Ruta Maya River Challenge Belize

Go Lunatics – Ruta Maya River Challenge

I am not brave or foolish enough to sign on for a four-day canoe event, that is just not how my tv channel changing body rolls 😀 Thankfully I have known people who are both brave and foolish and sometimes more than once like Cindy and Rubio who did last years race (as you will see below.) Since “landfill Jason” was not doing this year’s race, Cindy convinced our (wintering in Belize) friend Dennis to fill his seat.

For Dennis’s friends and family, this is a glimpse of what your adventure loving traveling hippy friend/son is doing this weekend. In addition to paddling a canoe 170 miles, he will be:

  • Making new friends and forging deeper connections with current ones.
  • Attending some great parties.
  • And being hangry and dog tired from paddling like mad all day.

Thankfully they have a great support team with Barbara and Chris. They did a great job last year of logistics for pickups and end of day massages. For Dennis’s peeps, you will be happy to know they are vegan so that means he is in extra good hands.

Ruta Maya River Challenge Belize

Day One Report

He messaged me the above pictures yesterday so you could see the team. I was also given the following report of day one San Ignacio to Double Head Cabbage ….

“It was hard work, my ass is sore, but really cool to paddle through jungle – monkeys, eagle, vultures, huge fucking trees and a lot of people! And this Rock Farm place is really cool – great property. Dinner is over – prepping for our 530 start – see you tomorrow – I am off to unwind and bed.”

Ruta Maya River Challenge Belize

For those of you that do not know, Ruta Maya is the biggest canoe race in the country. The race is held annually and globally attended since 1995. La Ruta Maya River Challenge started as part of a river area cleanup campaign and education effort. The race also helps boost the economy in smaller local villages. Below is the course race map courtesy of Manolo Romero of and Google. Teams are paddling their way across the country along the Macal and Belize Rivers into Belize City for the big party and awards ceremony.

The number to cheer for is 23 team Lunatics so anyone reading this please send them a shot of good energy or three to help them finish well. Cindy, Rubio, and Dennis are in the Master’s class and definitely stand a chance at winning a prize in their division if all goes well.

As I finish this part of my write up they are closing in on the end of day two of the grueling four-day Ruta Maya canoe race. Once they reach the days stop point they will be greeted by masses of fans in Double Head Cabbage awaiting their arrival. It is likely the faster teams are already enjoying a cocktail and celebrating their personal strength and speed.

Day Two Update

Dennis’s day two update: “I got some new blisters on my hands, Rubio is tired but feeling better than yesterday, Cindy is sore but always chipper.

Living With Lunatics – My 2018 Ruta Maya Experience

I decided not to go to the race this year, Cherie (Cindy’s mum) and Tinker (her daughter) also decided to pass this year.

Last year Our weekend was filled with magical moments and simple pleasures. The main support team Barbara and Chris had done day one at Banana Bank. After hours of canoeing, it was crucial that team “Lunatics” got their daily massages.

I helped schedule the second support team consisting of Cindy’s mom Cherie and 5-year-old daughter Tinker. We flew on the noon Tropic Air flight to Belize City. The airport was absolutely packed when we arrived. It made me glad our flight was in-country and the minor delay was a good case for the three-hour rule.

Ruta Maya River Challenge Belize

Chris and Barbara picked us up and we headed for Bermudian Landing and our cabins for the next couple of days. Cindy and the team had decided on the Nature Resort, it was perfect. We were greeted by monkeys outside our room. There were horses on-site and loads of nicely maintained grassy space to enjoy. Something I sometimes miss in San Pedro.

Bermudian Landing Belize

As for the race itself, in addition to seeming like a well-oiled machine, it was also absolute chaos, a clusterfuck with boats and super fun. As you can see from my featured image above, the end of day parties were packed, moring sendoffs were busy too. I will leave you with a short video clip of them taking off from Double Head Cabbage last year.

As for the magic moments mentioned above, our most magical one was while trying to find a gas station and return the car. We had driven aways past the rental place and Chris made a split second executive decision to turn around and look closer to our destination. His timing could not have been more spot on. Suddenly we were driving across a bridge and he excitedly shouts out “there they are!” Of course, he instantly pulled over and our friends were already too far away to hear us cheering, so we watched the one other canoe that came not long after. My pic below of team Lunatics only looks close because I had my Nikon Coolpix B500 with a great zoom lens.

Ruta Maya River Challenge Belize

A few shots of the team and some of the support crew from Ruta Maya 2018. Of course those big grins on the left were in a Belize city parking lot.

Ruta Maya River Challenge Belize

One last thing for Dennis’ friends and family, every race start is a muddy one. When I told him I was putting this out there and sending their team some global energy, his reply was “Very Cool! Thanks! Send all that healing energy to my ass end, cause it sure doesn’t like sitting!” 😀

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