I was tired of the noise that kept me awake in downtown San Ignacio. I wandered down a dirt road, and, next to the more luxurious Midas hotel, I found River Park Inn. This was a ten minute walk, on a flat surface (it is hilly in much of San Ignacio) from the lot where the buses pickup people in... More
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- River Park Inn: Midst coconuts, mangoes, avocados, bananas, custard apples, limes, and a profusion of other fruit trees as mouth-wateringly tropical; with bougainvillea, poinsettia, and a host of other flowering eye candy enticing you as sweetly; the while that your olfactory nerves are in a delirious transport for the frangipani infusing the warm tropic air, yourself quite as balmy, you could easily be convinced you’re in a lovely botanical garden miles from the city. But that’s, of course, before you dreamily take to the air yourself upon the wildly delightful river "walk," floating atop a broad carpet of green, flanked by stately, giant leafed teak trees, to the accompanying symphony of parakeets, parrots, and such like avians of the torrid zone. These, naturally, lead you into a welcoming grove of larger, leafier leviathans, beneath whose canopy you continue to float in a blissful transport, arriving in due course at the riverbank, above which you hover in the dappled light, gazing rapturously down at the river. As the tall, willowy, delicate-leafed bamboo rubs shoulders with you in the most amiable way, a thought creeps in: Why, if I don’t believe it loves the water, too! (At this idyllic point you will be moved to upwardly adjust your hasty first impression as high up on the favorable scale as comports with your current soaring emotion. Don’t worry. Long experience has taught us to factor this anticipated adjustment into your scheduled stay, and we’ve allowed ample time for its completion. You won’t miss out on a single programmed sensory fulfillment. What is equally beautiful, though, is that Belizean-family-owned Cosmos Camping, 10 lush acres of the "Savannah" on the peacefully flowing Macal River, and right on the edge of picturesque San Ignacio Town, "Gateway to the Cayo District," could not be more ideally positioned. So situated, you will forcefully have to remind yourself, if able, that you are just a 10-minute walk to the open-air farmer’s market, adjacent to the bustling downtown core, and so but a hop, step, and a jump from the post office, library, all four Belizean banks, and the many and various shops, restaurants, and pulsating nightlife, as well as bus service to all points in Belize and to the Guatemalan border 10 scenic miles west; yet, having returned, your arms full of Belizean fare for ridiculously few Belize dollars, you’re just far enough from its bustle to relax and be soothed with little more than the sounds of nature . . . or no sounds at all. Yet, if you hunger for more, however unlikely, you need but take a short stroll over the narrow Hawkesworth Bridge, Belize’s only suspension bridge (with time out to stop and admire the riparian view and to gaze once more on the Macal River, itself looking forward to soon meeting the Mopan River to become the Belize River, and to continue flowing on, as it’s done since time out of mind, to Belize City and the Sea). When you’re finished reflecting, you need but continue some dreamy paces more to find yourself in San Ignacio’s equally hilly sister town, Santa Elena. Do climb its charmingly verdant hills and admire the view. However, that being said, if you’ve yet to get here, especially if you dawdle along the way, you can’t rightfully expect everything to be as so idyllically described. Time waits for no guest; it marches on. Things change. So you might wish to take a moment now to prepare yourself for the shock of finding, in place of old Coronation Park, the spanking new 2.5-acre, $3,000,000BZ Cayo Welcome Center, replete with visitors’ center, museum, open-air plaza with central water feature, food outlets and restaurants, live music and crafts, palm and other shade trees, invitingly green lawn areas, and off-street parking. Also, expect to find that the whole connects via a short walkway, not to the old congested Burns Avenue, with parked cars milling about, hogging up space, leering at comely drivers, and leaving barely enough room for buses and large trucks to noise and fume their way through at top speed in order to better run down hapless jaywalkers. No, expect to leisurely stroll the newly revitalized, ever-so-spacious Burns Avenue Pedestrian Mall, in which, gone the way of the ancient Maya, are the parked cars, and the buses and large trucks fuming noisily somewhere else about having their traditional custom taken away from them; and in place of the customary flattened pedestrians, expect to see upright, three-dimensional ones, actually moving a muscle, equating to walking about leisurely, without the least fear of losing their other two dimensions; when they’re not seated, that is, at one or another of the new thoughtfully provided seating areas, admiring the new street surfacing beneath their feet, the ambiance-enhancing plant life, all beneath spiffily illuminating street lamps by night, that are nonetheless by day so attractive unilluminated as to have you, in turn, cast your admiring eye shine upon them. ... more less
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