There’s a well worn and sinuous strip of the Hummingbird highway that holds a piece of my soul. And it feels good, like a positive attachment I am happy to be bound to.
Between a rough flight into Belize and some intense food poisoning, the five hour drive south to Punta Gorda went as fast as possible. Matt and I just wanted to get to our lodging and sleep, as quickly as we could drive the completely dark highway, navigating my moans of doubled-over agony, numerous and random speed bumps, and folks casually walking home from work.
The drive back north, on the other hand, could not have been more lovely. Despite the heat, we left Placencia early, so by the time we got to Santa Elena and the surrounding villages, the base of the Maya Mountains looked cool, lush and characteristically inviting. There’s a layered natural growth that borders the highway’s nestled road, showing off copious amounts of green cascading tropical vines, stout palm trees, and various hardwood groves reaching for the hot sky. The clouds and fog occasionally rest within a higher section of tree canopy, making them somehow look dark and bright at the same time, from a trick of texture and light. There’s also chocolate in those hills, as cacao trees are a more subtle part of nature, preferring to grow in the protected undergrowth. Woven within the foliage, Mayan villages dapple the land with thatch huts, tropical-colored wooden shop signs and lean-to’s holding that day’s fresh fruits for sale. Old stone bridges are mostly one-laned and allow us to cross freely over fresh water rivers and canyons. School children come and go from home to class, with astonishingly clean and crisp uniforms and bundles of books.
This section of Belize, compared to others, feels nourishing and like an invitation.
And I’m still listening to what the invitation is directing me to… but for now, I’m jotting down my notes and musing with anticipation and gratitude.