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#102786 - 05/10/05 04:26 PM Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
Phyllis&Ray Offline
We got in on Sunday evening, this was our second visit, and we returned to Paradise Villas, great property close to town, snorkeling off the pier, pool, etc. After we got settled in we walked down to Fido’s. We spilt the fish and chips, very good, but not as much food as we had hoped. We tried dirty bananas, yummy but sweet, one was enough. We ended up at the Hammock House and enjoyed the jam session with Barefoot Skinny.
On Monday we had breakfast at Lily’s, favorite breakfast spot. Afterward, we got in touch with Tulu to work on set up a couple of trips with him later in the week. We then stopped by Tanisha tours, we had put a deposit on a cave tubing/zip line trip on Tuesday, but due to no communication to the mainland they were unable to confirm the trip. So, we changed to the cave tubing/zoo trip on Wednesday. Good thing since the phones didn’t come back until late Thursday. Monday afternoon we went out with Manuel at Amigos Del Mar to Hol Chan and Shark Ray alley. We had gone out with him last year as well, great guide. Highlight of the afternoon, a huge bull shark that we got some short movies of with our digital camera in an underwater housing. Lots of other great sights as well including a hungry turtle. Not to mention we helped a boat that had gotten stuck, and then towed another boat that ran out of gas, Manuel was the hero of the day!! That evening we ended up snacking our way down to Crazy Canuks, some pizza at Pauly’s and seafood fritters at the Crab Shack, fritters were okay, but the pizza was great, we would be back. We didn’t really care for the band at Canuks, but a very drunk couple made for an interesting side show. It was getting late (for us smile !), so we enjoyed a nice walk home on the beach.
Tuesday we had breakfast at the Blue Water Grill which was very good, must have dinner there next trip. We ran some errands in town and did a little shopping, took a dip in the pool, and napped, a very relaxing day. Tulu stopped by that evening, we had a few drinks, lots of laughs and got caught up. He is truly an amazing man, I could listen to his stories and adventures endlessly. Time got away from us and before we knew it, it had gotten late and we had an early day, so once Tulu departed we ended up eating some canned goods we brought for a late night dinner.
Wednesday was our trip to the mainland. Since there were cruise ships in port, we went to the zoo first and did the cave tubing in the afternoon. On our way up the river we saw the manatees and our guide pointed out many interesting features and facts. It was nice to finally get a flavor of the mainland. At the zoo there were many animals I had never seen or heard of, and I doubt I will ever get that close to a black panther in the states, what an awesome creature. The cave tubing was really neat, would have been better if the water had been a little deeper in spots (butts up!), but the caves are really cool. I would love so see more of the cave system other than that at cave’s branch next time. We got back well after dark after a long chilly choppy boat ride home. We cleaned up and headed out for dinner, we decided on Elvi’s since it had been one of our favorites last year. We had scallop and shrimp kabobs and fried chicken, it was all good. The plan was to head over to Wet Willie’s from there, but we didn’t make it. It had been a long day and my eyes just wouldn’t stay open any longer.
Thursday we finally headed north of the cut. Our goal was to make it up to Mata Rocks, our electric cart died at Sun Diver. So after a call to our hotel, a few beers and a nice chat with the Canadian lady that runs the place, our new cart arrived. By then we were hungry so we headed back down to Capricorn for lunch. I never knew a fish sandwich could taste soooo good. We hope to make it up there for dinner next time. When people say the road north is not so good, they mean it, but it was fun. When we returned to town we picked up the things I had brought for the school and dropped them off. The kids were wild with excitement because their soccer team had just gotten back from beating the Caye Caulker team. I had no idea there were so many kids on the island, and this was just the primary school. Then it was off to Pauly’s for more fantastic pizza to take back so we could hang out on the balcony and relax with a few Belikins. We were thrilled when Tulu stopped by and joined us for a while, another wonderful evening in paradise.
Friday we had goodies we had picked up at the bakery for breakfast and moved to the downstairs villa for our last two nights. Since we were doing our night snorkel with Tulu we had a late lunch. It started with some conch chowder from Celi’s – very very good, lots of conch. Then headed to BC’s, their burritos are to die for. Our night snorkel was again amazing, we had a lot of fun with the trunk fish, spotted several eel, octopus, and a lemon shark. It’s here that I believe I ran into the dreaded Pica Pica, but I wouldn’t realize this until Sunday. When we got back, Erin and John from Jersey, who were with us on the cave trip as well, and Tulu stopped by for a couple of drinks. By now it was getting late (9ish – only think we made it past ten two nights!), so we opted to finish our goodies from the bakery and canned goods, and just sat out on the porch.
Saturday was the big day we had really been looking forward to, a full day with Tulu and two other couples from Oregon. First we headed outside of the reef to catch lunch. My husband and Dean each got a yellow tailed snapper, but the fish weren’t really biting. We snorkeled at Tres Coco before lunch where Dean also speared a parrot fish, exciting for all! Tulu had planned ahead and we had plenty of fish and conch for our beach BBQ up at Kitty’s. After lunch we snorkeled Mexico Rocks, I never get tired of all of the beautiful coral. We had a great time and really enjoyed the day. We ended up stopping at Capricorn on the way back and got to say good bye to our friends from Jersey, then headed to the Hammock House for sunset, the end of a perfect day. Dinner that night was at the Stained Glass Pub, Ray had been craving a burger which was decent and I had the catch of the day which was okay. Our last night was nearly over, we had a nice walk back on the beach, enjoyed our last Belikins on the porch, and once again decided that we would be back.
Sunday we got everything packed and walked down to Estel’s for breakfast. The food was very good, but one complaint. I am a dog lover, but this very dirty small dog who I truly felt sorry for, but wouldn’t touch in a million years, chose to lay under our table, it was just buzzing with fleas which I feared would hitch a ride home with us. On our way back we stopped to say good bye to Tulu, and a ran into one of the couples from Oregon as well. Before we knew it we were on our way home. Even though we were there longer this year it still went by way too fast. Next year we hope to return during lobster season, We would still like try ziplining. And possibly a mainland trip Tikal to check out the ruins. Until next time…
As for the Pica Pica, I am healed. I started getting the welts on the way home Sunday, and by Monday afternoon at work I was dying! Just glad I didn’t get it until we got home, it would have been miserable in the heat and humidity. Nasty stuff, I would tell anyone if you get it like I did, go to the doctor! Amazing what a couple of shots can do. The good news is that Erin and John, from Jersey, and my husband never got a bump. Not that it would have any impact on a return trip. I actually feel foolish because we had the Safesea, I just didn’t use it that evening and wore a tank top which really trapped the little buggers. We had been there all week and there had been none around. I even suspected something but didn’t say anything, if I had I am sure Tulu would have doused me with the vinegar (Belizean cure for just about everything)! So, live and learn. It’s all good.

#102787 - 05/10/05 04:57 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
Spleen Offline
Originally posted by Phyllis&Ray:
Monday afternoon we went out with Manuel at Amigos Del Mar to Hol Chan and Shark Ray alley. We had gone out with him last year as well, great guide. Highlight of the afternoon, a huge bull shark that we got some short movies of with our digital camera in an underwater housing.
Yikes! I hope that's not too common because that could be bad for business. Is this while folks were feeding the rays and nurse sharks?

#102788 - 05/10/05 09:58 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
NYgal Offline
Thanks for sharing.... smile

I got hungry while reading ....yummy.
Darn the Pica Pica...thankfully you were home smile
Glad you're well and you'll return to the mainland again too laugh
You had a great time, I can tell smile

#102789 - 05/11/05 12:00 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
Phyllis&Ray Offline
Spleen - yes, it was at Shark/Ray Alley. I freaked at first, but the guides didn't seem to think it was a big deal. I got the impression this wasn't the first time they had spotted it. Everytime I watch the video we taped I am like, oh my gosh! Manuel said it was 12ft, but I think it was a little smaller than that, everything in the water looks bigger, but it was big.

#102790 - 05/11/05 12:09 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
papashine Offline
The first big shark encounter I had was an 8 ft Hammerhead, at shark ray, it didn't seem concerned about us.
Reality..What a concept!

#102791 - 05/11/05 02:36 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
Phyllis&Ray Offline
Definitely something I will never forget. We have seen several lemon sharks which were pretty cool, at a distance, both at Hol Chan and Mexico Rocks. Tulu has a great story about an encounter with a hammerhead outside of the reef. Maybe it just depends how hungry they are !! With all the chumming at shark/ray alley I am surprised that more of the critters don't show up.
Haven't really heard about any shark "attacks" around there, have there been any?

#102792 - 05/11/05 02:44 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
SP Daily Offline
Only in the beach bars

#102793 - 05/11/05 05:37 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
papashine Offline
Knock knock, who's there, Land shark lady....
Reality..What a concept!

#102794 - 05/12/05 10:46 AM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
Spleen Offline
I'm an avid diver and used to work at an aquarium where I regularly dove an ocean tank with a dozen sharks up to 450 pounds. Sharks, as a rule, don't bother me. What I would worry about is an area where there is a regular relationship between people in the water and feeding. Nurses and rays, no sweat, but if bulls start showing up when this kind of activity is going on I'd get worried. I dive with some spearfishing buddies up in Jupiter FL and the sharks (as well as some honking goliath grouper) think the sound of a sling popping is like a dinner bell. Keep yer eyes peeled!

#102795 - 05/12/05 06:55 PM Re: Trip Report for April 17th – 24th.
I have no desire ever to be in the water anywhere near "real" sharks being fed, or near spear fishing.


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