Thursday, April 26, 2012
Ya Betta Belize It
Warning: Photo Overload.
It took a full day of travel, on three separate plane (the last a somewhat scary twelve-seater pond hopper), but we made it to Placencia in Belize for a wonderful week. We relaxed and explored and had an amazing time. The staff at the Robert's Grove Inn was exceptional. It was a beautiful country, with beautiful people. Everyone we met in Belize was gracious.
If you double click on the slideshow (which may appear as a black box), you will get the full album for the day's adventures.
Our first excursion was across the lagoon to Monkey River, where our guide Doyle introduced us to the jungle and showed us howler moneys and crockadiles (but, unfortunately, no manatees). We got home before a quick rain passed through. On our way to dinner we were treated with a rainbow over the sea.
Mayan Ruins and Cave Swimming
On this excursion we caught a glimpse of a different world. Not just the city once inhabited by the ancient Mayans, but the lives led by their descendants. Simple, and so beautiful.
After one of the best lunches we had during our stay, we were off for an adventure of a different sort - cave swimming (and yes, there were bats). Our guide had an organic farm on the land leading to the cave and was proud of his domain. Along with being a farmer and tour guide, he told us he was also a shaman, and, to Glenn's amusement, he boasted to be the "master of this cave!"
The Barrier Reef
One of the best days in Belize we spent off the coast on one of the islands scattered along the barrier reef. We snorkeled a bit in the morning, seeing some amazing tropical fish, and spent the afternoon sitting on the white sand beach, amused by sandcrabs and pelicans. On the way back to the mainland, our boat made a stop so we could snorkel with sting rays and sea turtles. Glenn and I were the first of our group to head back to the boat. I passed my camera up and was half way up the ladder when our guide excitedly told me to turn around. One of the turtles had followed Glenn and me back to the boat and had just surfaced (and I didn't have my camera!)
Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning!
As if the beautiful pink sunrise wasn't enough of an omen, we should have been alerted by the sinus headache that plagued Glenn. Fortunately for us, we had planned to spend Saturday and Sunday resting at the hotel, so we weren't out on a boat when a tropical storm blew in on Saturday. It only lasted about 40 minutes, but it was fairly impressive. I definitely am glad I was not on a boat. We were just finishing lunch when a cloud appeared on the horizon and the staff ran to clear off the tables on the porch. The sea, which had been calmly lapping the shore, roared to life. Waves began crashing as winds whipped in and blew over the heavy chairs. We helped the staff lash down the canvas sides of the restaurant, then watched as a few of the men ran out onto pier and jumped into the waves to rescue the furniture that had blown off. Those are dedicated employees!
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Our last full day in Belize we spent at the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. While this is a jaguar preserve, we were not lucky enough to see these nocturnal beauties. We did see some lovely birds, and had fun tubing down a river and swimming under a waterfall. I think we would have preferred, however, if our guide hadn't warned us about the worm that can get under your skin ... ick!