PUNTA GORDA

Punta Gorda

We stayed in Punta Gorda for 3 nights. We stayed in a hostel on the outside of town. One day we saw a dead Gibnut on the side of the road and apparently people eat it here. The ultimate traveller told me to take a picture but it was too disgusting. A bit further on we came up to the fire station with magnificent, yellow, shiny fire engines. The ultimate traveller went to talk to a man who was inside a cabinet guarding the station. He told him that he was a retired fire-man from England and chatted for ages…

P1070416
travellingminstrel – Punta Gorda – fire station #1

Another day we went to eat at a vegetarian restaurant on the other side of town. The food was inspiring, especially the tofu. We heard that they taught classes on how to make tofu so we arranged a class for 3(four with my bro) people the next day. We arrived at the restaurant at 1 o’clock and finished at 5 o’clock. Tofu is an extremely long process. We started from the soya beans.

soya beans - #
travellingminstrel – soya beans- #2

I learnt that soya beans are a very useful sort of bean you can make soya milk,tofu,falafel…

Punta Gorda, tofu lesson - corn presser #1
travellingminstrel – Punta Gorda, tofu lesson – corn presser #3

We also made veggie burgers,falafel and of course our main meal was tofu. Our tofu had a crispy edge and a tasty and filling inside. At the end of the process we tucked into our filling  and wonderful meal.

Punta Gorda - big slap up tofu meal #2
travellingminstrel – Punta Gorda – big slap up tofu meal #4

Another day we took a guide and went to the Blue Creek cave on a tour. It took about 1 hour to get there from Punta Gorda. On the way we saw original, well made Mayan cottages in small villages with no electric wires running to their houses, very basic but beautiful.

On the way to Blue Creek cave - traditional mayan house #3
travellingminstrel – On the way to Blue Creek cave – traditional mayan house #5

The Mayans here were called Mopan Mayans. It was nice to see a basic Mayan life in the hills. When we were nearly there we drove through the Blue Creek village and we parked up near the Blue Creek river. We walked beside the Blue creek river until we arrived at the cave. Right at the beginning of the walk we saw a red and black bird but I can’t remember its name…

Blue Creek cave - red and black bird #4
travellingminstrel – Blue Creek cave – red and black bird #6

The guide said we were lucky because you don’t usually get to see one so close. The cave was  in a great position surrounded by steep “jungly” hills . There was Stalactites all over the ceiling and stalagmites all over the ground with stunning reflections in the clear river.

Blue Creek cave - cave #5
travellingminstrel – Blue Creek cave – cave #7
outside the cave - travelling family #
travellingminstrel- outside the cave – travelling family #8

We could see a few fresh water Cat fish in the river too.

Me and my mum went in first. We put life-jackets on around our waist and helmets on with a torch attached . The ultimate traveller looked after Jed whilst we went in the cave. It looks like Jed had a good time.-

My brother sat on a log - #
travellingminstrel – My brother sat on a log – #9
me, mum and guide going into the cave - #5
travellingminstrel – me, mum and guide going into the cave – #10
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travellingminstrel – me going into the cave – #11

This cave is a water cave so we had to swim. We jumped in with the guide into the freezing fresh water and started to swim up the river in the dark cave.(the ultimate traveller put his camera in a dry bag and took some pictures)  We saw lots of “Rastafarian hair” rock formations.

inside the cave - "rastafarian" hair shaped rock #
travellingminstrel – inside the cave – “rastafarian” hair shaped rock #12

and beautiful lime stone rock made smooth by the water.

inside of the cave - #
travellingminstrel – inside of the cave – #13

We also saw a few bats on the way. We had to climb 3 tiny (sometimes slippy) waterfalls until we reached the 3rd one which was massive. It was a really strong waterfall but in the wet season there would be a lot more water.

inside the cave - 3rd waterfall #
travellingminstrel – inside the cave – 3rd waterfall #14

Me and my mum wanted to swim in the small pool under this waterfall so we did but we kept away from the strong pull. It took about 45 minutes to get to the last waterfall.

in the water - mum coming out of the cave #
travellingminstrel – in the water – mum coming out of the cave #15

On the way back I kept saying I was going to go again with the ultimate traveller but I was too cold to go back in. The ultimate traveller went in the cave with the guide after the guide had a bit of a break.

Blue Creek cave- the ultimate traveller going in #
travellingminstrel – Blue Creek cave- the ultimate traveller going in #16
The ultimate traveller going into the cave - #
travellingminstrel – The ultimate traveller going into the cave – #17

I just explored the area in the mean time. This was a very spectacular area just on the left of the cave.-

left of the cave - spectacular area #
travellingminstrel – left of the cave – spectacular area #18

We were very lucky because there wasn’t one person here. After here we drove to the Rio Blanco national park. There was nobody here either. We walked for several minutes until we arrived to the Rio Blanco waterfall. It wasn’t as stunning as it should be because there wasn’t much water in the dry season so there was only a tiny bit of water coming out from a corner.

    waterfall - #9
travellingminstrel – Rio Blanco waterfall – #19
  waterfall - #9
travellingminstrel – Rio Blanco waterfall – #20

Me and the ultimate traveller jumped off one part of the rock into the pool below. We also explored the back of the waterfall and found millions of tadpoles in different areas. Just before we left I saw the American swallowed-tailed Kite and got a fantastic picture of one.

San Ramon waterfall - american swallowed kite  #11
travellingminstrel – San Ramon waterfall – american swallowed kite #21
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