Monday, April 13, 2009

Remember the Alaska I?

If you look back to January 23, you will remember the fate of the Alaska I. Well, since then Tony has had it fixed up and repainted. And He and Phil got it in the water on March 29 and on March 30 we four went on a little fishing adventure.
Please notice the wood pole in the boat. It is about 15 feet long

This is Emery. His nick name is Machine. He works for Tony and Angela as their yard guy and maintenance guy. He is a fun guy and works like a machine!!
So off we went... without our paddles.... and it was on the way back, close to shore and in sight of Tony an Angela's that fore some reason the motor decided it had done its part for the day. We were in luck that the waves were bringing us in at a good pace, and the guys were fishing so we were not too concerned. Phil decided to start pushing the boat with the big pole. And it was working great at moving us north to the Tony and Angela's place until the poll got stuck in the ocean floor. It stuck straight up, we laughed so hard. So Phil and Tony jumped in and guided us back to shore. They tied he to a mooring for the night and we could still see the pole.

The next morning, March 31, they guys fixed the motor and set out for another day of fishing. But someone had already take the pole!! Angela and I celebrated my birthday sampling some tropical drinks and swimming.

Now the story continues with the "cold front" we had this past week. Very odd for this time of year to go from 90+ each day to the mid 70- low 80's (I know, I know sounds "sick" to say it was cold). The big waves came in and the boat, she went under... Tony and Phil got it back on land and the next day got her back on the water... then she broke loose and they had to get her onto shore again. Its a big show when this happens as some is done by hand and by truck... They are designing something that they can get the boat in and out of the water per trip. Phil has most of the parts, he just needs 2 tire rims to finish it. He is having a hard time finding them here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hibiscus of the Week, Week 1

Inspired with Bridget's "Wordless Wednesday" and "Photo of the Week" I attempt to introduce "Hibiscus of the week". All of the hibiscus are from the grounds of Jaguar Reef Lodge-Almond Beach Resort. Each one is a different variety and color... I think their at 16 on the grounds.
I hope you enjoy them!

Cho Cho

Here is our new favorite Vegetable. The Cho Cho.
It can be steamed,stir fried, put in soup or stew or eaten raw in a salad. It has a very nice crunch, with not much taste except the taste of "fresh veggie". Peel it,
Take out the center


Chop it up

Enjoy!
This blog is dedicated to Erika and Bridget for your "Whats for Din Din" postings!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monkey River

My boss, Pat, took me on this tour with her last month... another tough day at the office! Thank you, Pat!

The tour is called "The Monkey River Tour". It think it is a must see!

We drove about an hour south of Hopkins and parked the van in Independence and took a boat across a beautiful and large lagoon. You would think it was the Sea, but technically it is a lagoon. Along the way we learned about the Hurricane that hit that area in 2001 or 2002. We arrived in t Monkey River Town after about 30 minutes on the boat. The town is only accessible by boat. It has no electricity, so people have generators. We places out lunch order at the cafe,(chicken or fish with rice and beans) and got back onto the boat. We then started up the river.

Monkey River was a town settled with Banana farms. It goes bask to the early 1900's. Lots of neat history! Along the way we saw a lot of wild life!!
Crocks


Birds



A little bat! See him? I cant believe the guide spotted this little thing from 10 yards away while moving up the river! The guides are amazing in this country! They really know their stuff!


This is a Boa sleeping in the tree... I took this photo from the boat.



We went up the river for about a half hour and pulled up to shore. I took this photo of the same Boa from the land. See his head? We then started on a jungle walk. It was an easy, flat walk through the jungle on the look out for Howler Monkeys.

You are guaranteed you will see Monkeys when you take this tour!


It was not long before we saw them. My photos are not that great... See them?!



We walked into this area of the jungle and there was this cluster of Bamboo. I have never seen bamboo like this! And the locals were saying you have to be careful where you plant Bamboo because this is what it like to do, it grows like a "weed". This is why so many things are being made "GREEN" with bamboo. (That is for you, Mr Burrill!- Go Green!)


Now, you can tell how HUGE this stuff grows... It was amazing.

Remember the movie Jurrasic Park and King Kong... Sometimes I look over my shoulder to see what is behind me.

So, Did you know that the HowlerMonkey is the third loudest animal in the world. Its almost scary to hear them. And they are not that big. In the video below you will hear the guide hitting his machete against the tree and call to the... the monkey yells back.

video
We headed back to the cafe for lunch. Very good as most lunches in Belize are. Then we headed back across the lagoon. This time a bit slower as the Lagoon is a habitat for manatees. And we saw quite a few! No photos.. as they are quick with their nose up and back under they go.
We had left at 9 a.m. form the resort and were back by 3:15. It was one of the best tours I have been on! You get to see a small town culture, the beauty of Belize Rivers, the jungle, wild life, and a nice little lunch too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Catamaran Trip

I cant believe this was about a month ago already. I have to say this is one of the best trips we have been on so far. Not just the fun group that ended up going with, but it was an amazing trip start to end.
The front of the Boat with our gang. We start on the Sittee River and motor down.
Oh Captain My Captain!

I call this my Little Mermaid Dress
Going down the River. I think I have fallen in love with Rivers! In our area they are surrounded by jungle... so beautiful!

The front of the Catamaran is netting. Sometimes you get a nice cool "Splash"!


This is the Marina. This is where all the resorts in our area gas up their tour vans and boats for trips and tours. The boast stay there too. We picked up a group of about 9 ladies traveling together staying at Belizean Dreams.
So once off the river, we go for an hour or so into the big blue. They feed you along the way and have beer and pop and Rum Punches too. Then the water turns 5 different shades of blue as you reach the reefs. It never shows up on the photos and its so hard to describe.

First Stop, a snorkel near some coral.
And then a cocktail break and Nachos on the boat.

Second stop. Wee Wee Caye. Now, its a marine lab so students form all over come and stay here. There is a care taker and two of the fattest dogs you have ever seen!
I joked that they must eat lost tourists!
Wee Wee Caye is about the size of some people's back yard. It has the highest population of snakes than any other place on earth. Can you believe that?! Well, I guess of pythons or is it boas... . And I did not see one! But I guess they are all over the trees, minding their own business.
The other thing I have fallen in love with in Belize is Mangroves. They are so beautiful! Belize has some of the oldest in the world. Here on Wee Wee Caye they have little "rooms" for students to sleep in built into the mangroves. There are paths like this going through the Mangroves and you come out on the other side of the Caye to the edge of the reef.



I could just sit for hours right here....
So they fed us dinner at Wee Wee Caye and we headed back The Captain made on more stop as our group was not in a hurry to get home. We did one more swim and were on our way back. We had Cheese Cake as we watched the sun set. It was dark when we arrived back to the dock and got in our cars. This is a must trip when you come down! Only $70US per person