...and yet still another. Looking back at it, I apparently have a lotta words (and my boss would likely argue, "Not too terribly much to say!" ;-)
I think I wrote this one from Eva's in Cayo maybe the Friday before Thanksgiving, though it covers
our time prior to reaching Cayo.
Pibil, Johnny Cakes & 36 Hours in the Rain Forest
The weather has finally broken here in Belize! It is sunny and maybe 82ish degrees. Our last day in Placencia, we treated ourselves to a
native dish of Pibil (pu BILL). It's not so much a dish as a cooking method. (Yepper, you know me, I'm all over those Belizean chefs!)
Bottom line, the meal is cooked IN a pit on the beach. Robert had the pork (sorta jerk-ish in nature)...I, of course...skarfed the fish!
That's my seafood diet! I'm gonna eat fish, lobster & conch every single darn meal I can!
It's relatively inexpensive (though food at Kitty's Place is a touch more expensive than I had anticipated)...and in season down here. I'd feel like I'm depriving myself if I didn't. (Can you say 750 crunches a day when I get home!) I actually ALREADY popped the snap on my hiking pants yesterday. Bring on the Belikins and the Panty Rippers.) It just doesn't matter any more!
We couldn't snorkel the reef a couple of days back because of the current, so instead of just cabbing it up to Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, we
hitched a ride with a tour "bus". (giggling) Robert has been quite flexible this trip! ;-)
It was maybe 1.5 hours from the southern coast to the approximate area of the jungle. The northern Stann Creek district is phenomenally picturesque
with mile upon mile of citrus trees. (Toss in the obligatory Mayan Mountains as a backdrop and you have the most beautiful dreams imagainable.)
Stopped for gas at what has recently become a "Texaco". I was thrilled to find that one of the local ladies was selling her homemade Johnnycakes at the station. (Think
Pillsbury-ish dough stuffed with something ham-like and cheddar-ish. YUMMM!)
With a little warning, our tour guide told us that he would have been able to take us to the Marie Sharp's plant. (DANGGIT!!!) Marie Sharp is BZ royalty. Most of you have already had her hot sauce (see last year's care packages), but she's also apparently doing jams and all sorts of other yummy condiments. He said you can do a far share of munching on these tours. I could have been in Blazing Tongue Hog Heaven. Mental note for next year...
Stopped at Herman's Cave for some dry caving (pretty...but YAWN!). My head lamp blew out in a record three minutes, though I'm happy to say that the toilet paper that I've been hauling around has come in terribly handy at this location. (I was considering auctioning by the square to some desperate-looking Norwegian women...maybe fund my Eva's habit in Cayo.)
We ran a few errands in each Belmopan and San Iganacio town...hit the Farmers' Market HARD!(I've been DYING for some fruits and veggies as they were few and far between on the coast. It's simply too expensive to get them down ocean side. I savored some canned mushrooms in some spagooch we made in Placencia...and I think there was BOUND to be a banana in something I drank at Pickled Parrot, but I'm not sure that counts...)
Arrived at Ian's 4pm-ish two days ago. Robert scared the heck outta me at first as it was maybe a bit more primative than I've gotten him
accustom to over the past few years. The jungle was *relatively* quite the two nights we were there. Lots of birds and bugs...but virtually no
howler monkeys, or unspecified snorts, bumps or grunts. (We've had SO much rain...guess that's why they call it the rain forest!)
DAD DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING! SKIP TO WHERE I CALL YOU BELOW...
(Hmmm, couldn't help yourself youja!?!)
You'll be happy to know that one of the locals killed a boa constrictor a bit outside of where we were staying. He was easily over 5 feet long
(bloody, gory, icky, yuck!)...and Benito, our guide, explained that he was "just a baby"!
Actually, the boas are not really an issue. I understand you've gotta watch out for the coral snakes and the Fuer de Lance where we were. That's ok, we were in amazing hands...and even with Robert's original concerns, I wish we would have stayed 3 more days deep inside the jungle.
OK, DAD...WELCOME BACK NOW...
I proudly rented a cabana that had a toilet! Robert was not overwhelmingly impressed at first. However, he immediately fell in love with the outdoor showers (hidden in palapa with water shifted through an aluminum pail).
Our Cave's Branch cabana was really very well appointed. No electricity (I prepared him for that) and we had our own bathroom AND A KING-SIZED BED! I have never been so grateful for sleep in my life. In our household, bedtime is a full-contact sport. Like WWF with pillows. Miraposa had a wonderful queen-size bed which would serve the normal couple just fine, I however sustained multiple contusions from unexpectedly slumberly left-hooks and the such.
The first night at Caves Branch, Robert went on critter patrol before bedtime with my hand-dandy flashlight. I was happy that the only furry thing that he found was a 3" long catepillar! SCORE !!!!
The rain kept the 'skwitos down, though Robt is COVERED head to toe with bites. Robert Worley--the other white meat. By the time they're done
with him, they couldn't care the least about me. DOUBLE SCORE !!!
This takes us to our experience with Footprints Cave...a wet cave outside the Caves Branch compound.
CRUD...outta time...more soon! THIS WAS A MEMORY OF A LIFETIME !!!! Gotta get you back here as soon as I can!!!
Love y'all! Bug you most likely Thanksgiving Tuesday...in San Ignacio...heading towards Ek Tun now!