Reports on my cycle trip around the World (by Ernest Markwood)
Friday, 31 August 2012
AT EEEEZZZZ IN BELIZE ........
Surprise, surprise!! That is Belize! After about 2 years in Spanish-speaking countries, suddenly Leana and I cross into a small English/Carribean crazy place. Even on the mainland it is fairly relaxed. We camped for 2 days at San Igancio after crossing the border from Guatemala. I still had some ongoing stomach problems, and one of the local "Bush Doctors" gave me a fermented brew of the Nonni fruit, which miraculously cured me (see pic of inedible fruit). The place is very "CARRIBEAN", with greetings of YEAH MON from dreadlocked characters around every corner. This is also undoubtedly the most frienly country I have cycled through. I seriously needed certain bike spares, but the bikes around here are not that fancy, and I am struggling on with the lack of some gears, and so forth. At Belize City we applied for Mexican visas, and were rather surprised to be granted free visas for 6 months, issued on-the-spot at their embassy. From the city we took the fast speed-boat water taxi to the island of Caye Caulker, 45 mins by boat. We camped close to the water at first, and later Leana booked us into a nice room across from the beach. The motto of the island is "GO SLOW" but that is totally unnecessary as I don't think it is possible for this bunch to go any slower. Apparently there is a current wave of theft on the island, and on the Friday night there was a PROTEST MARCH in this regard. In keeping with the LOW EVERGY VIBE on the island, the protestors were mostly creeping along on bicycles (the island is about 800m long and 200m wide). The most vocal protestor was singing "WE ARE THE WORLD", pausing only to swig from the beer in his left hand (he was holding a placard in his other hand). Most of the other people seemed rather apathetic while pushing their bikes with placards warning "LEAVE MY STUFF", and so forth. At the back of the little group one of the members was on his individual "station", singing "DON´T WORRY BE HAPPY". Good things come to an end and we had to return to the mainland and keep cycling. On our way North we stopped at the little Crooked Tree wildlife sancturuary (where we camped on somebody's grounds under huge mango trees amongst horses, cows, dogs, and chickens (and we had to survive a good rain-storm during the night). We've since moved on to the town of Orange Walk, from where Leana has taken a river tour to some Mayan ruins. From here we will head North to the border, and we should enter Mexico within the next 2 days. Distances (not much) since my last post have been:- Melchor Mencor 69 km; San Ignacio 18 km; Belmopan 40 km; Belize City 83 km; Caye Caulker (a massive 3 km, to and fron the boat); (back to mainland) Crooked Tree 62 km; and Orange Walk 47 km. The total distance cycled so far on this trip is 97 479 km.
My bike (Old Saartjie) on the first day of this trip, 27 March 2007.
PLEASE HELP TO KEEP OLD SAARTJIE'S WHEELS ROLLING: In order to fund this cycle trip I'd sold everything I had, but that has long gone. Please help if you can! If you want to contribute, then please contact me on my e-mail, and I will give you details. (email@example.com)
My Cycle Route
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 March 2007 - 145 036 km so far
My name is Ernest Markwood, and I am a South African formerly from Cape Town. I am a Research Psychologist by profession, and operated a Market Research business before embarking on this journey. I sold my posessions and took off by bicycle all the way through Africa from Cape Town. Since then I've proceeded via the Middle-East through Turkey, the Caucusus, Iran, Sub-Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal), China, South-East Asia, Indonesia, Australia, South- and Central America, and the USA, crossing Canada from the West to East and then all the way down the East coast of USA, and Jamaica. Currently my mission is to close gaps in order to form a continuous route around the world. I left Cape Town on 27 March 2007. This was not intended to be a race, but rather an experience (and so it is!).
Me (Ernest), on one of my better days
. . . . on this trip I have looked like this . . . .
- - - also like this . . .
. . . . and I've even looked like this!
I have not been cycling on my own for this entire trip. Leana and I left together on 27 March 2007 from Cape Town, South Africa (our former hometown). Since then we have cycled separately at intervals, although in total we have been together much of the time. We split in 2013. For more about her see leananiemand.org.za