Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tina & Anna Leah

Tina and Anna Leah, aunt and niece from Los Angeles, spent their first couple of days in Belize at the Belize Zoo, touring the Zoo in both the night and the day, ziplining, and doing other activities on the Sibun River. They then used their transfer day to do the ATM tour, taking the bus from the Zoo to the ATM turnoff in Teakettle, and meeting their guide there. They caught the bus outside the Zoo right around 8AM, and arrived in Teakettle right around 9:30 – so now we know the timing when our next guests want to do their schedule this way. They said the transportation and the meeting worked out great, and after a day of touring the cave, Tom met them in San Ignacio and brought them back here where they joined Ron and Phil, the two of us, and a surprise guest in the form of Alex, who delighted us by spending the last few days of his 2-month backpacking trip through Latin America with us, for dinner.

The next day they went to Caracol with Ron and Phil, with Selmo as their guide.

In addition to enjoying the site, they were quite taken with Selmo’s five-year old son (whose name I’m not even going to try to spell), and said he was quite the tour guide in training.

The following day they toured Ka’ax Tun, and were joined by Alex, and Chuck and Marjie.

While Tina and Anna Leah elected not to scale the rock wall, they enjoyed watching Alex and Chuck, as well as Julio and his boys, climb up the vines and pop out of small caves near the top of the wall.

After the tour, Anna Leah and Tina had lunch with Julio’s family, while Marjie and Chuck spirited Alex off to have lunch with them, see their land, and visit with their animals. Dinner that night was a grand affair, with Marjie and Chuck bringing Alex back right around cocktail hour. We found that we all had quite a lot to talk about, so they ended up staying for dinner and we made a party of it. Tina and Anna Leah had quite the taste of the Moonracer Farm social life!

The next day, which just happened to be Anna Leah’s birthday, was spent on horseback as Anna Leah and Tina went with Joe and one of his assistants to Sapodilla Falls. Both Tina and Anna Leah have spent some time on horseback, and Joe was quite impressed with what good time they were able to make as they trotted and cantered the jungle trails – and they loved Joe’s horses.

They got caught in the rain, but they made the best of that and just used their already wet clothes as an excuse not to change into bathing suits to swim at the Falls – they just took off their boots and swam in their riding clothes! But, with the weather being how it is around here this time of year, by they time they got home that afternoon, they were dry! I had taken Alex to catch a bus on the Western Highway in that same rainstorm in the morning, sending him on his way to Cancun where he caught a plane back to Florida. I waited with him in the truck until the bus came, but it was raining so hard that our goodbye was very rushed and Alex still got wet running from the truck to the bus. That night we had a very quiet dinner with just the four of us, and we all commented on how quiet it was after Tina and Anna Leah’s first few dinners here.

Anna Leah and Tina had purposely scheduled a free day so they’d have time to relax. But, my and Tom’s need to be constantly active seems to rub off on our guests, and they spent the next day being very busy. They started off for the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, and got there just as a downpour hit.

The guide there suggested that they do something else for an hour or so and come back, so Tom took them off to go gift shopping at Sak Tunich, where they not only toured the site and got to buy gifts, but also got to try their hands at slate carving.

By the time they finished there, it had cleared up enough to tour the Butterfly Ranch.

After lunch, Anna Leah decided she wanted to try chopping – after all, she’d been following guides with machetes around the whole time they’d been in Belize – so Tom took her out and let her try her hand chopping down a medium-sized tree, with success.

Tina then actually got to get a few hours of relaxation while Anna Leah and I took off on the horses for a two-hour trail ride through the jungle, although we spent so much time yakking that we didn’t get to see any wildlife.

The next day they were off to Placencia, so we took them to Georgeville after breakfast to meet Gonzo and Becky, who provided a transfer to Robert’s Grove where they spent the rest of their Belize vacation.

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