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#12811 - 11/15/01 04:40 PM Driving to Plancentia
Conrad and Kathy Offline
We will be driving to Plancencia from Belize City next week. I was told the highway south out of Belize City was really rough and I would be better off going to Belmopan and then east towards Dangriga. More miles, same driving time. Any recent information about road conditions and opinion of night driving down these roads would be really helpful
Thanks, Conrad

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#12812 - 11/15/01 05:24 PM Re: Driving to Plancentia
Richard Chambers Offline
You were told right! The Hummingbird highway is the way to go to Dangriga. You need to get a "Good" road map if you haven't already.
The one i got from Lan Sluder is the same one we used last year when we drove the country.....Richard

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#12813 - 11/15/01 05:36 PM Re: Driving to Plancentia
ckocian Offline
If ya don't know the roads, you really, really shouldn't consider driving at night.

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#12814 - 11/15/01 05:46 PM Re: Driving to Plancentia
Richard Chambers Offline
You are right about the driving at nite!
We encountered people all over the roads around villages walking with thier families in the evenings. We shut it off at dusk!
This seemed to be a typical family activity.

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#12815 - 11/16/01 02:12 AM Re: Driving to Plancentia
Conrad and Kathy Offline
I am relying on the map I am to receive at our rental car place at the airport.
I was told they were sufficient to traverse the roads. However, that is why I am back here again. Does someone know the quality of these maps or if there is something I can purchase at the airport that would be better?
Thanks, Conrad
(need to get to Placentia to give a helping hand)

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#12816 - 11/16/01 02:59 AM Re: Driving to Plancentia
ckocian Offline
The maps and roads are very straightforward. That is, until you leave the Southern Highway on the last leg to and down the peninsula. My husband was there a couple of weeks ago and drove between Placencia and Belize City twice. At that time the signage was still messed up on that last leg pointing you in the direction of the villages on the peninsula and the quality of the road there wasn't very good. They've had lots of rain since the storm and when the holes in the road fill up with water you can't tell how big or how deep they are. The roads are dusty when dry and slippery when wet. With large truck traffic traveling that route a lot, the roads get horrible in a hurry even if they've been bladed recently.

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#12817 - 11/16/01 03:48 AM Re: Driving to Plancentia
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Having driven both routes to Placenica dozens of times, I would certainly concur about:

1) Don't drive at night if you can avoid it. Besides the other dangers mentioned, fog often rolls in at night on the Hummingbird making driving very dangerous. Also, if it is raining, it is incredibly difficult to see where you are. Last time I went to Placencia, a few weeks ago, I drove at night in the rain and missed the turn-off to Placencia, even though I am familiar with the road. Just drove right past it due to the rain and construction on the road. It was several miles before I figured out I had missed the turn to Riversdale.

2) Road signs from Dangriga south are no longer very dependable. Road construction has torn a lot of them down, and the storm damaged others. There are no longer mileage markers for most of the Southern Highnway.

3) I have found the maps offered free by car rental companies are not very helpful. Some are many years old. The ITMB map (the new 2001 edition) is the best general map available. You can usually find it at the international airport, though it may be an older edition and it sometimes costs more than if buying it before you go (US$8.95).

4) The coastal highway is a bit shorter, but the Hummingbird is much more scenic and a since it is all paved is much less stressful.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First http://www.belizefirst.com/
_________________________
Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com

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#12818 - 11/16/01 03:57 PM Re: Driving to Plancentia
Conrad and Kathy Offline
Thanks to all,
Conrad

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