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#211386 - 18 February 12 1:07 pm - America/Chicago Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga?
John_Janis Offline

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Registered: 02 June 11
Posts: 339
Any problems with the road? We haven't driven this before.......

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#211387 - 18 February 12 1:33 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: John_Janis]
D InTheShade Offline

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Registered: 01 February 08
Posts: 978
Loc: Calgary, Mile 5 Southern Hwy
I have not personally driven it. It's not paved and not recommended unless you want to spend a "casual" day on bone jarring wash board with pot holes. If it's raining you will need a 4x4.

I have driven from Monkey Bay to Dangriga many times (via Belmopan) in two hours easy - even in the rain. One caution, Belize asphalt gets very slippery when wet due to the aggregate they use. Back off the ponies just a little.



Edited by D InTheShade (18 February 12 2:04 pm - America/Chicago)
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#211390 - 18 February 12 1:56 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: John_Janis]
LanSluder Offline

**

Registered: 04 May 04
Posts: 8123
Loc: USA/Belize
I've driven it many times -- used to drive it more often, but the Hummingbird is so much more scenic and pleasant and only a little longer.

It's just an unpaved, gravel road. Very little to see except low bush.

The road isn't bad except for two things. One, when it rains hard it can be pretty mucky and occasionally a wooden bridge washes out. If so, usually there will be a warning as you turn on the road.

Two, it's too easy to get your speed up to 45 or 50 or 55 and then hit a stretch of loose gravel and lose control of the vehicle. I've never had an accident, but I came close a time or two.

A few car rental companies don't permit their vehicles to be driven on the Coastal or void the CDW you paid for if you have an accident on it.

--Lan Sluder

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#211395 - 18 February 12 4:00 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: LanSluder]
DangrigaDave Offline

**

Registered: 23 January 10
Posts: 193
Loc: Dangriga
What Lan said.

It also depends on how long it's been since the road has been graded (a large machine with a blade scrapes it and large dump trucks add fill if necessary). I've driven it after a fresh grading and you can easily maintain 60 without any problems.

I've also driven on it when it's DUE for a grade... you will REALLY need to pay attention.

But I've never seen anything close to requiring 4X4 unless you venture OFF the Coastal Highway onto a feeder road.

My friend at the Public Works Department here in Stann Creek tells me they grade HALF of it every three months or so.... I think he meant the "bad" half?


Edited by DangrigaDave (18 February 12 4:05 pm - America/Chicago)

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#211396 - 18 February 12 5:21 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: John_Janis]
Bonzerman Offline


Registered: 18 January 11
Posts: 132
It's about 15 minutes shorter provided you don't get a flat tire. I saw several people pulled over changing them when I drove it my once and only time. The wear and tear on your vehicle just isn't worth it.

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#211400 - 18 February 12 5:56 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: John_Janis]
DangrigaDave Offline

**

Registered: 23 January 10
Posts: 193
Loc: Dangriga
Bonzerman is probably right.

Unless you would like to visit Gales Point Manatee or Mullin's River, (or any other "scenic" point along the road) I wouldn't recommend driving the Coastal Highway to save time vs the Hummingbird Highway/Western Highway.(And then, please heed the advice given above!)

HOWEVER... and this is IMPORTANT!

It's not because the road is impassable without four wheel drive,(which it absolutely is NOT!) or is impassible after heavy rain (very very rare)it's because the road really is not scenic and won't really save you that much time....!.

And, it usually IS RELATIVELY rough (equalls - wear and
tear on your vehicle, as BONZERMAN points out)

I'm not going to get into what I mean by "relatively".......

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#211402 - 18 February 12 6:56 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: John_Janis]
DangrigaDave Offline

**

Registered: 23 January 10
Posts: 193
Loc: Dangriga
Also, in all the times I've driven the Coastal Highway (at least 20 times), I've MAYBE seen one flat tire situation.

I remember in summer of 2007 I was driving from the Western Highway looking for a logging road turnoff to the Western Lagoon when I came across a Mayan family with an old Toyota Pickup who were washing it in one of the streams which pass across the Coastal Highway (I think it was Cornhusk Creek but honestly can't remember!)

Anyways, I found the logging road I was looking for, and took care of my business and when I was returning along the Coastal road I noticed the family still there and one of them was flagging me for help.

I stopped and saw the stream had suddenly rose and swamped the pickup and they couldn't get it out of the stream.

Fortunately I had a chain and was able to pull them out... and then one of the kids, who couldn't have been more than about 9 or 10 said to me, "Mister, if you didn't get us out then it over for us" (or something along that line) since that truck was (understandably) their livelihood.

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#211404 - 18 February 12 7:53 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: DangrigaDave]
Sunday08 Offline


Registered: 04 November 07
Posts: 232
Loc: northern california, usa
Just happens that my friend and I drove up to Gales Point Manatee [coming in from the south off of Hummingbird Hwy] this past Thurs Feb 9th. It was quite the adventure as it had been raining in that area most of the day, and it was 6pm dark. Driving a Pontiac Torrent. [A 4X4 woulda felt a lot better!!] Didn't get 5 miles and the water was already rolling over the road. Should of been the 1st clue, but, it IS a solid [for the most part] hard packed road. [and, we had driven/or been on it several times before] Stopped a few times, walking in front of the rig to check the depth of the water..which never did get much higher than half way up the tires. Water poured over the road at Mullin's Creek Bridge. A pickup truck was stopped past the bridge, and a bigger truck was towing a yet smaller pick-up and they were stopped on the bridge. When they decided to move forward, we did as well. Scared the snot outta me as we came up out of the water on to that bridge! Not long later the lead pickup was in the mud ditch, we slowed to help, but the 3 guys waved us on. Lots more water over the road in places. We laughed when a water bird refused to budge from its prime fishing spot in the middle of the road. A couple spots of greasy mud were more of a concern than the water. Our friends in Gales Point were happy we made it in. Next day out, I was amazed at how fast the water had subsided.
The only reason we collected a rental car on this trip was to get in to Gales Point Manatee. Bus service is not an option at this time. The folks there are real nice. If you go, Stop by Miss Ionie and Mr. Samual's shop for a cold drink. Or, Mr. G's Cool Spot. I agree with the other posters. Hummingbird Hwy is breathtakingly beautiful. and, the Coastal Hwy pales in comparison...but, Gales Point Manatee peninsula is beautiful as well.
Janet

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#211405 - 18 February 12 8:13 pm - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: John_Janis]
Anton Offline

**

Registered: 16 April 06
Posts: 3516
Loc: Succotz
You might not need to engage 4 wheel drive on this road, but you sure can use big tires, heavy duty suspension and high clearance 4x4 comes with.
_________________________
Anton 1st, Lord of Pigs, Ducks, Chikeens, Sheeps and Goosen in the woodsen

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#211415 - 19 February 12 7:44 am - America/Chicago Re: Coastal highway from Monkey Bay to Dangriga? [Re: John_Janis]
John_Janis Offline

**

Registered: 02 June 11
Posts: 339
Thanks for the heads up on the road. Sounds like a road worth being less traveled.

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