Monday, March 7, 2011

Barbara & Shap

Barbara and Shap from Oregon arrived here after a stay in Crooked Tree. They took a transfer from Crooked Tree to Georgeville, where Tom met them to bring them up our road – yet another transfer driver who doesn’t want to subject his vehicle to the rigors of the Mountain Pine Ridge Road! They arrived in time to relax, because Barbara was getting a sore throat, and wanted to avoid the all out chest cold that was making the rounds in Belize, which she had been exposed to in Crooked Tree…fortunately Tom and I were over it by the time they got here!

The next day they headed off to Caracol with Eddie. They had thought about canceling the day before because of Barbara’s sore throat, but fortunately she felt better the next morning. So, they took off for Caracol and spent the entire day touring the site, with a stop at Rio Frio Cave and Rio On Pools on the way home.

The following morning started early, birdwatching with David. We again appreciated our new kitchen and dining room, since the bird tour began with coffee and breakfast under the palapa, watching the hummingbirds start moving and listening to the catbirds calling. The list of birds to be seen around the palapa was exhausted just as the coffee was finished, and Barbara, Shap, and David took off to walk around the property and see what they could see. After a half day of birdwatching, they ended up seeing a total 45 different species of birds and hearing an additional 21, for a total of 66 different bird species identified on or immediately around the property.

That afternoon, Tom took them down the road to go horseback riding with Joe. Both Shap and Barbara had commented that they could have been in better shape, so they felt that seeing the jungle from the top of a horse and letting the horse do most of the work was perfect for them. They saw jungle pools and caves, and lots of birds and butterflies.

The following day they got to sleep in a little since they’d only scheduled a half day’s worth of activities. After breakfast, they decided to get a little bit of exercise and walked to the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, just a mile down the road. Tom gave them about an hour’s head start, then drove down to meet them to drive to Barton Creek. They toured Barton Creek with Carlos before returning to the farm for a late lunch. They spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, packing, and preparing for their departure for Guatemala and Tikal the next day.

The following morning, after a relaxed breakfast, Tom drove Barbara and Shap to the Guatemala border. There they met Hugo’s sister, who helped them through Immigration and customs in Belize and Guatemala and transferred them to Tikal, where they spent the next two nights. Before they left here, we had helped them set up a Placencia transfer with Gonzo from the border for the next leg of their trip. That part of the trip went well, with a stop in Santa Elena for barbequed chicken, although Gonzo said Shap and Barbara were a little annoyed when he got to the border to get them because they had been waiting there for two hours. Gonzo was there at the agreed upon time, but Hugo’s family had them there about two hours early because they expected that it would take a long time for Shap and Barbara to cross the border – which it didn’t. We’re not sure where the miscommunication occurred, but we will be advising our future guests who get transfers in Guatemala to make doubly sure the schedule is clear.

We’re now waiting for Shap’s promised write-up on their Belize adventure. He promised that he would send us something to post on this blog – so keep your eyes open for the next installment!

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