Ruins, puppies and cheese in Belize

This story is one of my favourite stories to tell because it was so unexpected – one of those days where everything just fell into place.

I was in San Ignacio, near the border of Guatemala in Belize, and I was with my Dutch friend, Ellen. Us two had decided that we wanted to go Horse Riding instead of caving, which is where the rest of our group had gone for the whole day. I have done a lot of caving in the UK as I was a Sea Scout, so fancied something a bit different. Plus anyone that knows me knows that I adore animals so anything involving them will be high on my list.

Our horse riding tour took us through the fields and grasslands of the area, across a river – my horse took quite a bit of encouragement to walk him onto the boat platform – and finally up to the ruins of Xunantunich. There, we had our own guide and the ruins were practically empty apart from just two other groups. They’re not particularly popular ruins but the lack of people there makes them great if you want to wander around at your own pace without the hustle and bustle of over touristy ruins, like Chichen Itza. Surprisingly though, it’s quite popular with the Royals, Prince Harry being the most recent visitor.

Xunantunich ruins

After making it back to our eco-lodge campsite me and Ellen were at a bit of a loss as to what to do. The rest of our group weren’t getting back for another 5 hours or so. We decided that we would pop into town to get to a cashpoint, come back and maybe play some frisbee golf. What we actually ended up doing was MUCH better.

We asked the receptionist how we could get into town and she said just flag down a cab (cars with a green license plates) so there we stood for a few minutes watching all these full green-plated cars go by. Eventually a pick up truck, with a white license plate, stops just ahead of us and Ellen goes to talk to them. At this point i’m just thinking ‘ummm i’ve never hitchhiked before, there could be some creepy guy with a baseball bat and bad intentions in there’.

Views from Xunantunich

Turns out it was an old Dutch lady so she and Ellen hit if off immediately and off we popped into town. She dropped us off at a cashpoint and even offered to pick us back up again when she’d been round the block. Brilliant! She then asked us what we wanted to do then and we said we wouldn’t mind going to a supermarket. She also needed to go to the market – brilliant! She took us to the supermarket, a couple of other shops and then said she was going to her friends house to pick up some cheese. We were up for a little adventure so we said we’d like to come and we arrived at a wonderful house with an absolute jungle of a garden. Turns out the woman who owns it moved here 30 years ago from Yorkshire (where I was born) and we had a lovely chat talking about places we both knew. They have their own chickens and cows and produce their own eggs, milk, bread, pastry and loads of different cheeses, which they sell at the market on the weekends. It was called Cool M Farm and they also have accommodation, and who doesn’t want to wake up to fresh bread and milk. Her daughters brought us some lovely coffee and then they mentioned the best news I think I had ever heard…

Becky with a puppy

A litter of 13 6-week old puppies were in the back room… YES! The broadest smile immediately crossed my face and we sat there chatting for another hour or so with 3 adorable puppies sleeping in my lap. Eventually I was forced to leave this paradise behind and retreat to my puppy-absent campsite, but not before I bought some fresh yoghurt for the next morning. Just before we left though, the young girl only counted 12 puppies  so I guess i’ll never know where the 13th one was hiding.

Read more about Becky’s adventures at Another Hodophile

Visit San Ignacio on Tucan Travel’s popular Quetzal Highway Group Tour.

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