Friday, January 21, 2011

Belize, Part 2

All right, I took a short break, did some gardening (you would think that 10 days gone wouldn't be enough time for our flower beds to become overrun, but it is...) and made some phone calls. Now, back to the story...

Where I left off was Wednesday morning. Matt and I woke up and had a delicious buffet breakfast, went down to the beach to relax, and got ready to go on the Caves and Jungle Tour. This tour was to the St. Herman's Cave and Blue Hole. St. Herman's cave was used anciently by the Mayans as a ceremonial place. They believed it was an entrance to the underworld, and they would bring their pottery to smash inside. Pottery held spirits, and they would release the spirits to the underworld...
We rode in a van with a family with two young girls. I was kind of skeptical on how the girls would behave, but I was most impressed. The family ended up being from Concord, NC, where my sister and niece live...small world. Anyways, we hiked into and through St. Herman's Cave, and then through the jungle back to the van. We drove a short way to the Blue Hole, and had lunch and the others had a quick swim. Here are some pictures. Again, Matt took some more with his big camera, and I'll be sure to post them when he processes them. :)

Here's where the hike through the jungle to the cave begins.

They have to mow the path about every 6 weeks in the "dry" season.

Me :)

 The entrance to the cave is through that brush.
 Walking down to the cave entrance. It was slippery!
 Now, we're down inside looking back at the beginning.
 Our guide, Golden.
 We had to climb up using a rope at one point. The girls were champs and did awesome.
 Me, again.
 I had to climb through the rocks.
 Matt, very excited about having his picture taken.
 Our "Sweetheart" shot.
 Broken pottery from the Mayans.
 The end of the cave!
 Me, standing next to a "Real" Bird of Paradise. Our guide told us the American version isn't the original. This is.
 A summer tanager, a migrant down for the winter. Like us!
 In front of the Blue hole...look closely, you'll see the crystal blue water. Matt has better pictures.

Ok, so after our Cave and Jungle tour, we went back to the hotel and waited until 7 for dinner. Big mistake...we had to make reservations every morning for dinner, but we didn't account for how starving we would be when 6 o'clock rolled around. We learned our lesson and reserved for 6 every night after that. Anyways, we got our suitcases before dinner and were able to freshen up a bit. It has never felt so good to put on a change of clothes.

This is when we were waiting for dinner, enjoying the breeziness outside by the Caribbean Sea.
 Checking off the birds we saw on our tour from the bird list. We actually saw some pretty rare ones :) Matt has pictures of them, hopefully.
 We went down to the end of the pier and relaxed in the hammock.It felt so nice!
 And our luggage came before dinner! Yeah! We got to change and look all nice and pretty for dinner :)
 Mmmmm...This was so good. I don't even remember what it was. I think this was Matt's main course. We shared all the food, of course :)
 Yeah, totally content, waiting for dessert. See the spoon and fork in front of me? Dessert spoon and fork. We had to learn quickly which utensils to use...they removed the appropriate ones at the end of each course, and if we weren't careful, we wouldn't have enough silverware at the end to eat dessert! :)
 Our bed, after the turn-down service. They were so nice, every night while we were at dinner, the maids would come and turn down the bed for us, spread the mosquito netting, and turn back the covers. :)
Ok, that takes us to the end of Wednesday. Thursday we went tropical birding (most of the pictures of that are Matt's and need to be processed), and Friday we saw the Mayan ruins. I'll definitely have to blog about that :)


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