As many of you know, and as I mentioned in my last post, I spent the past week in Belize. Here is a detailed, day-by-day, description of my experience. I am writing this mostly for myself so that I do not lose sight of this amazing opportunity, but I encourage those who do not know about the Belizian culture to read!
Saturday March 21, 2015
On Saturday morning, my mom, dad, brother and I left our house at 4 AM to catch a flight to Dallas/Fort Worth. From Dallas, we took a flight to Belize City. We arrived in Belize around 2 PM. We were greeted by Wilbert, who was our taxi driver from Belize City to Chaa Creek Lodge.
The drive was 3 hours long, but we stopped at a local restaurant named, “Amigos.” I ordered homemade tamales and mexican rice and red beans. Let me just tell you, the food was nothing short from amazing. Once we arrived at Chaa Creek we pampered with fresh, ice-cold hibiscus tea. My brother and I stayed in a separate jungle bungalow that was right next to our parents’.
The bungalows were extremely nice; however, there was no AC and taking a shower accompanied by lizards was more normal than I had wished. After arrival, we explored the resort and ate dinner at the resort restaurant.
Sunday March 22, 2015
We woke up, ate breakfast, then went on a cave tubing adventure with Robert. With so much one-on-one time with the tour guide, we really connected and got to know each other well. The taxi ride to the cave was about an hour, then we had to hike thirty minutes, in 102 degree weather, carrying about a 7 pound inner-tube. But, after we reached the cave, it was more than worth it. The water was so clear and fresh, and the caves were absolutely beautiful.
Robert and I ^^^
After the cave-tubing adventure, we headed back to the lodge and went horseback riding through the jungle. No one in my family has ever been on a horse, making this a very interesting experience. I think it is safe to say that I will never get back on a horse again, though.
Monday March 23, 2015
On this day, we slept in a little bit and headed on our way to Xunantunich with our tour guide Miguel. Xunantunich is one of many Mayan Ruin sites in Belize. It was more big and beautiful than pictures or words can describe. It was to my surprise that our tour included a hike to the very top. This was not an easy hike as the pathways were extremely narrow and steep. But, once we got to the top, all we could do was soak in God’s beautiful creations. We could also see Guatemala from the top of the site.
Standing at the top–> The mountains in the distance are part of Guatemala^^^
After the Mayan Ruins, our tour guide took me to a Primary School where I had the opportunity to spend time with the children and the principal. This was of high interest to me because I am studying elementary education and actually looked into studying abroad in Belize. Oh, what a blessing that would be! All of the children wear uniforms, and the curriculum is very similar to that of the United State’s. We spent the rest of the night in downtown San Ignacio where we shopped, tried every type of fruit at every fruit stand, and ate dinner.
Tuesday March 24, 2015
When we woke up, it was time to leave the jungle and head to the beach. I was more than ready to leave, but looking back, I really miss the people and the resort. There is something humbling about staying in a place where air conditioning is not common and you have to shake your shoes every morning to check for scorpions. It reminds me of what luxury we live in. The drive to the beach was three hours. Robert, the guide who took us cave tubing, drove us. We had many conversations and good laughs. The highlight of the drive was having a tire blow-out. Thankfully, we had a spare, or else we would have had to hitchhike. Hitchhiking is very common in Belize, and most Belizians pick up the majority of hitchhikers. There is no fear in that in this country.
Once we arrived in Placencia, we spent the night exploring the resort and we rented a golf-cart and rode it into town.
Wednesday March 25, 2015
On Wednesday, I woke up extremely early to watch the beautiful sunrise over the ocean. The sky literally changed from pink to yellow in an instance. That morning, we took a boat ride to Monkey River where we hiked to find the howler monkeys. Howler monkeys are very loud and obnoxious, but they are a really cool sight. Also a Monkey River, we saw crocodiles, manatees, bats, and tarantulas. The people who live in the Monkey River village are mostly Creole’s and they cooked us lunch for the day. Also on this day, I said good-bye to Robert one last time!
On the boat to Monkey River^^^
Thursday March 26, 2015
On Thursday, we took an hour boat ride to snorkel at Silk Caye. We spent the entire day there. The water was so clear and blue. This was probably my favorite day because we swam with nurse sharks, sea turtles, and eagle rays. We also saw a lot of tropical fish and colorful coral. Again, the people on the island cooked us lunch.
This is an actual picture taken from my GoPro (no zoom)^^^
Friday March 27, 2015
One the last full day of our vacation, my mom and I spent the entire day in town. My brother and dad spent their day at the beach. Mom and I met many locals, goofed around on the golf-cart, and drank the most fresh fruit smoothie my mouth has ever tasted.
The locals and thier children were my favorite part of vacation^^^
Saturday March 28, 2015
This day was a sad day because none of us wanted to see our vacation come to an end. But, I have no doubt that I will be back in Belize someday, sometime. At 10 AM we drove the the little airport. It was honestly terrifying because we had to take a flight from Placencia to Belize City on a 12 seater plane where there was no security. But, it was definitely an experience, and I loved every second.
thank you Jesus for these awesome and breathtaking opportunities