John’s Journal – March 22


“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 kids cross a river on a suspension bridge.

 

The boys were enthralled with the pet monkey at Barton Cave

The boys were enthralled with the pet monkey at Barton Cave

 

Daryl jumps off the tarzan swing at Barton Cave

Daryl jumps off the tarzan swing at Barton Cave

 

A picnic lunch before our hike

A picnic lunch before our hike

 

The beginning of our hike

The beginning of our hike

 

Of course, we had to take a shower in the waterfall!

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.

The boys only walked around the worst of the waterfalls.  All others, they floated through.

 

It was usually easier to float than walk.

It was usually easier to float than walk.

 

The called this stage in the Whirlpool Slide the

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.

The water holds you down for quite a while before spitting you out on the other side.

 

Just above Five Sisters Falls

 

 

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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2 Responses to John’s Journal – March 22

  1. jack March 24, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    John, Nancy and Kids,
    Delighted to see you are having such a good time in Belize. It is an easy country to fall in love with!
    Thanks for the kind comments on your blog.
    I will keep in touch, we are all well.

    Jack

    [Reply]

  2. nancy March 25, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    Hey Jack! Good to see you around these parts! thanks again for everything – you and Stacey and pretty special people!

    [Reply]

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