Central America Trip. After I retired from Hawaiian Electric Company and became a major shareholder and Sr. Vice President in the Belizea Corporation, Patty and I decided to travel to Belize to survey the property and the general surroundings. In fact, we decided that we would benefit largely if we traveled and experienced the culture and customs in Central America. During this visit we traveled from Belize City to Chetumul, Mexico to Cancun from where we visited several different Mayan ruins throughout the Yukatan Peninsula. We traveled through the capital of Belize, Belmopan, to San Ignacio on the border, then into Guatemala and where we visited the ancient ruins city of Tikal, one of the largest population centers of pre-Columbian Mayan cities. We visited the city of Antiqua, the ancient capital of Guatemala, a wonderful place with the wealth of early Mayan and Central American culture. Guatemala City, the modern capital, was an interesting blend of the modern and ancient. We flew down to Panama and traveled around the Capital city of Panama City and then drove out to visit the canal. I was particularly impressed with the engineering of this facility and was surprised that it only has two lifts of 24 feet each. The lake in the center of the isthmus is only 48 feet above sea level. Amazing. When we returned to Belize City we rented an apartment and spent a month getting acquainted with the town and culture. We visited the property and also returned to Cancun where we purchased the time share which we use every year. Sadly, I did not take many photos of these ventures but what I have is represented here.
Temple ruins at Altun Ha, which is one of the largest Mayan cities just five miles north of our property. Satellite photos of our property shows that there are 94 temple mounds on the property with one being one of the oldest in Central America and which is as large as the Rose Bowl with over seven major temples rising over five stories into the air.
The entire country of Belize is a natural hardwood forest with over 230 different species of trees. The rainfall varies from 40 inches per year on our property, just a few miles north of Belize City, to over 230 inches in the south near Honduras.
The geological formation of Belize is largely limestone and there are many caves throughout the country. This is one of the popular sites for locals as well as tourists near the Mexican border.
The Yukatan Peninsula is the location of many ancient Mayan ruins readily accessible from Cancun. Whenever we visit the timeshare in Cancun we visit at least one of the many sites via tours arranged by the hotel. Most notable among them are Xcaret, a sort of a Mexican Knotts Berry Farm with tons of attractions like turtle ponds, dolphins, underground river swim, horse riding displays, an amphetheare show, and so forth, Chicen Itza, the most famous of the Mayan cities, Shel Ha, a great place to swim with the fishes (many as big as you), to name just a few. One could visit a different site every year and not see them all in 15 years. So much to see, so little time.
This Mayan couple allowed us to tour their home and property. Very native diggs and very nice folks. What a pleasure to visit them in their natural surroundings.
Head-on view of the main serpent pyramid at Chicen Itza.
The Observatory at Chicen Itza with Bob and Pat posing
The Canal was fun. We watched various vessels drawn through the canal by the "mules", tractor-like locomotives on each side of the canal. They have to make the canal larger to accomodate the larger shipping vessels of today's designs. There is a glassed-in viewing arena with stadiumn seating. Lots of fun to watch.
Ruins of old fort in Panama City. Designed to ward off pirates, of which there were many in the olden days.
We purchased a timeshare in the Royal Resorts Sands, one of six Royals in Cancun. We have access to all Royal Resorts as though we were members. Owner of one has owner's rights in all. These are five star hotels with all of the amenities including casual and formal restaurants, night-time entertainment, bars, travel accomodations to all local attractions and so forth. We have a Villa, a two bedroom two bath unit which is very comfortabe and very much like home to us now. Here are just a few views of the resort.
Entrance to the hotel with cascading waterfalls from the porte cochere.
The hotel is situated on the Caribbean with gentle waves and white sand beaches. We lost all of the sand beach in a previous hurricane but it was replaced in less than a week. These folks take care of the property.
View of the main swimming pool outside the main lobby. The other is a free-form with a palapa bar in the middle, both about half an acre each .
View of the patio off our lanai. Ours is a handicapped unit. and you can roll down to the sunbathing area. We bought it when my mom was still with us
On the opposite side of the isthnus there is a large lagoon with real crocodiles and such. The Resort owns a nice open palapa restaurant, the Captains's Cove, with a boat dock, wave runner rentals and sailboats. I was about to take sister-in-law Jo out for a sail. The hotel has a fleeto of sail boats, wave runners and small power boats, all free for owner's use.