Thursday, November 20, 1997

I caught an early bus to San Ignacio, near the Guatemala border and checked into a hotel. Since entering this country, this was the first time I felt safe enough to take out my camera. San Ignacio is full of hustlers. Everyone wants some (or all) of your money, but at least you don't get the feeling that they will just kill you for it.

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This is a view from my hotel balcony in
San Ignacio, Belize.

I spent the afternoon exploring the town and walked up to the ruins of Cahal Pech- a very minor Maya city.

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While there were much more impressive structures at Cahal Pech, these steps really caught my eye. They appeared to be carved from a single piece of limestone.

San Ignacio is a pleasant town near the Maya Mountains, and the main industry here is tourism. Tour guides for canoeing, jungle tours, etc. are everywhere, but it is important to make sure they are licensed or they will just try to rip you off.

The locals here complain about the "fake Rastafarians" who come here from the islands to take advantage of tourists. Rastas are known to be a peaceful people, so the phonies use that religion to try to gain peoples trust, much like fake Christians do in our country. They are easy to spot: most of the businesses in the area don't allow them into their buildings, and the locals try to run them out of town. There are plenty of good people here, too. Orlando, Thomas, Feliz, all made a good impression on me, to name a few.

In the evening, I met a couple from Seattle (Steve & Kate) who were planning a similar agenda for the next few days. We decided to hang out together.

Continue to day 5.

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