On the agenda today, another ruin, Xunantunich. (We spent days trying to remember how to pronounce this!) In to town again, and straight to the bus station (I use the term loosely) and waited for a bus heading to Benque, the border town. Our first chicken bus experience, we survived!
Got off at the hand cranked ferry that takes you across the Mopan river to the road which goes, you guessed it, uphill (for a mile!!!!) to the site.
We were impressed yesterday and today we were just blown away! Xunantunich covers a large amount of land, and is dominated by the 40 metre high El Castillo, steps that seem to go on forever, and when you reach the top, you can see all the way to Guatemala. We took it in turns to climb the different structures here, and Anu enjoyed pottering around the plaza.
We were outside the museum, when a group of women in the plain dresses of the Mennonites, were coming out. The spotted Anu and asked how she was enjoying the ruins. When I answered, one woman asked where I was from. 'Are you by chance staying at Janet's?' she asked when I said Ireland. It turns out they had been over to her for coffee the evening before and she has mentioned us. Belize is a small place!
We didn't get a guide for our walk around, and in retrospect I think we should have, as I have all these images now in my mind an many questions. But we knew we had two tours of Tikal organised, and also thought in the heat with a baby, we wanted the freedom to just see what we wanted and leave when we needed to. But Anu was great, as usual, and we had plenty of time to explore. Back clouds coming towards us were the sign for us to make a move, and we started off down the hill to the ferry. We just made the river bank when the sky opened and rain poured down. We jumped into a taxi, already soaking and went back to town and to a great restaurant for our new favourite, chicken and beans. Another amazing adventure over. The afternoon and early evening were spent relaxing at the farm, we took a later night walk down the road to see the sky, a lightning storm in the distance, constellations and a shooting star, and the sounds of all kinds of unusual wildlife made it very exciting.