Sunday, February 24, 2013

Western Caribbean Cruise- Belize

 Belize was much more au naturale than our previous stop at the domesticated beaches of Honduras.  We got off the tender boat, had to fight our way for a taxi and then pay nearly $200 for a half hour ride for the 8 of us.  That kind of bill always hurts my soul, but now looking at the pictures of where that money took us- it feels totally worth it.  
  We saw the ruins of Altun Ha; we walked where ancient Mayans walked, and we had bagel sandwiches where... well, where they most likely performed sacrifices.
 Mayan ruins at Altun Ha ~ Belize
Altun Ha, a place that was occupied from the pre-classic time period through the classic time period (200 BC - AD 900). This city may have been one of those referred to in Alma 51:26 regarding cities that were on "the east border by the seashore".  Also cool that the name fits right in with ones like Ammonihah and Nephihah and Moronihah.

other cool info on Book of Mormon and Mayan connections---

It was ridiculously hot- around 100 degrees hotter than the temps we left in Minnesota, so we were a bit melty feeling. We were able to climb each of the 4 towers, but by then end, we were dragging and too tired to even snap a photo of our miserable shiny faces. 

 Altun Ha, Belize.
At the top of this tower- the temple to the sun god- the priest was buried and to mark his tomb there was this jade head- the largest carved work of jade ever found.  It's currently in the Belize City Museum.
Jade sculpture of deity (550–650 AD); Altun Ha, Belize, Jadeite; National Institute of Culture and History, Belize. Photo: National Institute of Culture and History, Belize

Monster faces (below)- These were representations of the Earth God of Mayan culture- frequently seen in doorways.
Altun Ha (Mayan Ruins), Belize

As we left the ruins, we met some local boys and their pets. Crocodiles. !!!  Put yourself it Charlie's mindset and this was the coolest thing you've ever experienced in 8 years of life.  Each croc had a rubber band to hold its jaws shut and man, oh man, were they cool.

When we left the oldest boy offered to trade Chuck a crocodile for his watch and Charlie's eyes lit up like I've never seenWe declined and the whole way back to the ship Charlie kept telling each of us how nice those boys were. "They risked their lives to catch those crocodiles just so we could get our pictures with them."  FYI- going rate for a photo with a croc was $5 for each boy.


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