In Belize you have 3 roads - to go north you take the Northern Highway to Corozal and the Mexican Border, to go west to Belmopan (the Capital), San Ignacio and the Guatemala border you take the Western Highway and to go south you take the Coastal Highway to Punta Gorda and the southern border with Guatemala. We were informed that there are all of 7 traffic lights in the country of Belize, but one doesn’t work. We traveled to Camelita and stopped at a port on New River. The reason it is called New River is because the first river in this area to be explored was called Old River, for some reason, so the next was New River. We were headed to Lamanal, our last Mayan Ruin, and there were two choices – to go by bus with a 90 minute drive on a bumpy road through the villages of Yo Creek and San Feliipe, or have a boat ride up New River which takes about as much time but is much more fun. The guides take pleasure in seeing how fast they can take the bends in the river and how close they come to the trees hanging from the river banks. They also have an uncanny ability to see a variety birds hiding in the jungle that borders the river. We took the boat ride and saw many birds in addition to huge termites nest high in the trees. The Lamanal Mayan Ruin is one more mystery of the Mayans with big temples, living quarters for the elite, large plazas, ball courts, and markets which had a population upwards of 60,000 people with farmland cut out the jungle. Where did they come from and why did they disband? They had a written language, numbers with a 0, three calendars and the ability to predict ellipses. And they predicted the end of the era in 2012.
We expected the “Route of the Maya” tour to answer many questions about the Mayans, but David, in his “Devine” wisdom, answered many but presented us with a multitude of unanswered or unanswerable questions about the Mayans, the class conflicts in the countries we visited, drugs, the good and bad of religion and others so important I forgot them. It was a fabulous tour that we will remember for a long time.