, IMO, BZ has islands and english over GT, but that's it. But you have some past ties there...which is important.

Hoping it doesn't rain too much for ya...
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  #11  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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thanks, lr...rains good, reduces tourist season.
My interests do cover the GT/Belize area, what I understand to be the center of the mayan civilization. They didn't have borders then, so I will have to tread lightly.
I plan on heading south of the Cayo into the Vaca plateau, towards Toledo district. There are areas designated as "camps", do you know what these are? Places like Union camp, Esperanza camp, etc don't seem to have roads or trails...are these accessed by plane? Sorry for the dumb questions, but that seems to be the area i want to explore.
Will also look at reaching area from the south- looks like road/trails go up from Punta Gorda to San Antonio and points north. Any idea if an inflatable kayak would be useful? Read thes are portable enuf to carry on a bike.
Thanks for the help- your info leads me to believe you've been there done that
que lo vaya bien
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  #12  
Old 24 Mar 2008
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To the best of my knowledge (meaning don't bet more than 1 Belikin), these are old work camps back from British times, mostly forestry.

If you're going that deep, I suggest getting a good topo map...or three. Omnimap.com - world leader in map supply is one source for good maps. Old Brit military mapping would probably be the trick. A friend in Belize turned me on to some a few years past. Be assured that there are trails to the old camps, including up the south end of the Maya Mtns.
Even though we now have cool things like elec toasters and plasma TV, the people haven't stopped moving throughout their country. Backcountry routes are also used by bad Hondies and Guates, but less so in recent years, from what I've read reported. Caracol used to a popular area to show-machete, take-wallet, but that's been a while.

As I'm sure you know, nothing beats local knowledge. I think all the rivers in your/that area are running east and south, and believe that foot and hoseback travel woiuld be the way to go. I've forgotten the name of the main river that's crossed going into GT (where you are talking about, I think), but remember that a short boat ferry (can be walked) and horseback service onward is offered by the locals.

Google Earth is a great way to waste some s, even if the resolution ain't the best. You can also Google reports from a few hardy, adventurous backpackers.
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  #13  
Old 27 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMcD View Post
Andy, that was funny!!!! :=) How ya doin. Haven't said "hi" since Dakar Motors". I have done a little riding in the states and Mexico but am headed for Australia on Aug 27th for 4 months. Wanna Go?
Rick Mcdermed
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Rick, you have a PM
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