I've said it before and I'll say it again...the diversity of Belize amazes me. Sometimes I'm in wonder and awe of all the unique people here but this time it's the scenery. To put it in perspective, the whole country of Belize is only 23,000 square kilometers (about 8,800 square miles). You can drive from east to west in about two hours. In that two hours you'll go from the sparkling blue of the Caribbean and it's beautiful beaches, onto flat savannahs, then jungle, rolling hills covered with Mayan ruins and then sandy pine forests.
Recently we planned a day trip with friends, Bart and Nicole into the Mountain Pine Ridge. This area is a national park in the mountains just south of where we live. Not our first trip in, in fact Adam and Bart make this a pretty regular trip with their bikes, but I don't get in there often so it was a treat. This time we headed over to a peak called Baldy Beacon. The area is covered with cell and radio towers so I'm guessing it's a high point in the central part of the country.
It's also a popular area for military training. I know that the British have a presence here right now along with the Belize Defense Force. If you keep an eye out and know what you are looking for you can spot craters and gun turrets dotting the hillsides. And of course, lots of guys in camo suits carrying guns! We stopped and talked with a few of them. They don't mind us being there but asked that we stay on the roads. I'm fairly sure that if they were planning any bombing that day they would have said so! I'd like to think that they would say something!
There were many points along the way that I was sure that I should be able to spot caribou or elk on the hillsides. The scenery reminded me so much of the Muskwa-Kechika area of northeastern British Columbia. Although, no Rocky Mountains topped with snow in the background! Pretty amazing.
All in all, a pretty great day. I have to say huge thanks to Nicole for chauffeuring me around. Adam has his bike and Bart and Nicole each have a quad so I was extra baggage! I have to admit that I felt a little spoiled. No doubt I had the best seat for sightseeing!