Our Beachfront Home

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Bob's Birthday

Bob's birthday, April 22nd, 2008

Bob wanted to go to the Belize Zoo so first thing in the morning, we headed off to the water taxi. Here we see Bob waiting patiently for the water taxi to load up and leave.

We got a bonus on this trip as there was a stop at Caye Chapel, the golf resort. Neither one of us had been up close to it before.

Once we got to Belize City, we wandered around and then went to St. George's Dining Room at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. We had a great buffet breakfast to hold us over during our tour of the zoo. We grabbed a taxi to the bus terminal and you can see Bob standing in front of one of the buses.

The ride to the zoo was about 40 minutes or so and we were let off on the side of the highway by the sign. It was a very short hike from the highway to the entrance of the zoo, where they looked at my camera and decided it was not professional enough to charge us the fee. That worked for me.

This is a tapir called Navidad because he was brought to the zoo at Christmas time. Navidad was a "pet". It is illegal to keep any wildlife as pets. As you can see, he looks happy now.

We didn't actually see "Scotty" but my sense of humour would not allow me to bypass photographing this sign. At least Scotty is honest.

We don't know what kind of bird this is, he just kept flying closer and closer to us, just begging to have his picture taken. He is certainly a handsome little guy. (I found out this guy is a Great Kiskadee).

This is a turtle, with his head up and neck stretched, looking around, probably wondering why I was making such a fuss about him.

This Green Toucan was very friendly towards us. He kept going to his food dish and bringing some fruit, probably to share his dinner with us.

There were lots of howler monkeys in the zoo, I think they were breaking into the zoo, instead of trying to get out.

Bob was busy making new friends and here he is trying to determine who was the most hard-nosed.... Bob won.

Junior is a 16 month old jaguar and you can plainly see by the size of his paws, he still has some growing to do. According to one of the staff at the zoo, Junior likes to play football. Quarterback or running back?

This Harpy Eagle strutted his stuff and did many poses for us.

The birds all seemed quite taken with Bob, maybe they knew it was his birthday. I think the Red Lored Parrot wanted to come home with us. One of the parrots talked a blue streak every time Bob came near.

We saw many different animals and birds, but we couldn't begin to put them all here, so we are just taking the highlights. This zoo is not like any other I have ever been to, more like some of the sanctuaries in Australia.
After walking around for about two and a half hours, we had seen most of the zoo and we were getting tired, hot and hungry. We headed back to the highway to flag down a bus heading back to Belize City.

Getting off the bus, we were approached by two cab drivers, we took the closest one and headed off, so we thought. We got in the taxi and the driver was being written up by a uniformed traffic police officer. He was illegally parked, had no licence as a taxi driver, and apparently had no driver's licence. We got out of the taxi and headed to the next one. The officer told us the next one was okay to take. We headed to Brodies for some shopping. Brodies proved to be pretty much what we expected and we picked up a few things that we can't find on the caye. We walked across the bridge and to the water taxi.

On the trip back, we stopped at Caye Chapel again. It is a very beautiful spot and we are thinking we will soon be taking a day trip.

After we put away our goods bought at Brodie's, we headed to the Lazy Lizard at the split to check our emails. Here we see Bob singing "Happy Birthday".

Finally, there was a beautiful sunset to end the perfect birthday, right Bob?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fish of Belize

As promised here are some pictures of fish taken from above the water. I don't know what most of them are yet, but as I get the names, I will come back and add them.

Caye Caulker fish

This picture was taken as we were walking along the beach of CC

This three-some was found under the dock at our swimming spot.

Also taken at our swimming spot.

San Pedro fish

We found this guy while walking along the causeway in San Pedro.

This guy was swimming along under the wharf at the San Pedro Water Taxi.

Also under the dock at the San Pedro Water Taxi.

Go Slow on Caye Caulker

We are learning to adapt to the speed of the island. "Go Slow on Caye Caulker" is the underlying theme. As seen in the slideshow "Go Slow on Caye Caulker" to the right, there are lots of signs to remind people to "Go Slow".

Bob is still running most days and I have started jogging again, every second day. We are swimming/snorkelling four or five days out of seven and walking every day. We find lately that we are losing track of which day it is. Not a problem as anything not done today can be done tomorrow.

I thought I would add some more interesting signs that we have come across in our walks on the island.

"Stealing Coconuts is a Crime"

This sign is outside the Caye Caulker Police Station to warn tourists that drugs are illegal and not tolerated in Belize.

On a lighter note, this sign says that "Life is Short - So Stay Awake". As you can see, it is a coffee shop. The Caribbean Colours Art Gallery has since moved to share space with "The Healing Touch Massage Studio"

"Go Slow on Caye Caulker" is the underlying theme of the island, but this sign shows it is still a tourist island.

This is the sign that greets new arrivals at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi pier.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Day Trip to San Pedro

Wednesday, we took the first of twelve monthly trips to San Pedro to have our visas updated. We had been warned of long, long line ups at the Immigration office so we were prepared for a wait.

We were on the 7:00 a.m. water taxi from Caye Caulker to San Pedro. It was a nice trip and we got to see the North Island from the water view point. Previously to this, we had only seen maps or aerial views.

The first thing we did when we got off the taxi was find the Immigration Office. Our instructions were not only easy, they were exact. We found it within five minutes. Then we got our bearings, checked the office times and figured out that we had about five hours to kill.

We walked all through the town, but stayed south of the bridge. We had breakfast at Micky's Place. The food was excellent, but the coffee needed work as it was instant.

After breakfast we walked all over looking for those stores that carry everything we could get in Canada. We are sad to say, we never found them, but..... we did find a place that serves sushi, at least on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

We walked up and down the beach taking pictures and just enjoying the beautiful day. Back on the streets we came across a wine shoppe.... There are many of them in San Pedro, but this one, we decided to go in. It is called "Pinguino Belize", located on Caribena St owned by Rick and Carol.

We went for lunch at Fido's as it was across the street from the Immigration Office and we thought after a quick lunch, we could scoot across the street and get in line for the 1:15 opening. Lunch was great and fast. We were the first in line at 12:30 and got two of the chairs they put out for people waiting. It didn't seem that long and we were in the office, over to Treasury to pay, back to the office for our stamps and done.

We did another walk along the beach. One of the things that most impressed me was how close the reef was. In Caye Caulker it is close, but in San Pedro, it is almost like you can reach out and touch it.

During the day, I managed to take some pictures of fish in the water (the zoom lens is awesome) and I will put them in the next post. We went back to the wine shoppe and sampled all four wines and some of the specialty olives as well. We bought a couple of bottles to take back with us and headed to the water taxi.

The trip home was uneventful and seemed to go much faster than the trip out. We were home in time for a swim and snorkel session at the split and then headed for happy hour. It was a great day all around.