Friday, August 28, 2009

Deb, Rachel, and Risa

One of the benefits of vacationing on Caye Caulker is that Tom and I can say we’re there on business since we run into tourists and can talk up our place. We hit the jackpot on this trip when we met three great women on our second day of snorkeling. We started talking and immediately found out that Deb and Rachel are from Rochester, and that Deb used to work in XIM at Xerox – one of the main clients of the company where I used to work. They then asked what we were doing here, and when we told them we had a small lodge in Cayo, they said that they wanted to visit that are on this trip. We explained where we are and what we do, and by the time we parted that afternoon we’d made plans to pick them up at the Zoo on Friday and bring them back to Moonracer Farm.

Tom and I spent Thursday night visiting with our friend Sharon, and we went back to the Zoo with her on Friday where we were introduced to their newest arrivals, a baby Tapir named Indy, and three baby macaws hatched from eggs at the Zoo named Chica, Charlie, and Halario. See the Zoo’s blog for pictures and descriptions of these adorable arrivals. We then ran into Belmopan for some supplies, and then got back to the Zoo and picked up Risa, Rachel, and Deb. We stopped for lunch at Cheers, and then made our way into San Ignacio where we set up an ATM tour at Mayawalk for them. We made it home and got them settled in their room, although the best word to describe their arrival here is probably “chaotic.” Actually getting here and getting them in their room wasn’t a big deal, but we’d been away for five days leaving the farm in Marjie and Chuck’s care, and they had received an indoctrination by fire into the goings-on at Moonracer Farm. As Tom was explaining the ins and outs of our water and power systems, Marjie pulled me aside and asked if any of our guests were afraid of snakes. I said I didn’t think so, and Marjie said to bring them down to the shop. I double checked on the snake thing with the three women, and we marched down to the shop where Chuck picked up a very heavy feed bag and cracked the top so we could see the very large boa in the bag.

As the story unfolded, we learned that Chuck had been doing some weed whacking in the cage field where their camper is going to be parked, and suddenly realized that he was surrounded by snake. He stopped whacking, and saw the very large boa uncoiling from around where he was standing and crawling up the side of a cage. He went to chase her, and she went into a hole. About that time, Julio showed up for some engine oil, so he and Marjie went to see what Chuck was doing, and found him trying to get the snake out of her hole. That started a 2-hour ordeal with the three of them trying to capture the snake, since she was big enough to eat Marjie’s Jack Russell, Whoopie. If you’re not snake phobic, you can see the video on Marjie’s blog. Anyway, Rachel, Risa, and Deb found this to be quite the introduction to the jungle, and Chuck and Marjie then took them on a tour of the different tarantula holes around the yard, so by the time they went to their room to unpack and get settled, they’d had quite the jungle tour.

On Saturday, they went to ATM, and were as awed as everybody is by the total experience. Then, on Sunday, we took a horseback ride to Big Rock Falls. We didn’t rush to get out in the morning, so around 10AM we set out with me in the front on Glinda, Marjie in the back on Esmerelda, Rachel on Ness, Risa on Tony, and Deb on Rocky, a horse we borrow from our neighbor – along with Recona, of course, who works hard trying to keep all the disobedient horses together. We had a great ride up the Vista trail and through the Mountain Pine Ridge to the Falls, where we were happy to see the little blue truck parked in the car parking area, which meant that Tom and Chuck, our cabana boys, had delivered lunch poolside.

We hiked down the trail with Risa in the lead and, upon reaching the bottom, were happy to take a swim before lunch to cool off after the very sunny ride through the Pine Ridge. We then ate, and Rachel, Deb, and Risa went back in the water. Tom stayed to act as lifeguard and driver since we and the three women decided that another two hours in the saddle wouldn’t be as much fun as an extra couple of hours at the waterfall, and Marjie, Chuck, and I took off to ride the horses home, ponying the extra two. Usually when I pony horses home from Big Rock, I just try to make time and get the job done, but this ride was more of another trail ride for fun. As we started out of the horse parking lot, we ran into one of the guys from Blancaneaux who will be working with Marjie, so we talked about horse stuff with him for a few minutes. Then we started down the fire road, and ran into two more guys on their way to work at Blancaneaux who I needed to talk to about sharing their wildlife camera shots with Erik, who gave us our camera. To slow us down even more, I was ponying Glinda from Tony and Marjie was ponying Ness from Es with Chuck in the lead on Rocky, and every time we tried to get up a little speed, one of the ponied mares would balk and rip the lead rope out of my or Marjie’s hand – so we decided to just walk, relax, and enjoy the ride. We rode into the property from the back just as Tom pulled in with his passengers in the front, and we all agreed it was a good day.

Rachel, Risa, and Deb left early Monday morning. Tom took them to San Ignacio where they got a cab to Belmopan (the bus was full) where they were hoping to get a bus to Hopkins for the last few days of their vacation. They said they felt bad that we had to come home from vacation and go right to work – but when work is riding to a waterfall and sunning on the rocks, what more could we ask?

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