Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Cruise: Belize

Thursday was Belize. Instead of meeting on shore somewhere, we met in the Ivanhoe theater on the ship and debarked with all the others in our excursion. Here we also were anchored way out from land and had to take a boat ride in. The ride was kind of long too.

Once there our large group was broken into two groups. Half of us were put on another boat and the rest of us were taken to a "truck-bus". Which is exactly what it was. I felt very jungle safari-ish.

See the big open front flap thing? That was our AC. It worked wonderfully.
So, we drove through Belize city while getting a bit of history and info about it from the tour guide. What I didn't realize was that so the English spoken in these countries would have that Caribbean accent. We were in the Caribbean, so it makes sense, but I just thought that everyone's English would have the Spanish accent. It was fun to hear them all speak. I was also surprised at the diversity of nationalities. Once again, in my naivete, I expected pretty much all the natives to be Latin American. But no, there were tons of black people, some Asians and white people as well.
Anyway. Our bus guide taught us a Creole phrase to remember. When we were asked where we went on our cruise, we were instructed to respond with, "Ah me been a Belize." I don't know if that's how they'd spell it, but that's how it sounded.
When we were out of the city we drove on some countryish highways, which was interesting. Such different vegetation. Then we turned off the highway onto a dirt road that took us into the jungle.

It had been raining a lot lately, so there was lots of big puddles and ruts that we plowed through.
Then we got to our destination. A manicured park area.

From there they broke us up into even smaller groups and handed out these attractive headlamps.

Then we walked through the steamy jungle.

We crossed another rope bridge, saw some cool plants. Saw a small pineapple patch.

Then we got to the cave.

There were bats. See that darkish spot? It's a bat.

There were cave spiders. This beauty was very young and only about the size of my hand without my fingers. They get 5 times that big, I think he said.

There were lots of stalactites and mites.

I'm used to caves that are nice and cool, maybe even cold, even on hot summer days. This one was hot and stuffy. In some places we had to basically crawl, or crouch really low, or climb over big boulders.
The route we took was a loop, so we ended up back where we started, then hiked back to the park area.

After that the other half of the group all showed up in some beat up 4 runners. The unloaded and we loaded up. Aaron and I had a vehicle to ourselves. Aaron drove.

We went through the mud puddles and ruts and sloshed through the mud. It was fun. I'm glad I didn't have to drive it. Some people were getting stuck and having to be pulled out with chains and such.

We drove back to the highway and stopped at another park area where they fed us authentic food. Rice and beans made in coconut milk with some delicious chicken and some coleslaw. It was all really good.

Then we were loaded into a boat and sped down a crocodile infested river out into the ocean. This was about a thirty minute ride and quite fun.

We got back to the dock just in time to get in line for the tender boats taking us back to the ship.

I think we watched a movie out on the lido deck that night. They had a big movie screen outside and played movies every night. We watched, Love Happens. They even edited out all the swear words.

And in case you were wondering, yes. We were still suffering with the sunburn pain. It lasted for a long time. In fact, we've only just recently stopped peeling from it.

Wow. Long post.

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