Lemonal is a friendly little Creole village in the Belize District. Now accessible by a brand new beautifully paved road from Bermudian Landing, it’s just one more beautiful place in Belize for cyclists to visit. What I liked most about riding this road was the light vehicular traffic flow. I’m surprised that more cyclists were not using it but evidence of its use for a recent bike race was clearly visible.
Paved with hotmix asphalt similar to the Lucky Strike road it winds through a combination of pine savanna, mixed broad leaf forests, farm lands and sand minds. There was no doubt in my mind that a bike race had recently taken place on this road since the white painted makings indicating start/finish line, turn-around point and miles to go markers were still clearly visible on the road surface. Maybe I’ll get to race on it myself in the near future.
As I approached the Lemonal bridge I had to stop and take a picture. With a big old tree spreading it’s lovely green branches over the ramp up to the entrance of the bridge, it helped to create the ambiance of what seemed like a grand old entrance to a 19th century community. In the left frame of my picture were people leaving their home near the bridge foot and walking on to the bridge. They seemed like a family on their way to church. Seventh Day Adventists perhaps? Or perhaps they were on their way to a community meeting or event of some kind. I hurriedly snapped my picture and rode up to meet them.
My first question to anyone who could answer me was why the village was called Lemonal. “That’s a good question,” replied the middle-aged gentleman walking with the group, which I assumed was his family. The lady walking alongside him said she heard it was because of a lemon tree that was… and she pointed in the direction of where the lemon tree was said to have been. She wasn’t sure if it was an accurate account but she told me the name of a village elder who knows a lot about the village’s history and gave me directions to his home. Maybe one day I will visit him to get more information and update this post.
Anyway, I soon discovered what event was taking place in the village—a Cricket match. As I rode through the village, pass the cricket field I saw more people including a few young men dressed in a Cricket team uniform. I was told by one of them that it is the most popular sport in the community.
I also had the honor of being joined by a little boy on a bike who seemed to get a kick from riding up beside me and passing me so maybe with the new road passing through and connecting the village with Bermudian Landing and with competitive cyclists using it as a new race route, who knows… maybe there is a possibility of a new crop of cyclists emerging from Lemonal in the near future.