Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lovely Belize

3/4/11 From Belize City, We flew in a very small plane to San Pedro an island town famous for scuba on the reef. We stayed in the Royal Carribean. Big name for a set of Easter egg painted cabanas on the white sands of the beach. The people are all very friendly and greet us warmly. They eat rice and beans with almost everything. The prices are about the same as the states, but most people on the island drive around in golf carts. There was a little roadside stand where our cook was wearing big pink curlers and sent the other cook on her bicycle to get paper napkins. That evening we had fish on a beach side resort/hotel.
3/4/11 On our first dive we saw some big rays and beautiful blues in the water because of the white sand beneath. Afterward s, I was already nauseous from boat ride, so Mark went on the 2nd dive where they trailed some fish they'd caught and attracted huge nurse sharks that Mark was able to flip over and scratch it's tummy like a big cat. That night we went on a night dive where we saw more big rays and a big green eel and lotssa big groupers. It's kind of eerie when they ask you to shut off your flashlights and you are in the dark.

Mark was diving all day at the Bue Hole and 1/2 moon caye with sharks and groupers.
I went shopping and got great shell necklaces and found an outlet store with t-shirts for $2.50. I finished up by walking the hour back to the Easter egg cabanas and met a silver jewelry vendor I couldn't resist. That night we ate at the most amazing restaurant in Belize, the "hidden Treasure" The fish was in an amazing sauce made of cream, butter, Parmesan and white wine. Then they served true coconut pie for dessert. Thick fresh coconut.
3/6 We flew to Belize City. . We rented a Hyundai at the airport. We hit a pothole a few yards from the airport and it cracked the fiberglass rim. Why they would put a fiberglass rim on a car with mostly dirt roads and huge potholes, I will never know. $150 later and a beat-up Mitsubishi 4wheel drive truck later, we saw Atun Ha.
It was Sunday and I read from Mosiah on my Droid at the top of the Mayan temple. We had fun telling out guide about the BOM. In Belize City we were shocked at how poor the people live in their Caribbean unpainted wood shacks.

3/7 We saw the Belize zoo and got our foreheads licked by a Jaguar. We went tubing through some caves. There were some interesting limestone formations that looked like phallic symbols.

3/8 Even though Mark has never had a good experience riding horses, We stayed at the Banana Beach Ranch where they do "horse whispering" and rode our horses through the beautiful lush jungle by the river. We galloped and Mark stayed on! He said it was his best ride ever. We drive down to Punta Gorda. The beach is not lovely here, in fact they get a lot of garbage from Honduras. We ate at the mangrove and had delicious shrimp and conch fritters. We stayed with Bruno who is a German who built cabanas for toursts and is a cave guide.

3/9 We went to the Virginia and Eliadio Pops Cacao farm in San Pedro Columbia. Eliadio was so proud of his farm and his 15 kids. His 30 acres had 3 kinds of cacao, mangoes that he planted, limes and palms. We watched them dry roast the cacao beans, dry roast them and then squish them with a rick and grind them into a paste. They made this dark chocolate drink that was pretty amazing. We saw Labam tuun and Mayan ruin that is famous for a crystal scull that was found there. Then we watched them at a chocolate factory leave the chocolate paste in the roller for 3 days and then pour the chocolate into mold. After this Mark bought chocolate bars and we at 1 each every night.
3/10 we went with Bruno and Silliano (Eliadio's half brother) into 2 caves. The first cave had wonderful limestone formations.

We were in the dark for hours, way way in the bowels of the earth. My little helmet flashlight went out and I thought….humm It’s really dark down here and there’s big deep holes to fall into and sharp rocks cutting my hands big spiders and eels and what was that low growling sound? There must be a reason they call it Tiger cave!.

After an hour we came into a huge limestone cavern and the sun rays shone down through the roof. I stood in the light

The 2nd cave was called Blue Creek and thank goodness I had a good life jacket because you swim most the way through. It also had awesome limestone formations. These areas are pretty much undeveloped to tourists and so we named some of the formations for them. There was a thunderstorm and the rocks were wet. I slipped and hurt my hand, thank goodness i didn't break it

3/11/11 We drove to stayed a beautiful beach town named Placencia, not as developed as San Pedro. i seriously wanted to buy a lot and build a vacation house here, but you have to pay all cash. Mark went out and saw an 18 foot nurse shark and massive eagle rays and turtles. I had fun finishing a Mistborn book on the beach and checking out all the jewelry in the 2 shops.