This weekend there was a new group of students at Hillside. With this being said most people like to go on the first three trips that I went on when they come here. So this weekend I had to fend for myself. I decided to stay in PG on Friday night because my new roommate was celebrating her birthday. We went out to a nice restaurant on the water front and had some drinks. This night was a lot of fun. The next morning I woke up and caught a bus up to Hopkins. This is a small Garifuna village about 3 ½ hours away from PG. There was a big mango festival going on so I figured it would be cool to check that out. Another guy who came on this rotation decided to come with me rather than go with everyone else to Lime Caye (the island I went to before). Worked out for me because I didn’t have to travel alone! We ended up getting to Hopkins REALLY early so we checked into our hostel and went down to the beach for the morning. It was beautiful. The wind was blowing so there were ZERO sand flies. I got to lay on a hammock under two palm trees and just look out over the ocean. In the afternoon we wandered down to the festival where there were mangos EVERYWHERE. I indulged myself in a delicious mango shake up drink where the man literally smashed a mango into my cup and then shook it really fast as he added other ingredients. It was delicious let me tell you. Super refreshing. I also wandered over and got myself a really good mango pulled pork sand which where they make the barbecue sauce with mangos. Also delicious. After we hung out at the festival and found ourselves the beer tent for a few hours we went back to the hostel to shower. Then we wandered upstairs to a local bar above our hostel. This was fun because a bunch of people from Canada came up there and we all chatted a bit. Then a Garifuna man came up and decided to serenade us with his guitar; granted I egged him on. He was so funny though. Definitely some natural Belizean entertainment.
The next morning we woke up early and planned to go to Mayflower Bacowina National Park to go hiking up a big trail there. Little did we know it would be EXTREMELY difficult to get there. We ended up walking 3 miles before catching a ride to a junction. At the junction we called a cab and he charged us way more than he should have but whatever. We got there and we were excited. Of course stupid me let the battery on my go pro die before the hike (kicking myself for this because it was beautiful). As we started up the mountain it was flat(ish) land followed by step like surfaces and then came the steep part. This part was equipped with ropes to help pull you up because it was so steep. This made the hike way more fun. I was exhausted by the time we reached the top but it was well worth it. First there was this amazing look out that went over the top of the falls. It was beautiful. Then up a little farther there was a “pool”. This was something from a movie. There was a water fall that fell down into a small pool of water that you could swim in and jump off the cliff. It was like ice cold (RARE here in Belize) and it felt amazing. We ended up hanging around there for about an hour just swimming and relaxing and jumping off the cliff. Then we decided to trot back down this steep mountain. A lot easier to get down than up to be honest. Probably helped that we were able to use to ropes to basically repel ourselves down. Once we were down we called our expensive cab driver and had him take us back to the bus station to catch our bus back to PG. It was definitely a weekend I would suggest to anyone. It was cheap and super fun. Also I was ecstatic that I finally got to hike in the jungle and experience all of that. Once we got back to PG we wandered over to our friend Jamie (one of the workers at hillside’s) football game and watched him play. All in all amazing weekend!