Monday, July 26, 2010

Rayne, Leslie, & Steve on their 20th wedding anniversary trip

Another family coming from Texas, Rayne, Leslie, & Steve, arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Coming in after 2pm makes it difficult to do any activities during the drive to the Pine Ridge; however, if all goes well getting through immigration and customs, and everyone is still full from lunch we can get to the zoo in time for a Tour. So we left the airport, got to the zoo at 3:30pm and got to see all the animals by closing time at 5:00pm. Rayne was especially keen to find the kinkajous since she had done a project on them in school the year before. We did find them but they are not active in the day, they are nocturnal; we do get them around our farm but only around January and February when certain trees are bearing fruits that they like so Rayne will have to return sometime in the winter months in the future.

The next day they all went to Actun Tunichil Muknal to venture up river in a cave and view the ceremonial areas used by the Maya. They following day they went to Caracol and as luck was with them, they did not get any rain while they toured the ruins, visited Rio Frio Cave, and took a refreshing dip at Rio On Pools before returning here. On Saturday they wanted to take a break and rest up a bit so they slept in, had a leisurely breakfast and then drove to the Butterfly Ranch for a morning tour.
When they returned here, we all went into San Ignacio to see the Saturday morning market.

Every Saturday is market day here and most people go to see friends, get some shopping done, eat a meal in town, and get a change of scenery from their own town. On the other hand, Marge and I rarely go to market on Saturday since we like to do our shopping when there are fewer people in town and we can talk casually with the vendors, without all the hustle and bustle. Rayne and Leslie looked at some skirts but Rayne wasn’t interested in getting anything dressy.
Marge and I did find our favorite vendor, Gloria, where we bought some bananas, mangoes, cilantro, and sesame seeds.

We then wandered over to Erva’s for a completely Belizean meal.
Germo, our waiter (and good friend) served up a chicken burrito for Leslie, shrimp fried rice for Rayne, and fried fish sandwiches for Steve, Marge and I. Before leaving, we all visited the “Funky Bano”, the best decorated restroom we have found so far in Belize.

Our next stop was Indita Maya’s Gift Shop where we all found something to buy. We then headed out of town and drove back over the Cristo Rey/San Antonio Road.

We stopped at Sak Tunich, another gift shop, along the way. Not only is Sak Tunich a gift shop where they make everything there onsite –
carvings in wood, slate, and limestone, and paintings of the Maya gods and symbols –
but they also give a tour of how they do the carvings, show some of the large pieces that they have made, take you into a cave they are building to display some of their works, and
let you carve into slate and limestone to get the feel for how the work is done. After the tour, Rayne said she wants to get some slate when she gets home to see what she can create.

The following day Marge went with me to do the transfer to the water taxi but we stopped at Jaguar Paw to zip line and cave tube.

We all got suited up for the zip lining and had fun flying through the trees like a troop of monkeys.

After that we had a picnic lunch, then headed into the Caves Branch River to do some tubing to cool off.
At the end of the tubing Rayne and I had to jump off of a large rock into the river, and Steve got some great pics.

We packed up the back of the truck and tarped everything since it was starting to drizzle, then we set off for Belize City to meet the water taxi and arrived 10 minutes before the 4:30pm boat. Great timing since they didn’t have to wait and the thieves at the terminal did not have time to try to get into their luggage which we zip tied shut to prevent any of the employees from searching for small things to steal. (These are the guys that stole our camera a few months ago when we were traveling with Marge’s uncle.)

Our recommendation to everyone who needs to use the water taxi is to zip tie ALL your bags shut so that they cannot be opened when they are not in your sight. If the zip ties are broken when you get off the boat and you collect your bags, confront the workers immediately, get their full names, and report them to the police.

On our way home, we were coming up the Georgeville Road and saw “rivers” flowing down the road. Apparently, an hour before we returned home, there was a big rain storm and the horse buckets had over 2” of rain in about ½ hour. Sure glad we had good weather for all our activities elsewhere in the country!

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