Sunday, July 26, 2020

7-23 to 7-26-2020 Friends Trip to Sarteneja

We figure that now (before the international airport opens) is the time to do some traveling within
Belize, so we went with a bunch of our friends up north to Sarteneja in the Corozal District. An
electronic music DJ owns Backpackers Paradise (hostel and cabanas) up there, so we rented several
cabanas and had a fantastic long weekend.

Backpackers Paradise is a cute place with a very relaxed vibe.

It's away from the seafront, though, so it can get very buggy (mostly mosquitoes, though we did
have some other wild visitors).

It's also quite the drive to get up there.  We carpooled with several friends, and we had some stops
to make along the way, which added to the travel time - what should have taken us about 5 hours
took us about 8 hours.  The last couple of hours were on a rough, rocky road that never let us go
faster than about 25 miles per hour.

This is the communal room where we hung out most of the time, chilling, talking, playing games,
cooking and eating. It's a nice, large, screened-in room with tables and chairs, hammocks, and a
kitchen. Everyone brought tons of food, and we cooked almost all our own meals.

There are several horses that roam freely on the property. You can go horseback riding (for a fee),
but none of us did.

We shared the white cabana with another couple.

The screened-in porch with hammock was nice.

This mural was on the wall of the porch.

This mural was in our bathroom. It basically says (in Spanish), "give me your hand and let's go
around the world".

This hearty plant was trying to make a home in a crack in the wall inside
the communal room.

A gecko in the communal room. Eat up those mosquitoes, little buddy!

Hmmm...what could be coming out of this hole in the corner of the communal room?

Yep, it's a tarantula! And yes, we left him/her alone after taking some photos.

To show some scale of our little visitor.

This praying mantis lived in our shower and wouldn't even give us any
privacy when we showered. I guess he's a voyeur.

On two afternoons we went into the village to check it out. It's known for boat building. It's also, apparently, one of the few places in Belize where you can see the sun set over the water (instead
of the sun rising over the water).

The seafront is pretty, but there is no beach. Sarteneja is a quiet, Hispanic fishing village.

They do have lots of nice trash cans along the seafront to keep their waters clean.

There is one place that has some beach, so we walked down there both days. These are some
views along the way.

This concrete groin wall and palapa trap the sand on the one side to create a beach.

We did swim, but we learned that the sea floor here is very mucky/muddy.
And it was stinky if you stirred up the mud - a very sulfurous odor. It was
shallow, and you had to swim out a ways before you could find a rocky
bottom to stand on (and not sink into). 

Everyone agreed that Hopkins has a way better seafront.

Here is Luckie cracking open a coconut for the kids to eat the meat (after he had already drunk the
coconut water with some rum).

Some of our group enjoying the shade of the palapa.

Amon playing coconut keep-away with Khaya.

Walking back from our swimming spot.

Twice we ate lunch at Raquel's Kitchen - good food, and very reasonably priced.

Friday night we stayed up super late dancing to electronic music.

This is DJ Lou Ann, who is one half of Under The Moon.

This is DJ Nati (Nathalie), the other half of Under The Moon, and the owner
of Backpackers Paradise.

Nati offered to take the kids on a short buggy ride before we left on Sunday. Pam was ready to go
without her, lol.

They went around the property, then into the village and back.

On the way back to Hopkins we decided to take a different route. We wanted to see something new,
and we wanted to avoid the long, rocky, bumpy road. The new route involved taking two short
ferry rides. This is the first one at Laguna Seca.

It's a hand cranked ferry, and Luckie and Amon decided to relieve the worker of his job and take
over at the crank.

This is the second hand-cranked ferry crossing at New River.

Though it was a slightly longer drive, the roads were MUCH better going the new way, and Amon
and Pam got in a nice, long nap.

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