Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yvonne & Steve

Yvonne and Steve from Tennessee decided to spend their entire Belize vacation in the jungle with us rather than splitting their time between the jungle and the coast or cayes. I’m sure they needed a rest when they got home, but they proved that it’s very possible to spend your entire vacation inland and not be bored for a minute.

Their adventure started as soon as Tom picked them up and they headed to the airport. That was a good first stop to discover that they’d left home with a camera memory full of pictures, so Tom able to download their camera stick to a CD as soon as they got home so they didn’t miss any real action shots…

…and they still managed to get some good shots, like this one of the kinkajou which we hardly ever see out of his hollow log.

Steve and Yvonne had left home very early that morning, so we made a fairly early night of it and planned activities for the next day that didn’t require a wakeup call in the morning. In fact, instead of taking their breakfast tray on the porch of their cabin, Yvonne and Steve came over and ate with us, and we had a leisurely breakfast, finishing our conversation from dinner the night before.

They then went off to tour the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch before heading to Barton Creek Cave. After coming back here for lunch, they headed up to Big Rock, where Steve even jumped off the Big Rock!

The next day, Steve went to ATM while Yvonne and I went for a horseback ride to Sapodilla Falls.

Yvonne grew up on a ranch in the very western part of South Dakota, and spent her entire childhood and young adulthood on a horse. So, she was quite comfortable on Nessa while I rode Glinda, and we were very able to keep up a non-stop stream of chatter all the way to the falls, through lunch, through a nice whirlpool-like soak sitting in one of the small falls, and all the way home! We got home, untacked the horses, showered, and Yvonne, Tom and I jumped in the car to head into San Ignacio to meet Steve after his ATM trip and get dinner in town.

Steve, Carlos, and the other two guests on the ATM trip stopped at Jumanji on the way back to San Ignacio, so Yvonne, Tom, and I had time for a Happy Hour stop at Mr. Greedy’s where we were entertained by a couple of expats also enjoying $3BZ beers and $2BZ rums. When Steve and Carlos found us, the first thing Steve did was look at Yvonne and say “It was sooo cool!” That pretty much sums up how he felt about the trip.

They had an early start the next morning, meeting Hugo at the border at 7AM on the way to Tikal. They had a beautiful day to see Guatemala and tour the site, and climbed all the temples.

The next day they were able to compare the two largest archeological sites in the region when they visited Caracol with Selmo. They also stopped at Rio Frio Cave and Rio On Pools, so they had a good overview of the Mountain Pine Ridge area.

On their final full day in Belize, they visited Cahal Pech in San Ignacio, and the Chechem Ha Cave. They were supposed to go to Xunantunich, but the ferry was out, so the “ruin” part of the Cave & Ruin tour was changed to Cahal Pech, where Selmo showed them around.

They also toured the Chechem Ha Cave with Lea, which was the only cave Yvonne explored while here, since she and I went riding on the day Steve visited ATM. And, they had lunch at Benny’s in Succotz, so they were able to experience some real Belizean food.

The next day we were quite sad to say goodbye as Tom took them to the airport. Yet again, we made good friends in a week, after a series of dinners where we just sat and talked. Steve has a very interesting job which provided endless hours off fascinating conversation, and Yvonne works in the schools, so she had plenty of very interesting stories as well. And, they were curious about how two professionals end up living and thriving in the jungle, so none of us were ever at a loss for words. Steve was kind enough to drop us an email the next day to let us know they arrived home safely, and we really appreciated knowing that they had traveled safely and had a great vacation.

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