Saturday, April 12, 2014

San Ignacio

We stayed for a couple of days in San Ignacio, mainly because of a good campground, great markets, a good Chinese restaurant nearby and… because non of us felt much like riding in a heatwave. The forecast for the next two days was temperatures up to 42 degrees. Where better to be than in the shade of a palapa with plenty of stalls nearby that sell ice-cold Coca Cola in glass bottles for peanuts? 

The markets are on Saturday, which is when the place explodes and comes to life. The colours, the produce and the people make it an amazing event, even in scorching temperatures. Early in the morning people arrive by bus to come to the markets, swim in the river and generally have a good time. Some of them arrive as early as 6.30, as we noticed when the bus driver wasn't happy with the parking procedure of one of his colleagues and let the world known by making as much noise as he could… It isn't quiet anywhere in Mexico and Belize isn't any better :-) The buses are old but elaborately decorated in typical Central American style. Most of them still run the howling Detroit two stroke diesels too.

We tried to do a daytrip to the 1000ft waterfalls but the road to them is in a very bad shape. After a couple of kilometres we decided to give them a miss. Jeanette's Bonnie already has only one functioning shock absorber left and it looks like we have to keep it alive until we get to Panama...

The campground we were on, Mana Kai, is a good place to have a rest for a day or two. Being in the middle of town means it's not quiet but also means you can walk to the markets, walk to the shops and get free entertainment that makes the town comes alive. Every evening for instance we were entertained by a music school playing traditional songs on traditional instruments. Great!
The campground itself has hot showers, via the commonly used 'suicide' shower heads. They are electrically heated… and yes they give you a tingling sensation when you touch the switch :-)

The Chinese restaurant is quite good too. So good in fact that we went back the next day!