Bruce, Ezra and I made another trip to the mainland to visit the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich. We started with an early morning — 6:00 a.m. on the dock for the water taxi into town. Ezra flew his paper airplane on the boat.
Breakfast at the Sun Breeze with this gorgeous view.
Then we caught another flight to the mainland, where our trusty guide, John, picked us up. He brought his six-year-old daughter, Bethany, to keep Ezra company on the two hour drive from the airport to Xunantunich. They were both totally silent on the way there.
In order to get to the site, you have to cross a river on the best ferry ever — a hand-cranked wooden contraption that apparently had me too stunned to take a picture of the whole thing. But here’s a look at the van on the ferry.
And the guy cranking it to get us across.
Once on site, we jumped right in with a site guide to lead us through and tell us about the different buildings. Here are some pictures of the main plaza.
The crown jewel of this site is El Castillo, the second tallest structure in Belize at about 130 feet.
Despite my reservations after last year’s climb up part of the temple at Lamanai, the three of us climbed to the top (and I’m sure glad we did!).
Here we are with John and Bethany after the first seven steps. They stopped there but we kept going.
The view just kept getting better.
Almost there …
At the top you can see Guatemala.
This is the view from the front. The structure at the very top of the picture is the royal palace.
And one for posterity’s sake once we’d gotten to the bottom. I was happy to have the railing on that last staircase.
The area surrounding the main site was pretty jungly.
We saw ants that carried small pieces of leaves, howler monkeys up in the trees, other ants that thwart the anteaters by making their nests in trees, giant termite nests, and a cool orange centipede for Finn.
When we finished our tour, the crowds had all left and we got a nice view of the empty site. And Ezra jumped.
Next up, we headed to lunch. Ezra and Bethany were all of a sudden thick as thieves in the back of the van — laughing, signing songs, etc. When we got to the restaurant, they diligently worked on the puzzles on their kids’ menus.
And took a little walk to the balcony to look for birds.
Seriously cute. And funny since Bethany speaks Creole and I think Ezra only understood about half of what she was saying.
On the flight home, Ezra requested we sit right behind the pilot (instead of on the bench seat at the back of the plane where we’re usually asked to sit). I think he enjoyed it.
And we made a stop in Caye Caulker so Bruce got to see the “airport” there. And then we were home. And totally exhausted from another great adventure.