Wednesday 29 July 2015

Restaurant Review: Belize

As part of our recent Mayan Explorer tour with Kuoni we crossed the border into Belize. Our first stop across the border in San Ignacio, and a welcome break from travelling in a not particularly comfortable minibus, was at a restaurant called

Hode's Place San Ignacio

This was a busy place with lots of people eating fast food and sitting with their friends in large groups; we had a set meal arranged for us as we were on a busy schedule, which our guide said was a chance to try the local speciality of rice and beans. I wasn't thrilled at the sound of that but the food turned out to be very nice. We had unlimited orange juice (we had just passed through some orange groves), a sort of marinaded grilled chicken that was very dry but had a nice flavour, a mixture of rice and beans, potato salad, coleslaw and dry bread (a bit difficult to eat). We paid $13 (£8.50) each which seemed expensive for what we had compared to other places we ate but with the amount of travelling we were doing, a stop for lunch, whatever we had, was always welcome!

We left our minibus and crossed a river on a hand-cranked ferry, but luckily there were cars waiting for us on the other side (arranged by our tour company) as it's a bit of a trek up the hill otherwise. At the top we found a relatively small (compared to other sites we visited) grass area with three main temples, one of which you can climb. The whole site is one square mile, apparently with 26 temples and palaces, but we didn't visit the others.

The main temple, El Castillo, is the second-highest structure in Belize and you do get some amazing views from the top - judging by the photos my boyfriend took. I wasn't sure whether to try climbing it or not and went up a couple of steps which were so high I could barely climb them - and when I turned around I realised I would have major problems getting down. My boyfriend said afterwards that he wished he hadn't climbed it - if he had realised we would have the opportunity to scale many other temples which were all a lot easier and in better condition! He said there were parts where the steps were crumbling, there was nothing to hold on to and there was a sheer drop on one side - you're about 130 feet up at the highest point. This is definitely not one for people who are afraid of heights!

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