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Thursday, February 2, 2006
Carol (VonDemfange) Manford and her daughter, Eugenia Bodnar, left the rest of us for an adventure of their own.
The tour they took was
Their trek began with a one hour drive from Belize City to Tower Hill where they boarded a riverboat for a 90 minute cruise of the New River.
They saw spectacular rainforests, mangroves, orchids, birds --- and alligators.
Disembarking at the northern end of the New River Lagoon they had a Belize  style lunch before starting their exploration of the Mayan ruin which lay ahead.
The name means "Submerged Crocodile" in the Mayan language.
The site's name is pre-Columbian, recorded by early Spanish missionaries,  and documented over a millennium earlier in hieroglyphic texts as:
Once the largest Mayan ceremonial site in Meso-America it was occupied
as early as 1500 B.C. The first stone buildings appeared here between
800 and 600 B.C.
During the Spanish conquest of the Yucatan, the Conquistadores established a Roman Catholic church here, but a native Maya revolt  drove the Spanish away from this area.
The vast majority of the ruins were unexcavated until recently.
Now, although hundreds of ruins lie hidden and untouched in the Belizean jungle, the most  impressive temples have been renovated, notably the Temple of the Jaguar Masks and High Temple, which tourists can climb as long as a guide is present.
Going up High Temple is a very high climb, intensified by the fact that half the climb up all you get is a rope, and the rest of the way --- nothing.
 Going up High Temple is a very high climb, intensified by the vista of the New River and beautiful green jungle foliage all around.
These eroded carvings are on the face of the High Temple
The Temple of the Jaguar Masks
Guides claim this blocky, angular style construction shown in the right photograph is believed to be a jaguar head.
I'll take their word for it.
These carvings are details on the wall of the temple.
There is another on the left hand side that is covered by a rock wall, covered up due to its too-delicate nature.
While looking at Eugenia's photos one thing became obvious to me. When touring Lamanai --- watch your step!!
Now that you've seen Lamanai
Are you ready to tour another Mayan City?
 With a strange and unpronouceable name.
on this picture of Leroy Ganser keeping a sign from falling over!
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