Bruised Knees in Belize

So G hit me with the car. I wanted to take a photo of a road sign that read – “No Be Nasty No Trow Garbage Pan Di Road.” It’s essentially the greatest sign I’ve ever seen. Upon returning to the car, G and the girls thought it awful jolly to drive away from me with the passenger door open, so I’d have to make chase and board the moving vehicle a la Little Miss Sunshine. As the hill steepened, Gina accelerated and gravity ensured I did too. Wanting to give me a little fright G thought it awful jolly to lightly apply the brakes so I’d worry I may run into the now stationary passenger door. Unfortunately for all concerned, especially me, the brakes on Gina are still somehow quite sensitive and I had begun my great jump into what I thought was to be a moving car. I met the open door knee first, almost searing it from it’s hinges (both knee and door). I flopped back on to the tarmac and hauled myself in like DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street, the door still reverberating like a pinged antennae.   Everyone in the back thought the whole episode awful jolly. G just about managed to check I was in one piece before gutting himself laughing. Jolly, jolly fun. I now have a limp like Paul Robinson.

In other news, we are on our way to the Guatemala border tomorrow, meaning Belize has been a very fast fly-by. This is because it’s expensive and about the size of a Cluedo board. We have used a third of a tank driving through it. We have had the pleasure of San Ignacio and it’s surroundings though, which have taken in waterfalls, our first proper jungle driving and a local football match between the San Ignacio Verdes (I bought the T-shirt) and the Belize police. It’s fair to say the police weren’t very popular. One mother of three who was sitting next to us kept chanting a charming little ditty from NWA, which I think we’re all familiar with. When the linesman made a bad call she ran to the fencing and verbally abused him in about eight languages, including Orc. I was terrifed. Unfortunately, I then spilt my beer down the back of one of her daughters which dampened a lot of things, including her mood. The local fans were loving it though. Belizeans have incredible patter. They seem to spend all day insulting each other and swearing in barely discernible English – it’s like a central American Glasgow. Apart from the spilling incident I was in hysterics for the whole match. If it wasn’t the drunk guy yelling at the ref to delay the second half so he could get to his seat it was the bloke doing shuttle runs from the bar to the stands, guys chucking change at him to fetch them more Belikin Stout. The pre-match entertainment consisted of a reggae band where the lead singer told the bleachers – “I can’t say who I think’s gonna win as I’ll probably get locked up.” It ended 2-1 to the cops sadly.

The jungle is certainly getting thicker and the roads beginning to turn from grey to brown.  We followed one such stretch of dirt to a totally unrestored Mayan ruin right on the border, called El Pilar. It is the closest I have ever felt to being Indiana Jones. The once great pyramids were entirely shrouded in hundreds of years worth of foliage, but atop a couple, we discovered ancient entrances, steeped in vines and concealing inverted bats in their nooks and crannies. To add to the atmosphere, howler monkeys tracked our progress from above, shaking the trees in hostility, which sent wads of branches in our direction. From one vista we were faced with the green (or should I say verde?) carpet of Guatamala lying impatiently to the west, a mass of trees all the way to the horizon. Gina’s got some driving to do.

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