Bicycle Touring Belize. Photo blog (2019)

A lot of my blogs are text based. So for this one I’ll let the photos speak for themselves with just some little captions to fill in the blanks.

This little trip through Belize was a part of our much larger trip starting in Calgary, Canada. Crossing the Rocky Mountains before dropping into the Pacific North-west USA. We then flew to Cancun from Portland, and cycled down to Belize and into Guatemala, with a side trip to El Salvador too. I am in the process of writing up each section of the trip – keep checking back for new posts!

We entered into Belize at it’s northern border crossing having cycled down through the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico from Cancun. (Story Here!)

First stop was Corozal. Having cycled a long way in the previous few days, we decided to catch the ferry to Ambergris Caye with a plan to island-hop our way south. Maybe we were both secretly missing our Caribbean island home!

We dumped the panniers and bags in the hotel, and set out exploring the island on now much lighter bicycles! It was the day we passed 2000km total, and we celebrated with the national brew – Belikin. Of the many national beers we have tried between us over the years, we both agreed Belikin is one of the best!

Belikin also make a chocolate stout much to Candace’s delight! (Central America is famous for it’s Cacao I guess.) Also the local rum is called Travellers – it seemed appropriate and so I bought a bottle. Much to my delight! Marie Sharp’s brand hot sauce adorns every table in the whole country (it seems) and good job too – it’s delicious!

After Ambergris Caye, it was onto Caye Caulker. The ferry operators seemed happy enough to take the bikes for a small fee, and we felt they were well looked after.

Caye Caulker was more our pace of life! No cars, way fewer golf-carts than Ambergris, and a more laid-back vibe. Ambergris seemed chaotic and we were not big fans. Caye Caulker is where it is at!

Candace is very proud of this photograph she took of a pelican – and rightly so! Although it took the best part of half an hour for her to sneak up on it and gain it’s trust!

Sandy streets, no traffic. Perfect!

Then it was onward to Belize City for one-night before tracking across the country to the Guatemalan border. We had read bad things about Belize City, but decided to go anyway. We had both travelled lots in places than people say are best to avoid, only to find the bad hype blown out of proportion. If there is one thing I will say however about Belize City – Do not ignore the advice! You will probably be fine, but it’s not pleasant at all.

Belize city. A shame to see a city so rife with negativity. Unlike many places we have been which are mired in crime and other social problems, we never felt concerned as it was never directed at us. However, in Belize City we felt as tourists, a lot of issues were directed at us. We were followed around shops and told to leave, a man threatened to stab me when I was waiting to cross the road, a police officer (yes) on a scooter told us to ‘go back to where we came from’ and numerous other situations too. Early the next morning we were glad to get out and head west to Belmopan.

We enjoyed relaxing in this fantastic setting in Belmopan having ridden in the hot sun on awful roads. Not only did the roads not have any shoulder to ride on, but they were in such bad condition that we had to physically crash our bikes off of the road when vehicles came. The edges of the roads had worn away to such an extent, that when two vehicles travelling in opposite directions passed each other, they often missed each other by inches. The road width was reduced to such an extent, there was no way that two vehicles and a bicycle could share the same space. The only option when we saw an oncoming bus or truck, and also could hear one approaching from behind at the same time, was to pilot our bikes off of the road into the dirt. At times the drop on either side was a foot or more due to the road washout. It was not a fun day! Although I do like telling the stories!

We loved these little spots to eat along the roadside. Cheap and filling! This was one near our ‘tiny home’ in Belmopan which we rode to having dropped off the luggage.

Once out west of Belmopan towards the Guatemala border the riding got infinity better. The lack of major settlements out this way coupled with a general animosity between the two nations meant way less traffic! We actually had dirt roads for a lot of the way!

Belize has a large Mennonite population. With similarities to the Amish – they shun the trappings of modern life and technology.

This was a neat spot down by the river in San Ignacio. Local folks were racing narrow canoes, each time they hit a shallow sandbar in the river, they all jumped out and carried the kayak across it before all jumping back in and carrying on paddling! It was fun to watch while we chilled on the bridge for a while.

Our next stop was the border crossing into Guatemala. The two nations have famously been at each others throats for years and we had heard tales of this notorious crossing! The previous time that I was in Guatemala in 2013, I loved it.


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3 thoughts on “Bicycle Touring Belize. Photo blog (2019)

  1. So cool James, just reading your impressions and seeing your photos makes me wish to bike to a paradise like Beliza… so amazing, thanks for sharing 🙂 stay safe and greetings from Lisbon, PedroL

    Like

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