After a few false starts, we took the cab to the main bus station in Mérida, took the bus to Chetumal, transferred to Belize City, then caught the next coach to San Ignacio. Total travel time was about 12 hours, the cost was about $30 bucks.
San Ignacio was not like Belize City at all, and I was grateful for that. Perhaps on a sunny day, Belize City is a nice place. But when we arrived, the skies were gray, the taxis unmarked, and the buildings and streets bearing still the wounds inflicted by Hattie nearly half a century before.
If Belize City was necrotic, San Ignacio was cancerous; in that damp stink of the jungle, the plants sprouted and blossomed in an almost exhibitionistic manner. They grew from the ground, from tiny cracks in the walls, and, in the case of the epiphytic black orchid, (the national flower of Belize, pictured at left), from pits in trees, deviating in the most peculiar way towards the ground instead of reaching for the sun as a common flower would.