Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lamanai

Nothing like waiting a few weeks to finish writing up our cruise.

Our second stop was Belize City, where we took a bus and then a speedboat to the Mayan ruins at Lamanai. The speedboat was pretty intense... er, fun! They drifted around many of the bends in the river. It's kind of annoying that the word 'drifting' is used for two very different boating experiences. I don't mean the version where the power is off, and you're just drifting with the currents. I mean the one where they make sharp turns while going quite fast, so that the nose of the boat cuts the tight corner and the back of the boat swings around wide. Check out this video Paul shot - you can kind of see it there. You can at least see how fast we were going:
video
They also took the time to slow down and point out some interesting wildlife, including this crazy plant growing on a tree (I can't remember what it's called):
Lamanai itself is pretty neat. There are three main pyramidal structures. Here's one:
Paul climbed to the top of two of them while I opted to wait below:
We also got to see monkeys in the wild! Way up in the trees:

I honestly don't remember a lot of what the tour guide told us about the site, but a few tidbits stuck with me. First of all, they aren't sure how much more remains unearthed, but they speculate there is quite a lot more to it, which is fun to think about. Our guide also told us about a sports game where the winner was sacrificed in what sounded like a pretty unpleasant ritual. Quite a few of us wondered if folks might try to lose on purpose - seems like that could be the game that never ended. However, of course, it was an honor to be sacrificed, so the competitors were motivated to succeed. I think they also believed in reincarnation so death wouldn't have been the end for them. I really should have paid better attention. Or written this blog post a few weeks ago....

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