On November 25th I arrived home after biking for over 2 years on the road to get here.
Life in the jungle: Perfect weather today. I got an early start and started de-vining my coconut trees. I got a pretty good section completed between working the morning and a bit more in the afternoon. The jungle and vegetation never stop growing and typically grows at unaccelerated rate. For vegetation such as vines it is a race to climb as high as possible. They use young trees to help them reach for the sun and in the process can choke and strangle some types of trees such as coconut trees. While coconut trees are young, they need to have these vines removed to help them grow.
Starting to get cleaned up
There were lots of birds singing and monkeys howling as usual. Unfortunately, I found a dead boa that got hit by yesterday’s tractor. My hands, specifically my fingers are sore from swinging my machete. I also got a few blisters. So, part of my afternoon was spent reacquainting myself with my hammock.
An unfortunate casualty from the bush-hog
This evening I spent some more time organizing my personal belongings.
Life in the jungle: I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn’t get back to sleep so I finally got up and organized more of my belongings for a few hours before going back to sleep. This caused me to sleep through my usual 6 am alarm.
Once awake I chopped a section of my coconut field to help the bush-hog see my smaller coconut trees whenever he returns. My hands are sore and blistered. After making some lunch I found myself exhausted and on my hammock for the better part of the afternoon.
I received a text from Derrick that he is coming tomorrow to work. There are at least 2 good sized trees that need to be removed due to heavy damage for starters. That motivated me to get back out into the field for about an hours more work. Derrick is my go-to guy in the village for maintenance help.
I want to clean and prepare my coconut field to raise sheep to eat the grass instead paying a bush-hog to cut the grass. My field has received virtually no maintenance or care. I need to cut out all the unwanted vegetation to keep from getting out of hand and going to seed.
I can’t say I worked a lot of hours today. But I probably worked longer than my hands could stand. In the evening I put my notes together for Brandon to a Road Show without me as I do not have internet strength for a video call. My notes are as follows.
- The relevant information would be that I left Chetumal Mexico and entered Belize on November 23.
- In Mexico I biked 6,054 km’s over 168 days.
- I arrived at my home on November 25 biking only 178 km’s over 3 days in Belize.
- My total Stats for the bike ride are as follows – 26,429 km’s pedalled, 632 days on the road, 322 of those days in a tent and 86 amazing and awesome hosts across the 4 countries.
- I am currently taking time considering my next steps. I have a lot of work on my farm and will start working on my residency in Belize.
- My hope and plan regarding my biking is to resume bike touring throughout the country of Belize after Covid has passed.
- In the mean time I will be working very hard on getting my farm running and productive.
- With interests in agroforestry, coconut and tree farming, aquaponics, raising chickens, sheep and beekeeping.
- One thing I am interested in finding is a roommate. If anyone is interested in the ultimate adventure of living in the jungle. Please reach out to me.
- And of course, please Subscribe.
November 29, 2021
Life in the jungle: The weather was perfect. It took a long time for me to fall a sleep last night but I did wake up to my 6 am alarm this morning. I spent a few hours chopping my coconut fields. My hands are sore and I now have 4 blisters per hand. I am disappointed by how many spots are missing coconut trees in the field. I have a lot of trees to replant.
Derrick arrived with son Jaydon at 10 am. We got a lot of work done today. We were able to cut down 3 wild grape trees along with about half of a 4th tree cut down. Wild grape trees are very messy and grow a very thick wide trunk. They are not a good tree for a field that you are trying to maintain. The field is really starting to take shape. I had some conversations with Derrick about fencing the field for raising sheep. So, we will start working on the fencing and then build a sheep pen for protection from jaguars and we will also build a few chicken coops off the sheep pen. Derrick also made a phone call to start getting an estimate on getting our road at least temporarily fixed until the “dry” arrives in February/ March. We figure we need about 6 loads of gravel and a backhoe to run up and down our road to dump buckets of gravel in the muddy areas. The road is too rough and muddy to have the dump trucks come down our road but a backhoe should be able to run up and down fairly quickly.
Getting things cleaned up
In the evening I got even more of my stuff organized. I am almost completely organized.
Life in the jungle: Perfect weather again though it sprinkled rain for a few minutes in the afternoon.
I started my morning de-vining my coconuts when the bush-hog returned to finish cutting the field. There is still a lot of work but as my hands toughen up I will get this place 100%. The other day I discovered a plant that the bush-hog would run over so I turned the plant into cuttings to grow near my house. It’s a type of Ginger plant but I could not find a common English name.
I then went to my ponds to check on my mature coconuts for baby trees to transplant. Most all my coconuts have been thieved out. Unfortunately, that’s what happens in Belize when you are not around to watch all your stuff. That’s actually one of the worst things about Belize – if it’s not locked up or eyes on your possessions it will be stolen. And yes, I know who took them. I also took a handful of hibiscus cuttings from one of my mother plants to start future plants.
Exhausted I collapsed in my hammock late this afternoon. This evening I edited all my Belize photos taken so far.
Before and after de-vining a young coconut tree
Chetumal Mexico (Nov 16 to 22)
Glossary of words or people that may or may not be part of this blog post. This glossary will be at the bottom of every blog post for Belize.
Jack & Jill – These are my ex-property managers (names changed). They are Canadian, they introduced me to Belize in 1997, sold me their house in Belize in 2003, and rebuilt my house from 2014 to 2018. I have known them for over 30 years. After almost 20 years of me supporting their life here in Belize Jack decided quite unexpectedly to declare “war” on me right before Christmas 2021. They live on the farm, but not on my land.
Wayne – He is the son of the original owners of the farm (both owners are deceased). The original farm was 2 – 30 acre pieces minus 2 – ¾ acre parcels for my house and 2 – ¾ acre parcels that Jack & Jill own which were all originally purchased from the original owners. In 2017 Wayne sold me 40 acres of land from the original 60 acres (30 acres plus 10 acres). Wayne lives in his parent house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.
Nery – a local in the area that helps me with certain projects when needed. A very knowledgeable guy originally from El Salvador. He teaching me a lot about farming and tree.
Derrick – a local in the village that helps me with certain projects when needed. Mostly he helped early on after my arrival to Belize. He doesn’t help me so much into the future.
The ponds – I have 2 large (300ft long x 50ft wide x 10ft deep) ponds on my 30 acre parcel of land which is basically jungle. I have about 60 coconut trees (mostly mature) around the ponds. I have plans to plant a few hundred papaya trees here plus other fruit bearing trees around the ponds.
The coconut field – I have about 400 coconut trees planted (various growth states) on about 3 acres of cleared land of the 10 acre parcel. I plan to add various fruit trees to the same field as soon as I can.
The river lot – my house sits on a ¾ acre lot. I have a second joining ¾ acre lot that allows me river frontage on the Belize River
The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons. The rainy season and the dry (no rain)
Chopping – using my machete to clear brush and unwanted trees