Belize & Tikal '99
At the end of January 1999 Elayne and Leonard traveled down to Central America for a trek through the Mayan ruins of Tikal and a sea kayaking and snorkeling adventure in Glover's Reef, the southern most coral atoll of Belize. The trip itself began in Portland, Oregon on January 25th as our two travelers left home for their muggy port of call in Houston. From Houston our intrepid duo flew south to Belize City, then hopped over to Flores, Guatemala and Tikal. After a few days in the jungle they flew back to Belize City and boated out to Glover's Reef. Join them now in a look back at their trip via photographs and memoirs of their experiences.

The pages that follow contain many thumbnail images, each of which can be clicked upon for a larger view.
Why Belize and Tikal? Portland is known for its rain, and even those who embrace the rain look forward to a bit of sunshine after 90+ days of precipitation and cold. The world boasts many warm climates in many exotic locations, but a previous trip to Belize left Elayne and Leonard with a mixture of wonder and disappointment. The wonder was of the vast and unspoiled coral reef so close to the US, and the disappointment from a major tropical storm that closed roads to other tempting locations, such as Tikal, and kept boats safely tied at their docks. All in all the previous trip felt unfinished more than anything else. This time they'll see if they can do it right.
Adventures in Tikal. Stories abound of the wildlife amongst the ruins of Tikal, and the ruins themselves are said to be among the most extensive and extravagant in the new world, although much of the forest has closed in around them and is eating away at the remnants of a major Mayan city. Tikal more than lives up to its reputation, which is just as well, for the lodgings our two globe trotters find themselves in leave much to be desired.
Life on a tiny and remote Caribbean island. Can Leonard and Elayne survive on a tropical island with three fellow travelers and five willing and able guides and cooks to see to their every needs? Will days of bright sunshine, clear blue waters and mile after mile of reef teaming with life spoil them, or can too much of a good thing actually be bad?
Postscript. A final fling in Belize and a word or two after it was all over.

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