Sunday, July 31, 2011

Belize City

We had an unexpected change of plans. Rather than spend the last day on the island and snorkeling on the reef, we left a day early and flew to Belize City.

This is our waitress. She was with us the entire time. When we changed locations, so did she. She was going to school to be a high school math teacher. She was just the sweetest.

Belize City is very poor. There is really only one name brand hotel, so we stayed there. It is right outside the tourist village. The tourist village was built for the tourists that come to port from the cruise ships. The catch is that no locals, other than workers, are allowed inside. We had to show a passport just to get inside. Pretty nuts huh?? It was also very evident that tourists from cruise ships don't see the 'real' countries that they dock at.

We spent this day walking around town a bit. Not too much to see. We did tour the old capital building.

Belize used to be a British colony and was called British Hondurus.

Local fishermen.

The next day we had some time to kill before our flight home. There are many pain in the ass locals constantly, constantly haggling the white and obvious tourists. We did meet one rather nice gentleman that took us on a brief tour around the city.

Here he is taking a break from our tour to pullover and buy some key limes from a street vendor.

The cemetery was in the median of the road...odd. It was interesting to see were the locals live. There do seem to be many schools but also much crime. Our guide said that he tries to not go out at night. Belize is a drug trafficking corridor from Columbia, to Mexico, then to the States.

Well, that's it for the vacation posts...finally. It wasn't the perfect trip but a memorable one none the less. Belize is a vey interesting country and really all the people we met were very friendly.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011


After Snake Cay we did a bit of snorkeling. The conditions were not perfect as the water was a bit merky from all the rain. But we didn't know any differently and were pleased. We weren't at the barrier reef that Belize is known for but the smaller reef we were at on this day was really nice. We were to go to the barrier reef the next day. This also gave me a chance to try out my underwater camera.

I really think that if the water were clearer the camera would have taken great pictures!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Snake Cay

Again, we awoke to rain. It was rainy for most of the morning. Finally Mike and I got cabin fever. We decided to take the kayaks out in the drizzle. We were feeling pretty confident as we decided to go for the little island that was a mere speck off in the distance. We rowed and rowed and rowed. At one point we guessed how many more strokes we'd need to get to shore. I guessed 100 and Mike guessed 250. It took over 500!!!! What a relief to make it!!!!! Then, of course, we had to go back. Remember I mentioned earlier that I was a whiz at this kayaking stuff??? Well, I may have been exaggerating just a wee bit. On the way back, the current kept pulling my kayak to the right and I wasn't strong enough to stop it. I did two uncontrollable circles. Needless to say, there was a bit of panic. I'm not afraid of water, but I don't really like being way out on the ocean. Anyway, Mike was really no help. There was no hurried rowing from him to come to my rescue. He did tell me how to put the brakes on and lectured me on how panicking never helps in any situation. Thanks dear!!! Our guide was watching from the pier and must have noticed my 'performance' because he set out on the boat for a rescue. I had to refuse. I was determined to make it back under my own power and I did!!!

The island is the one way off in the distance on the right side of the picture. Not the two close ones. Trust me, it's like 10 miles away (wink wink)!!

So, after lunch it did clear up and we headed out for some snorkeling off the Cays. First we had to stop at the rangers station and pay our entry fee.

This dog loved having Mike rub it's head. He would just close his eyes and enjoy his head rub.

Before the snorkeling, we stopped at Snake Cay. We were hunting boa constrictors. We saw many cool crabs here as well.

Can you see the sand colored crab??

Ok, after almost giving up, we found a snake just as we were heading back to the boat. He had to be shaken down from a tree.

Yup, that's me holding a wild snake all by myself. Pretty cool. These little boas are obviously smaller than the boas people are accustomed to seeing.

Not only did I get to hold the snake. I also got a nice case of poison ivy to bring home as well!!

Next, snorkeling...

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Moho Cay

Ok, this morning we were to go to our final destination, Moho Cay. Again, this would involve another trip down the river. This morning however, it was raining. We were pretty much stuck in our room until the time of departure. Things did start to look up as our departure time loomed. The skies did clear and we had great weather for the trip down and for the afternoon at Moho Cay.

Moho Cay, now this is paradise.

This is the view from our cabin.

This is our cabin. The island had 10 cabins but one was struck by lightening so they are down to 9.

These little critters were there to welcome us.

We spent the afternoon doing a little kayaking, which I was a whiz at by the way (more on that later) and sunbathing. I don't know if you can really call it sunbathing when you slather on 70 SPF sunscreen. I can tell you that it did it's job as I had some sunburn spots were I didn't get full coverage (which is not a good look).

A few more shots from the island.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

JC Day Two continued...

I know the suspense has been killing you. We made it back to our room safe and sound after our canopy experience. Here are a few fun pics at the Seba tree (not the Saber tree as I almost called it). Mike thought that was hilarious.

All he's missing is a leopard print loin cloth!!

While we were resting, our guide, Antonio, came and got us because there were some wild pigs on the grounds having lunch.

There was a baby pig...ahhh!!!

There were four of them roaming around. We watched them from a raised platform.

After lunch we took a ride down the river. Well, I took a ride, Mike maned a kayak. He was a natural.

Here he is hard at work...

He paddled about 5 miles on this trip. This hard working man got in the boat when we made our way back home.

It was unbelievably peaceful out here. We were the only people around. It was totally isolated from the outside world. Really a site to see.

The whole point of the trip was to go down this little creek. Or as Antonio says, crick (just like a true Bayouean). We were on the hunt for crocodiles, or as Mike kept calling them, alligators. Since the water was high the crocks weren't resting on the banks so we didn't get a glimpse of any. However, trust me, they are there. How do I know? Because one scared the poo out of me when it raised it's tail and smacked the water close to the boat. He was within 5 feet of our aluminum canoe. So, for the rest of the time I was afraid of the boat turning over.

On the way back we did see some Black Howler monkeys.

Those black blobs in the tree are the monkeys. There was a baby here too. It was on it's mothers back.

This was a good day. We were limited as to our excursions because it is rainy season but we were still very pleased.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jungle Camp Day Two

First thing this morning, after breakfast, we took a walk through the jungle. It is amazing how dense it is out here. Dense and quite. We didn't see too many animals but did see some neat trees and flowers.

This is a bit hard to see but this is a tree that fell during a hurricane 10 years ago. The trees branches have continued to grow because the roots are still in the ground.

The trees look like a tunnel.

We arrived at the canopy tree. This is a large Seba tree. They hoist you up using a harness. Once at the top, there is a walkway that you can walk around on and get a panoramic view. This is ideal for looking for birds early in the morning. We didn't get there early enough for this though.

Here comes Mike...

We both made it to the top. I don't think those little helmets would save our heads from being crushed like a melon should we have fallen. But they sure look cool huh?

This is the base of our canopy tree. These are amazing trees!!!

This was a long day so I'll save the rest for later.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Jungle Camp

This morning we said goodbye to Ballum Na Camp. First we took a little walk around the property. I think this was mainly to kill time.

These are the nuts from the palm trees.

After our walk we went to see some other local ruins. These were pretty cool. There were big stones with intricate carvings.

There were also similar ruins as to the ones we saw the other day. This site also had some tombs.

This was Mike's favorite tree. I think it is called the Seba tree.

After lunch we headed out to the Jungle Camp. This is where we started to get a bit disappointed in the trip. We were supposed to take a 2 hour canoe ride down the river to the camp. This location is only accessible by boat. Due to the fact that the river has risen so much because it's the start of rainy season, the canoe ride was not an option. So, instead, we had to take a 45 minute car ride to the ocean and catch a boat from there and ride into camp from the other side of the river where it wasn't so high. While not as cool, it was still neat.

These are the mangroves that surround the river. Our guide said these are important to protect the inland from hurricanes. The roots grow down from the branches into the water.

Soon we were at our next stop.

The water is so high that the steps that go up to the hotel were submerged in the water.

The rooms are located off of this walk way. Tonight we were supposed to take a boat out at night to look for wildlife but again, may not happen due to the swollen river. Maybe tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!!

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