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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 5: Belize

Day 5: Belize
Before we get to today in Belize meet our tablemates from last evening, the Stoeckles from The Woodlands: Scott, wife Sheryl and their charming daughter Kathleen, who I think is twelve years old.  Scott is an air traffic controller who plans to retire in December.  He said that he might as well do that since they won’t let him sleep on the job anymore, just a joke of course. They were a delight to talk to over the evening meal.
The Voyager of the Seas arrived in Belize early this morning (Thursday) and anchored off shore.  We had to meet our tour group at 7am and had ordered room service to be delivered between 6:30am and 7:00am, counting on them to be early like they had been every other morning this week.  It was not to be!  With ten minutes to go and no breakfast, MA took off for the open cafĂ© and brought back two coffees and blueberry muffins. 
As we were heading out the door, room service finally arrived but we had to leave our trays behind.  This afternoon when we got back from the tour, we had an apology from them along with a platter of chocolate dipped strawberries.  And we hadn’t even complained.  We think our cabin attendant must have told them she found untouched breakfast trays.
Cruise ships to Belize anchor quite a ways offshore because there is a barrier reef that prevents them from docking at a pier. Passengers go ashore using Catamaran tenders.
Our tour for the day was the Belize Wildlife tour consisting of a 25 mile boat ride up the Old Belize River, then lunch and a visit to the Belize zoo.  Our guides were Jerry who was the wildlife expert and Peter who was the Belize lifestyle and history expert.
There were 20 of us and as we zipped toward the river bouncing along at 40 miles per we were told that if we didn’t know how to swim, today would be a good day to learn! This was followed by a warning to hang onto our hats because “we don’t stop for hats unless there’s a body attached.”  Fortunately no one lost any hats or had to learn how to swim!
On the trek up the river we saw manatees, red-headed parrots, numerous fly-catchers, fresh water crocodiles, a raccoon-like animal called a tapacula, also herons and egrets very similar to what we see in Texas.
Boat-billed heron, similar to our Yellow-crowned Night heron
After a couple of hours we arrived at the end of the river portion of our tour at a rest area where we had lunch.  Jerry said we would have their national dish, “rice and beans.” Or, if we didn’t like rice and beans we could opt for their other dish, beans and rice. He also said that they would be served with iguana.  However, the so-called iguana turned out to be chicken.  Cokes were free but diet cokes were $2.00. Still working on that logic. 

Tapacula
After lunch we boarded a bus for a short ride to the Belize Zoo. We were told not to expect elephants, camels, or giraffes, only animals native to Belize. I just really don’t like zoos and left the guided walk and made my way to the entrance where I found a seat in the shade.  We were bused back to the port where we got back on a tender and returned to the ship. MA and I had a light snack and chilled out on our balcony enjoying the view of the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean.
Cozumel tomorrow (Friday). The week sure is going by fast.
Chachalaca at the zoo

2 comments:

  1. My boss has a house on Chachalaca Street in the Valley. Now I know what one looks like!

    Greta

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  2. Wayne and MA,

    Thanks for the update. Glad you didn't loose your hats or take a swim with your D3s around your neck. Two problems - hard on the D3s - it may just drown you!!

    Looking forward to next update. I agree - seems like this week just flew by. It's the reason I'm behind reading your blog.

    HAVE A GOD BLESSED DAY - dave b.

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