I only spent an evening in Punta Gorda (PG) but I had a fabulous time. As I was walking around the town market, I was approached by a local and was asked if I wanted a bicycle tour of the town. Of course! We rode all around PG and on some back roads too which was difficult because those roads weren't paved and pretty muddy so I was caught up in some mud for a bit. It was beautiful weather, dusk, not too hot or chilly and the bike I was on was a cruiser! I haven't been on a cruiser for a l-o-n-g time...it was fun and took some adjusting to get used to because there were no handbrakes, just backpedal braking. After the ride, he invited me to join him and some friends for dinner and we ate delicious fresh fish and had a tea that tasted similar to black licorice.
I left the next morning at 8 to get to San Ignacio, which is in the western part of the country, which took awhile. I got in around 3 that afternoon. The ride was pretty and much flatter than Honduras. Miles and miles of orange groves and banana plantations covered the southern part of Belize.
San Ignacio is a larger town with a lot of travelers passing through on their way to or from Tikal. It's still has a local feel to it though and isn't catered only to tourists. Most people here speak three languages: English, Spanish and Creole which throws me off because I'm used to asking for food and hotel rooms in Spanish and I feel almost foolish speaking English....almost as if I don't know how to maneuver the language, which is ridiculous because my English will always overrule my Spanish.
Anyhow, I just came back from touring the ruins of Xunantunich (soo-nan-too-neech), which were chill. They let you climb the highest structure, the castle, which is about 130 ft high. What a view. I took pictures but foolishly forgot to bring my camera cord with me so I can't load the pics up until I get home. I sat up there for about an hour just reading and enjoying the warm sunshine. The coolest part though was the 2 minute ferry that you have to take to get across the river because it is connected by wire cables on each side and operated by hand crank.
I'm headed to Tikal tomorrow and in the meanwhile, I'm going to kick back and enjoy the national beer, Belikin, as their stout is que rica