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Belize for the Hardy

September 13, 1998

Having read many glowing reports of that relatively "new" place to go, I decided, as a compulsive if aging traveler, to tackle a trip to Belize. Although there were many items on the plus side, my overall experience was one of fatigue.

In order to get to the interesting places on our tour (I don't care much for churches and museums, just nature), it was necessary to spend about 60% of our time in travel, most of it on dirt roads or in little boats we nicknamed the bucking broncos.

Yes, we saw waterfalls and impressive Mayan ruins and visited a jaguar preserve and a manatee sanctuary--although we never saw a jaguar or even the nose of a manatee. The people were charming, and our accommodations were highly satisfactory, if buggy.

No trip is ever a wasted effort, but you need to be fairly hardy for this one.

ELAINE STANSFIELD, Los Angeles

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