February 3, 2006 – Day 4 was the most gruelling day so far and probably will not be topped (we hope). The stage was 125K with lots of climbing. The start was fairly easy as we took off in a large group, but soon the leaders began attacking and it got tougher for everyone. After a couple of attacks things settled down and everyone came back together – until the mountains approached.
Then the large group began to splinter into three smaller ones as we climbed up the mountains. The roads were rough and rocky and just kept going up. Around each bend in the road the grade increased. It was tough going but the positive part about reaching the top was the view — it was fabulous.
As I was no longer with the lead group I took it easy and snapped some photos along the way. Most of the day was spent climbing and hoping that the finish was not far off. When I finally reached the end of the stage it was worth it as we were steps away from a spectacular site of Mayan ruins. As evening came and it started to get dark, animal sounds began to fill the air including howling monkeys which were extremely loud as they were quite close to our camp. As Day 4 came to an end we were all happy to have completed this very tough stage to an amazing destination — it was well worth every ache and pain.
Unfortunately there was only one way out of the Mayan Ruin site — up! So we all started to climb again. At least we had fresh legs. As we climbed riders started to fall off, and once we reached the top, 1,800 meters up, there were only seven of us left. We continued on and as we started to gain speed I heard a slow leak. Sure enough I had another flat, so I waved good-bye to the group and changed my flat with the 40 degree sun beating down on me.
Back on route I tried to catch the rider ahead of me and I finally did at the rest stop. We rode the rest of the stage together and arrived at San Ignacio — the stage had taken us just over four hours to complete. With 85K behind us we were quite tired, but as we entered San Ignacio some the residents had decided to remove the marking tape that indicated our route, so my partner and I got lost in the little city. It was ok as we were able to meet some of the local people and learn more about the way of life here in Belize.
With 5 stages, 500K and over 20 hours on the bike under our belts we have two stages left and I’ve been told that the most beautiful scenery is still to come.
Temple to Temple 2006
Day 1 – Start at the temples of Lubaantun and finish in Blue Creek – 85K.
Day 2 – Start at Blue Creek and end at Hopkins
Village on the Caribbean Sea – 150K.
Day 3 – Start at the Beach in Hopkins and cycle
along the Western Highway to Jaguar Paw 0 – 110K.
Day 4 – Start at Jaguar Paw and finish at the
temples of Caracol in Pine Ridge – 125 K.
Day 5 – Start at the Mayan ruins of Caracol and finish in San Ignacio – 85K.
Day 6 – Start in San Ignacio and finish at Caves
Branch along the Southern Highway – 75K Followed
by an inner tube race through the caves.
Day 7 – Start at Caves Branch and finish at the
The Placencia hotel on the Placencia Peninsula –
Total distance 750K