Published: October 2nd 2008September 23rd 2008
From Playa del Carmen I took a bus down to the Mexican border and changed onto a Belizean bus to take me across the border, which was a completely painless experience. The change from Mexico to Belize was immediately noticeable - Belize was certainly more rustic and had a Carribean feel to it (not that I've ever been there!). The racial mix was also noticeable too, it is a complete melting pot, with the largest racial group being Creole (decendents of British pirates and African slaves) who speak a strange (and indeciphable) dialect of English, blacks and then amongst others - Chinese (not many, but there were a few Chinese restaurants around!) and Mennonites.
My first port of call was a town called Orange Walk so i could visit some Maya ruins at Lamanai. There wasn't much to the town itself and I checked into a horrible little hotel for the two nights I was there and the door to my room had a very charming 'No smoking - death' message written on it! The ruins themselves were reached by taking a spectacular boat trip along the 'New River' (only the British could call a river used for thousands of
years 'New'!), although being hurricane season it did rain rather a lot. The ruins at Lamani were impressive, one of the longest Mayan sites in continuous use, almost 3000 years until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century.
There are more photos below