It rained hard in the morning. After breakfast, we drove north and the skies cleared, it looked like the once we got over the mountains we would have a clear day. But we first we stopped a small park called Billy Barquedier National Park. This tiny park has a 15 minute walk to see a waterfall. Admission to the park is used to support the local village, so we paid eight US dollars and went in. To see the waterfall, you have to hike up a hill, and then down to a creek. There are some rocks placed as stepping stones so that you don't have to wade across the creek, however the rocks are wet and super slippery. There is a rope to hang onto as you cross. Melanie nearly fell in, but the rope saved her. I ended up wading across.
Before we could get to the waterfall, the storm clouds caught up to us and unleashed a tropical rainstorm. It rained hard.
The rain did halt when we got further north. We stopped off at the Blue Hole National Park, which has two sections. The section further south contains the Blue Hole. Obviously, this is not be confused with the world-famous Great Blue Hole that is offshore of Belize in the reef. The on-shore Blue Hole is a pool with a distinctive color, perhaps caused by chemicals in the water. The pool looks to be part of a collapsed lava tube. You can swim in the pool, but we did not.
There is a mile long trail through the jungle at this spot, so we took that hike. It did not lead to any tremendous views or wildlife sights. It was basically just a walk in the jungle!
The more northernly section of Blue Hole National Park contains St. Herman's Cave. If you hire a guide, you can walk entirely through the cave on a expedition of an hour or so. We had flashlights with us, and so entered the cave on our own and went along a marked trail up to the point where a sign said Guided Tours Only Beyond This Point. Much of the Yucatan is limestone, which dissolves in water, so the area is riddled with caves. We saw a few stalactites in the cave, and there was a river flowing along side the walking path.
Outside of St Herman's Cave, we spotted a number of colorful birds. Perhaps it was just the right time of day for activity, but there were a lot of them about. I tried to get a few pictures, and then it started to rain a little bit.
We drove into Belmopan and found the Villa San Juan Bed & Breakfast for the night. The B&B was a pretty nice place. I wanted to swim in the pool after we ate dinner (dinner was at a nice restaurant called the Blue Moon where I had fajitas del mar) but it started to rain again.
This is the video I tried to take of the downpour at Billy Barquedier park. The rain doesn't look as impressive as it does experiencing it live
If your browser pops up a box at the top of your screen asking for permission to run the Quicktime video, or at the bottom of the screen asking permission to run ActiveX content, click the OKAY to permit the Quicktime movie to run. If you see a big blue Q, the video content is still downloading from the website. When an image appears, double click to start playing the short movie.
Single click on any thumbnail to open photo in new window. (You don't need to close the previous photo to click a new thumbnail.) Place your cursor over any thumbnail to see the picture title.
Billy Barquedier National Park
St Herman's Cave & Blue Hole