Kilometers Traveled – 54
Hours in Car with Children – 1
Unscheduled Potty Breaks – 1
Belikins Consumed – too many to recall
Current Location – Laru Beya Cabins, Hopkins, BZ
Wireless Internet – OK, I give up.

Today is Saturday and we were supposed to be taking the 3:30 pm TropicAir flight to San Pedro to start our week on the island. We opted instead to spend another night in this funky seaside village and explore a bit.

 
What a beautiful view to wake up to.

We had an enormous breakfast at King Cassava where we were introduced to Stuffed Jacks, a larger version of the ubiquitous fry jack filled with scrambled eggs, bacon and gooey cheese. Sooo good.


Breakfast at King Cassava.


Frying up red snapper in "el fogon".


Mark's youngest daughter, Trisha, Birdie and Cole.


Stuffed Jacks....yummo!!

The rain finally gave us a break and all the kids in town, including mine, hit the beach. The town pier seems to be a popular gathering spot for local youngsters looking for fun. After a quick change of clothes, we piled into the car to explore Hopkins by the light of day.
The welcome sign for Hopkins, apinted by two local artists, shows the journey of the Africans from St. Vincent, their meeting and intermarriage with the Caribe Indians from the islands off of Venezuela and the creation of the culture known as Garifuna.


Waiting for the bus to Dangriga.


Miss Chris' Laru Beya Cabins

 
Kids enjoying a sunny warm day at the town pier.


Getting good air.


Birdie.


Main Street, Hopkins.


Local artists cottage and shop.


Next, off to the Cockscomb Basin Forest Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary. Located about a half an hour south of Hopkins in Maya Centre, this 98,000 acre preserve is a protected home for many large cats such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots and magays among hundreds of other species of wildlife.

 

There are 12 miles of trails many of which are included in a self-guided tour. As we were with children and Dad’s back was giving him particular trouble, we opted for a short hike through the jungle to the river where the kiddos and I took a dip in the cool mountain water.
*Note to future travelers – Bug Spray is a must here. Cover yourself well.

We returned to Hopkins via the village at Sittee River and found the drumming had started up early. Belikins and bitters started early as well and would flow freely through the night.

 
Trisha giving Birdie a few braids.


Young guns.


Keeping a soulful beat on turtle shells.


The lovely Georgia tending bar.

We were invited down to Lebeha, the town’s Garifuna Drumming Center and hang out for local kids interested in learning the music, songs and dances of their ancestors. It was wonderful to watch the elder musicians take the children (ours included) under their wing and gently teach them the traditional rhythms and drumming techniques. We took a couple of videos of throughout the evening and promised to burn them to CD for the village archives as soon as we reached civilization.

From here, I returned to the cabin with the kids and (against my better judgment) sent Rob off into the night with his new posse. Happy Easter everyone!!

Go to Road Trip Belize - Day 9