To San Ignacio

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Mon 17 Sep 2012 22:01
En Route to San Ignacio, Belize
 

 

 

 

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The alarm went off at 4:15, we didn’t exactly ‘spring’ out of bed, but we were downstairs ready for our five o’clock pick-up. Louis, our travel agent arrived groggily at half past five, he had been woken from a deep sleep by the bus driver who had broken down. After a conflab, it was decided we would wait up to an hour for the original bus and if it was a no-show we would catch the Belize City shuttle and leave it at the border. At eight thirty we settled on the shuttle. All was well at cruising speed but any slower and the back wheels shook quite rhythmically..............

 

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We arrived safe and sound at the border just after ten, paid our one pound eighty per person to leave Guatemala and walked the short distance to our next country. We had a lovely welcome from tourist officials, Customs and Immigration and were soon in a taxi en route to our lodge.

 

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Similar scenery to what we are used to, but we did love the little push-me-pull-you ferry

 

 

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Some things were all too familiar – cracked windscreen and all the signs of a pre ‘one careful owner’

 

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We passed lush green fields complete with cows laying down, quite English. Very strange not to hear Spanish but our driver said most people near the border are fluent in both Spanish, English, Kriol and a local pigeon slang. As we neared town we saw some very smart buildings.......   

 

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............and a potential for the ‘one careful owner’

 

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San Ignacio Square

 

San Ignacio is a town in western Belize that serves as the capital of Cayo District. It got its start from Mahogany production during British rule. It began to attract different people from the surrounding areas, which led to the diverse make up of the town at present day. San Ignacio is situated on the banks of the Macal and Mopan Rivers, about 68.5 miles west of Belize City and 22 miles west of the country's capital, Belmopan (Bel from Belize and Mopan from the indigenous Maya people and their language of the same name).

 

Demographics: The population is largely Mestizo and Kriol, with some Lebanese and Mopan. San Ignacio also boasts a fairly large Chinese population, most of whom emigrated from Guangzhou in waves in the mid-20th century. A sizable Mennonite community resides near San Ignacio. In the 2010 census the town had 9,925 inhabitants (4,856 are males and 5,069 females). The average household size is 3.8.

 

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In recent years San Ignacio has absorbed the formerly separate village of Santa Elena. San Ignacio and its sister-town Santa Elena make up Belize's second largest urban area. The two towns are connected by Belize's only suspension bridge, the one-lane Hawksworth Bridge across the River Macal, built in 1949. The two are collectively referred to as the "Twin Towns". The one way bridge is just beyond the Police Station and the one petrol station.

 

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San Ignacio in the late 1800's

 

 

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San Ignacio fisherman and local women washing clothes in the late 1800's

 

 
A brief monetary history:
  • Spanish currency, till 1823
  • Central American Republic currency, 1823-1840
  • Guatemalan, British and USA currency, 1840-1894
  • British Honduras Dollar = 100 Cents, 1894-1974
  • Belize Dollar = (1/2 USA Dollar) = 100 Cents, from 1974
 

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16 pounds 29 pence is the value of this $50

 

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We passed a hotel tucked next to the motor bike shop, swept passed the town centre and a couple of minutes later we were dropped off

 

 

 

ALL IN ALL ANOTHER COUNTRY

                     ANOTHER CURRENCY

                    

                         

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