January 18
Life in the jungle: Today was a work day.  I painted, I did some minor chainsaw work around the house and coconut field and I went to the ponds to water my papayas.

January 19
Life in the jungle: Today was about getting ready to leave the farm for the next four days.  Tomorrow I am heading to Guatemala to stay in Flores and visit the Mayan ruins of Tikal.  Going to Guatemala my only real concern is for my papayas.  This afternoon I gave them extra water but I hope they can survive until I get back.  I am getting Joseph (from across the river) to feed the chickens and water my seedlings beside the house.

I went to the village and from Verna Mae I found out that Jill needs four pints of blood so that they can put a steel rod in her leg.  They won’t operate on her until people have donated four pints on her behalf.  That’s how it works here in Belize.  I need to find out if I can bank my blood in case anything happens to me.  I told Verna Mae that if they still needed blood tomorrow, I would donate.  Imagine me giving a pint of your blood to one of my enemies.  In the evening, I got an update that so far, she got three pints and the hospital decided that was good enough to proceed with the operation.

For the first time since June, the road is dry enough to bike without rainboots.  I saw an agouti in the yard beside the house. Sometimes I see one in the backyard some distance from the house.  But so far never beside the house.

January 20
Life in the jungle: I caught my usual bus to Belize City.  I then took the 9:15 AM bus to Belmopan which arrived at 10:30 AM for $4 USD.  I then caught the bus to Benque Viejo at 11:00 AM and arrived at 12:30 PM for $2.50 US.  I then caught a taxi to the Guatemala border (a mile and a half away) for $2.50 USD.  I exchanged $150 USD for $1,080 Q.  At the Belize border I had to pay a $20 USD exit tax.  From Melchor, I caught the local bus (a Sprinter van) to Flores for $5.50 USD.  I arrived in Flores in the late afternoon.  I checked into the Green Monkey hostel for three nights at $11 USD per night.  It is the cheapest of hostels but the plainest of bunk beds with no privacy that some hostel bunk beds offer.  So I won’t be coming back in the future.

The island of Flores and where I stayed

I laid down for a good hour after checking into the hostel.  It had been a long day.  Supper and four beers cost me $14 USD.  One of those shoe polish vendor guys who walked around looking for shoes to be polished saw that I couldn’t finish my supper and asked for my half-eaten tortas (meat sub).  Fuck.  Imagine eating a stranger’s half-eaten supper.  But he was really happy and my food wasn’t wasted.  This is like my very first time to be at a hostel and not working on my computer.

Colorful homes of Flores

January 21
Life in the jungle: Sitting and waiting on the mini tour bus that was to take me to Tikal felt like a complete gong show. Traveling by bike is definitely the only way to travel.  Whatever, it is what it is.  I guess it helps one appreciate the memories of being on bike tour.  I haven’t been amongst this many Caucasian people since my time at the hostel in Pueblo, Mexico 14 months ago.  The cost for transportation to Tikal and back was $14 USD.  The entrance fee was $21 USD.  I visited Tikal once 25 years ago in 1998.

Temples of Tikal

Along with the ruins, I saw many Spider monkeys including with babies.  I also saw Ocellated wild turkeys, Coatimundis, and even a Black Howler monkey.  I did not see and wished I had seen Toucans.  But I think it was too late in the day after my arrival.  I suspect they are more around in the early mornings.  Of course, I ended my day with beers.


Tikal is probably the best Mayan ruin site one can visit.  I have visited Mayan ruins regularly in the past.  They are alright.  In a sense, if you have seen Tikal you have seen the best and technically don’t really need to visit any other Mayan sites.

Spider Monkey & Ocelated Turkey


January 22
Life in the jungle: I spent my morning taking a walk around Flores (island).  I then had coffee for breakfast.  I did a total of three walks around the island throughout the day to take photos because of the sun’s positioning and casting its shadows against houses on narrow streets.

Colorful homes of Flores

For lunch, I walked to Burger King. The McDonald’s was too far to walk to (3+ km).  I have had two hamburgers since leaving Pueblo Mexico because no one knows how to make hamburgers in Belize (or Mexico or Guatemala).  So technically, my Whopper was the best hamburger that I have had in 14 months.

The best hamburg that I had in 14 months

I needed $100 Q more to get through to Belize.  That is about $12.75 USD or $16 CAN.  The ATM said my final charge would be over $26 CAN.  I hit decline.  I would go hungry before I spent that kind of money. The fricking machine spit out the $100Q. Rrr!  My bank statement would end up saying that the 100Q or $12.75 USD cost me $30.59 CAN!!!

The 100Q paid for a pizza and two beers.  The pizza I had was OK at best.  I had a few more beers at my usual spot overlooking the main drag.  I noticed a couple with unusual handlebars on their bikes.  Realizing that only bike touring people use that style of handlebars I then noticed the bike touring racks.  They were from France and started in Chetumal just spending three days in Belize were on their way to Panama over the next five months.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Los Remedios

January 23
Life in the jungle: I got out of bed at 5:30 AM and was at the Flores bus station by 6:10 AM and we were on the road at 6:15 AM.  While Guatemala Customs took about 5-10 minutes.  The lineup at Belize Immigration took me 45 minutes!  The reason I went to Tikal was for my monthly 30 day passport stamp.  The immigration officer took a look at my passport. I told him I was working towards my residency.  He told me I would have to go to Belmopan for my monthly stamp to pay the $100 USD instead of giving me a free stamp at the border!!!  At first, he said he would only give me 3 days but then ended up giving me 7 days which actually means there was no reason not to give me my 30 days except for government greed.  This frikkin country.  Never a break.  They screw you at every turn.  This was the whole reason I went to Guatemala.

The taxi to the bus terminal was $7.50 USD instead of $2.50 USD I paid to get to the border.  This turned out to be a regulated rate for border taxi drivers as they get in line to get fares.  I had to wait 20 minutes for more passengers to get the $2.50 USD rate.  I am not paying a penny more than I have to in this country.  I got home just after 5 PM.  I watered my papayas in the dark. [All my papayas that would not end up living.]

Belize Part 64 (Jan 11 to 17)

Belize Part 63 (Jan 6 to 10)

Glossary of Terms
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 would end up stealing my business license and causing me a lot of grief.  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’s house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.

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 a 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 an ¾ acre lot.  I have a second joining ¾ acre lot that allows me river frontage on the Belize River.  I call that my river lot.

The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons.  The rainy season and the dry (no rain).  The wet is obviously the rainy season.

Chopping – using my machete to clear brush, vines, weeds and unwanted trees.


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