“What is your all-time favorite place you have visited on this trip?” That’s the most common question people ask David and Daryl. Up until today the answer was Liard Hot Springs in British Columbia. Today that changed to “that river in Belize.” Today we had one of those truly unique days where everything just came together – we went on an adventure, with great company, perfect weather and the adventure brought out the best in all of us.
We met the Friesens somewhere way back in Mexico at a Pemex station where both of us were spending the night at. We hit it off well, especially our kids, and they gave us their cell phone number. They told us to look them up when we got to the settlement of Spanish Lookout, a Mennonite community 30 miles from the Guatamalan border.
When we got to the settlement we did look them up and stayed with them. We took a tour of the place and I can say for sure I learned more about the Mennonite culture than I ever thought I could. But the best part was when we stuffed 12 people in their Suburban (they have 6 kids) and headed up into the mountains. Helmut, the father, heard about a great hike along a river in a remote part of the mountains near the Guatemalan border. We didn’t have to drive very far but it took hours as we slowly climbed up steep mountain roads which were at times no more than bumpy dirt tracks through the jungle.
We were soaked the entire hike as there wasn’t any trail and we had to swim down the river at times where the canyon walls were too steep. The kids made a point of swimming as much of the hike as possible and were able to do so at least 70% of the time. For the most part it was actually easier to swim than hike, certainly more fun! Heck, we even swam right over some of the smaller waterfalls. The kids had a blast exploring and swimming along the trail, especially as they got along so well with the Friesen children. The jungle/forest was spectacular with the many waterfalls we encountered along the way. At the end of the day I asked the kids if it rivaled Liard Hot Springs for their favorite place on the trip. Without even thinking about it they answered with a resounding YES!!.
The kids cross a river on a suspension bridge.
The boys were enthralled with the pet monkey at Barton Cave
Daryl jumps off the tarzan swing at Barton Cave
A picnic lunch before our hike
The beginning of our hike
Of course, we had to take a shower in the waterfall!
The boys only walked around the worst of the waterfalls. All others, they floated through.
It was usually easier to float than walk.
The called this stage in the Whirlpool Slide the “Iced Zone” because it looks like you are encased in ice.
The water holds you down for quite a while before spitting you out on the other side.