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  • The Anonymous Hungry Hippopotamus

Un-BELIZE-Able: Day 4

After spending my third day in Belize on the water, I decided to explore more of the land on day four.

My first stop was at the Maya King waterfall. This waterfall is located on the southeast coast of Belize, about 40 minutes from Placencia.

To reach the waterfall, I began at this tree-framed entrance from where you could see the path to the waterfall ahead and the lush mountains off in the distance.

Bamboo Cathedral

The path to the waterfall was laden with small streams, a bamboo canopy (referred to as the "bamboo cathedral" by locals)...

...a grove of orange trees and beautiful mountain views.

The stream filled with more water and activity as I got closer to the waterfall.

And then, I finally arrived. The Maya King waterfall is made up of two cascading falls nestled in the Belizean jungle. The water is cool and refreshing and serves as the perfect place for a picnic, a swim or both.

After my morning hike and swim, it was back to Placencia for some sustenance, but not before a quick rum tasting at Tiburón Rum. Tiburón Rum is family owned and run from the Caribbean shores in Belize. This rum is molasses based and aged in old, oak, bourbon barrels, giving it a smooth finish. I got to taste the plain, mango and kiwi infused rums of which the mango was my favorite.

The rum tasting was followed by lunch at Rick's Cafe which was just up the street. Rick's Cafe uses fresh ingredients in all their dishes which you can enjoy in a relaxed environment while talking in views of the Placencia village.

I had planned to enjoy the open air veranda upstairs but it started to rain, so I made my way into the cozy dining room...

Lobster Corn Chowder

...where I enjoyed a hearty bowl of lobster, corn chowder. The saltiness of the bacon, the crunch and sweetness of the fresh corn, and the succulent chunks of freshly caught lobster all complemented one another perfectly. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the beach and taking a swim at the hotel pool.

Photo courtesy of the Turtle Inn

For dinner, I went back to Francis Ford Coppola's Turtle Inn to enjoy a special Rijsttafel dinner that is only offered two nights a week. When the Dutch colonized Indonesia, it was their desire to try as many of the Indonesian dishes as possible in one sitting. To do so, they created the "Rijsttafel" which means "rice table" in Dutch. The dishes feature specialties from the entire Indonesian archipelago - Bali, Sumatra, Java etc. I didn't expect to experience a traditional Rijsttafel in Central America but that's how things unfolded.

The Rijsttafel offered at the Turtle Inn included:

satay ayam (grilled chicken skewer with peanut sauce), oper ayam (chicken coconut curry stew with brown sugar and ginger), babi kecap (pork belly in sweet soy), rendang (carmelized beef in coconut milk, chilis and spices), sambal gudang (shrimp with beans and coconut sauce), perkedel (potato and meat patties), nasi putih (white rice), nasi goreng (fried vegetable yellow rice), galai telur (boiled eggs in curry sauce), sambal gbuncis (spicy, crispy green beans), tumis sayuran (stir fried vegetables), oseng terong (eggplant stew), serundeng (fried coconut flakes and shaved peanuts), kripuk udang (shrimp crackers), acar timun (sweet and sour cucumber and tomato salad) and peps ikan (fish fillets steamed in a banana leaf).

That sumptuous meal concluded my fourth day in Belize. More to come as I share about my final few days in this magnificent country.

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