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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our Belizian Inland Excursions

We travelled off Waterfoot Caye two times: Once on an inland outing with the other resort guests and the second to visit the local markets and grocery stores (a must for us on any international trip).

I could go into the disaster that was the former trip, from a too-small vehicle (sitting square and on laps for my Kenya friends!) to drat-it's-not-open encounters, but I promised my family we wouldn't do anything too life threatening on this trip.

Since I've already written about our boat trip in water that was "a bit choppy," I think it best to not go into detail about our "are you prepared to meet Jesus if you fall out of this jeep while riding in the front seat in your husband's lap" experience.

We'd planned to tour Xunantunich, but the ferry to get there was closed due to high water. Our tour guide took us to nearby Cahal Pech instead.

Our tour guide was of Mayan descent.

Archaeologists were at work.

The dig site.

Filtering for fragments.

The main residence.

The main plaza.
From there we headed to lunch at a local favorite, Benny's Kitchen. Amazing food!

Pilbil - pork roasted underground

Rice and beans (with plantain, of course!)

Cow foot soup. It is what you think it is.

Great outdoor seating.

Then we stopped at St. Herman's Blue Hole - we didn't have long there, but we did (bizarrely) meet a Belizian who had been to our friend's small town in East Texas. It is a small world after all.

And just down the road, we found a great ice cream stand run by a man from Oregon. Seriously.

Finally, those of us who were fortuitous enough to wear pants got to tour Citrus Products of Belize, a large juice factory.

The amount of juice processed here is amazing.

All "waste" - peel and rind - are used to make cattle feed.

Each extractor can process 500 oranges a minute!

This huge box is holding 3000 liters of concentrated orange juice.
The warehouse can temporarily (48 hours or less)
store vast amounts of processed juice.
The juice factory was easily our favorite visit. We love factory tours. What interested me the most was that none of the fruit goes to waste. Peel and rind are made into animal food, juice is concentrated, aroma and oils are captured, and pulp is collected. The pulp is kept separate from the concentrated juice, which allows juice manufacturers to reconstitute the juices in whatever form they'd like to sell to the public - heavy pulp, no pulp, etc. And, believe it or not, the most valuable byproduct of the entire process is the oil.

For our shorter excursion, we rode into town with some guests who were leaving. While they headed to the airport, we wandered the grocery store and local markets. We also helped run errands to restock the resort pantry.

The Rainforest Cafe

Creole - "Make My Plate Diner"

The large grocery store we went to - had to buy some
local products to take home. It was very well stocked, primarily
with local, Guatemalan and Mexican products.

The local fruit and vegetable market.

The resort owner's house.

Plus The Boy got to have his first-ever experience of drinking coconut water fresh from the shell.

Good times.

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