Our friend Tracy was arriving!!!!! She was coming from Edmonton via Mexico City to Chetumal. On September 30th we got up early and boarded the 'white bus' heading for Belize City. It is a bit of a drag that we only have a couple of buses go by a day, but really great that you only have to stand outside where you live and flag them down. We went from Maya Beach to Dangriga to Belmopan to Belize City. We only had to wait about twenty minutes in Belize City for the bus to Corozal and it was a delux bus and not the regular bus. We felt like Royalty as we rolled through Orange Walk to Corozal.
In Corozal we headed to the Mirador Hotel and dropped our bags then set out for Menzies Tours. We just wanted to make sure everything was ready for Tracy's arrival. Of course Henry and Cecelia had everything ready and we were free to wander around the town and reaquaint ourselves with the people and places.
We were hoping to take Tracy to the Catus Plaza for dinner, but it was closed on Tuesdays/Wednesdays at this time of year, as was Patti's Bistro so we made reservations at Tony's Resort in the Y Not Bar and Grill. Tracy was just as taken with the turtles as I was. After a great dinner, we headed back to the hotel as we all had been travelling for the whole day and were exhausted.
Early Wednesday morning we were up and ready to go. We got on the bus and headed to Belize City via Orange Walk where we stopped for a quick break and some pictures. Here we see Tracy by the town square.
We had decided that it would be easier to take Tracy to Maya Beach in stages, so we stayed overnight at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City. Here is a picture of the pool as seen from our room.
Thursday morning we got up early and headed for the bus depot all three of us looking forward to our adventures. We have learned living in Belize that each day is like a scavenger hunt, you have to look for things. The ride was pretty smooth for the most part all the way to Belmopan, where Tracy met Radiance and tasted her first Johnny Cake. It met with her approval.
Radiance Margaret selling her wares on the bus in Belmopan.
Tracy playing peek a boo.
Bob giving us 'the look'.
Of course, after Belmopan came the roller coaster ride of the Hummingbird Highway. We were booming along when we came up to a bridge that had workmen working on it. The bus driver did not even hesitate, he made a left hand turn through an orange grove and took the beaten path to the river. The driver stopped just short of the river. He wanted to cross there and the old men on the bus didn't want him to. Some of the men had to get out of the bus and wander to the water's edge to check it out. It was decided not to cross there, so we did the beaten path in reverse back to the highway. Once back to the highway, the workers on the bridge were finished and we were able to continue on our trek towards Dangriga.
We were just past the turnoff for the Southern Highway when a bus coming out of Dangriga pulled over to the wrong side of the road horns honking frantically. Well, apparently we were late arriving and the bus to Placencia was already on the road. So those of us heading to the peninsula got our possessions and transferred to the next bus and started the next phase. Of course this is the bus that goes through Hopkins and Sittee River so Tracy got to see a little more than was originally planned, but it was all for the good. The water was still very high around the Sittee River area and we were glad we were sitting high and dry on the bus.
Once we got to Maya Beach and home, we took the suitcases up the stairs and I walked right into the water and went for a swim with my clothes on. I realized how much I had missed our little piece of the beach. Tracy was surprised at how nice it really was.
The next two weeks seemed to go by as in a blur of motion, we had so much fun, we went kayaking and snorkelling around our area, we found an area off the beach that has lots of coral and fish. Tracy and I saw a four foot barracuda that nearly scared the crap out of us, but we stayed calm and watched it for a bit while we were casually swimming away from it. It did not chase us so: women - one, barracuda - zero.
Our friends Mary and Charles took us on a road trip to Punta Gorda with a side excursion up into the jungle. Some parts were a little harrowing, but as you can see, the end results were worth it. Getting to the campgrounds is part of the adventure.
Here we see Charles checking the depth of the water before we drive through.
Here is a bit of the river and a nice calm pool of water to the side for swimming or wading. Of course getting out was another story. Coming out, we found our way was blocked by tree limbs which had to be removed.
Here we see Bob comtemplating what needs to be done.
Everyone pitched in, Charles cut with his machete while Bob held the tree in place. Then we all helped to pull out the pieces. I did take a few minutes for some candid shots. As with all of our adventures, we had a great time. We have decided that each day is a scavenger hunt here and wake up eager to see what the day's list is.
We spent lots of time just swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on the beach. Time was also spent going to Placencia Village, Seine Bight and the local bars. A favourite beach bar is Maya Breeze Inn where Tracy taught the crabs to smoke cigarettes.
Here we see our friend David helping the crab get up on the bar. Actually, you just see David's hand.
The last four days of Tracy's stay was exciting and busy. We took the bus to Belize City and caught the water taxi to Caye Caulker. We introduced Tracy to some of the people we knew. Our friends Luciana and Michael were available and we were able to spend a little time visiting with them. Most of the places we wanted to see were closed for 'low season'. Habeneros and the Lazy Lizard were only two of those that were closed. We went to Rose's Cafe for some of the best lobster available and Amor y Café for breakfast.
We went to Anwar Tours to go snorkelling at the reef. It was a first time for both Bob and Tracy and I was excited to see their reactions. It was just as I expected, they were amazed and awed and I was so happy to share the experience with them. We had dinner that night at the Bamboo Restaurant next to Hicaco Tours and on a whim, we booked to go to Lamanai the next day.
We caught the water taxi to Belize City where we were met by our driver and driven to Orange Walk after stopping for some breakfast from street vendors. In Orange Walk we were handed over to a young man named Emir, who was our boatman and guide. Bob and I have done the Lamanai Tour before, but never in the pouring rain. It started out with sunshine and blue skies, but that soon turned to dark clouds and rain. Pouring rain, then just before we got to Lamanai, the skies cleared and we were able to walk around the site in sunshine. After a lunch provided by Emir's mother, we headed back to Orange Walk. Within ten minutes of leaving the ruins, it started raining again, this time it truly was a torrential downpour. I looked back at our driver and saw he was laying down in the back of the boat, covered with raingear. I am sure he was steering the boat by feel more than being able to see. We were rewarded in the end as it stopped raining as we were arriving back in Orange Walk and there was a rare Golden Eagle in the trees as we approached the dock. We were picked up by our driver and taken back to the water taxi for the return trip to Caye Caulker.
The next day we were up early and on the water taxi to Belize City. It was Tracy's last day in Belize and we were heading to Corozal. We went back to Tony's for dinner and tried not to think about her leaving.
Tracy's last dinner in Belize this trip, there will be more of them we are sure.
We were up at 3:30 to see her off and then we went back to sleep for a couple of hours before getting on the 7:30 bus to Belize City. We were home in Maya Beach in time for a late dinner.