Belize, 2014 - Hopkins and the Coastal Road, 5th Feb


Article Index
Belize, 2014
Getting to Hopkins, 24th to 25th Jan
Around Hopkins 26th January
Around Hopkins, 27th January
Around Hopkins, 28th January
San Ignacio and Caraco, 28th to 29th January
Around San Ignacio, 30th January
The Hummingbird Highway and Hopkins, 31st Jan
Big Falls, 1st to 2nd Feb
Big Falls, 3rd Feb
Big Falls and Placencia, 4th Feb
Hopkins and the Coastal Road, 5th Feb
Belize Zoo, 6th Feb
Coastal Highway and Hopkins, 7th Feb
Going Home and Highlights
All Pages


Hopkins and the Coastal Highway (5th February)

After breakfast (where I had gibnut, very tasty), and a swim in the sea, Karen had a back massage, then we set off towards Hopkins. We stopped in for Emma to give the bikes a service, and for us to get what remained of our clean clothes, then carried on North.

Our aim was to ride along the Coastal Highway to the Belize Zoo and find accommodation before it got dark. Unfortunately we faffed around too much, and didn't leave Hopkins till nearly 4 pm. We filled up with fuel (170 kms), then took the Coastal (Manatee) Highway at the turn off. Apparently the road gets pretty bad in the rainy season, but we were in the start of the dry season, and they had started to repair it, so the first few miles were loose rocks and gravel, which is fine to ride on if you are the rider, but bone shaking for the passenger. I couldn't slow down as we had to get at least back on to tarmac before dark, so Karen had a bad time of it. In the end we had to slow down, as Karen couldn't take any more, but by that time we had got most of the road done, and to the part that hadn't been repaired.

I suddenly found a huge set of potholes all the way across the road in front of me, at one stage, and had no alternative but to hit the brakes and hope I stopped in time. I did, but Nathan and Nick were following a little too close. Nick managed to go right, and slid to a halt beside us, while Nate went left, but didn't stop so quickly, and went straight into the pothole, covering us completely with a tidal wave as he hit the water in it.

We carried on, but we were all getting tires, and Nathan wasn't feeling well. Suddenly, in a muddy rut, his front wheel caught the side and he went down, getting the handle bar in his stomach. He was okay, but felt even worse. His clutch lever was snapped, his gear lever bent, and his front brake caliper came loose.

We picked the bike up, found the clutch still worked, straightened the gear lever, and tightened the calliper with a Leatherman. After a quick breather we continued, and found we were only a few hundred yards from the tarmac. We had made it, and it had only just started getting dark. We scanned the guidebook, decided to try the Savanna Guest House.  The sign was hard to see, but we spotted it, and pulled in.

The Savanna Guest House was built to house film crews, who were there to film local animals, then became the zoo, and now the zoo has its own site is the house, film studios and guest house of an expat couple. The downstairs room is fine, but the upstairs rooms, with their verandas and hammocks, and the cool breeze, are worth the extra money (US$10 when we stayed). We rested that evening, just heading up the road to Cheers, the only local restaurant we could find, then headed to bed as by that stage Nathan was feeling quite ill.



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