The Elusive Mountain Cow of Belize
So it’s taken me longer to get the hang of this posting thing than I thought. After thirty hours of travelling, I made it to Belize City, my first stop in Central America. I stepped off the plane to a warm moist breeze that started giving me that sticky feeling almost right away. All I wanted was a drink and a shower. I was exhausted! But surprise, the hotel was two hours away in the noisy but cute village of San Ignacio. A drive that would take us an hour in the states, here takes two. The reason? The roads are riddled with pot holes. If there’s no construction they have these raised pedestrian crosswalks that the locals call “sleeping policemen.” We call them speed bumps. The thing that struck me right away about Belize City was the poverty. It was apparent everywhere, from the rundown buildings to the starving pets.
But there is a dark beauty to it. Something forbidden and interesting. We wind our way through crowded streets to get on the Western Highway. Once there, the country opens up her charms. Her lush, tropical countryside and her incredibly kind and generous people. Bumping along the dusty road we see children wave with smiling faces. We pass several people on bikes, the preferred method of transportation. Vehicles and gas are both luxury items here, quite expensive, and not something everyone has. Our driver says, “Have you seen the mountain cow?” I’m baffled. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Certainly Chuck would have told me of this creature! “It’s our national animal” he tells me. Well now I’m really curious! I’m told the mountain cow is a regular feature on the back of Belizean paper currency. Aha! In our part of the word we call it a tapir. Mountain cow? Where did that come from? It looks more like a pig or anteater. No, I haven’t seen one. Maybe by the time I come back to the deep freeze I will have seen one.
We get to the hotel, the Cahal Pech Village Resort, and are greeted by the wonderful staff eager to welcome us and make us comfortable. I would suggest a cabana rather than one of the rooms if possible. Cynthia and Mia are at the front desk to answer any questions we have and schedule any excursions. Cave tubing, transport to the Belize Zoo, or just the best places to eat or shop in San Ignacio. The exchange rate is 1 USD is 2 Belize Dollars.
I check in and take a shower. I feel human again! Now for that drink.