Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#37876 - 04/22/01 10:36 PM trip report
bigmommachris Offline
Well, here goes. I'm a retired teacher so this may be long, but bear with me. We did so much. Left Buffaol,NY on 4/1. Overnight in Miami. Landed in Belize on 4/2. Met be Valentino from Windy Hill Resort. Drove a while and stopped at the Belize Zoo. Before goigh in had a picnic lunch prepared by Windy Hill-yummy. Valentino took us (4) around the zoo and talked about all the different animals and birds we saw-very informative. I loved the fact that the animals appear in almost their natural settings, not just in sterile cages. Zoo has a small gift shop where you can buy books written by Sharon Matola who started the Zoo. I bought 2! They are all about the animals of Belize. Then it was back in our van for another 2(?) hr. ride through interesting countryside that Valentino talked about until we got to Windy Hill. Effortless check in and then headed for a dip in the pool with a side trip to the bar for belikins!! So refreshing and peaceful. Lovely grounds. 100 acres of trees, flowers, birds singing, gentle breezes, and good company. Meals were included in our stay and the menu was set. Dinner-split bean soup-out of this world!!! chicken breast, potatoes, garnaches(SP?) fried jacks and coconut pie for dessert-heaven. Breakfast next day-full am. style-eggs,ham, potatoes, watermelon, juice toast, coffee-I hope you're getting the picture-we certainly didn't starve. Then it was off to Tikal for the day. Driver and guide for the 4 of us. Ruins magnificant. Lunch at small place across street form Tikal where we ate with a huge group of AM> and Guat> soldiers. AM. there to help dig wells for water. Brief stop before crossing the border for shopping-picken up a beautiful hammock (my hubby really liked lying in the one on our veranda and I got one just like it) woven purse. Back to Windy Hill for another dip in the pool. Dinner-beef strips w/ onions and gr. pepper, pot, squash w/ flan for dessert. Then while everyone else headed to the bar i indulged in the hot before meeting them at the bar. Breakfast our final day-watermelon and bananas, pancakes, sausages, juice, coffee. We were well fed. Then horsebackriding in the jungle-awesome. Valention drove us back to Belize w/ stop at Ceasar's as my friend wanted to shop for slate carvings which we all bought. Short flight via Tropic Air and we're in AC!!! Got met and taken to Tradewinds ofc. Had OF unit-upper. Now, this was a major disappointment as we paid more for OF nad expected decent if not very nice. Our unit had no kit. table or chairs, not even a counter w/ stools-no place to eat inside and this was a condo property! Oh well, we managed-the rest of the property was lovely-nice pool beachside-lovely landscaped grounds. Even Sweet Pea-dog belonging to oneof the property owners that made me miss my dog back home. Sweet Pea visited us all the time-she was darling.Ate at Lily's, Elvi's Kitchen, Estelle's, Sweet Basil and Ramon's. Only let down was meal ar Ramon's wasn't as good as I thoght it would be for the money-cheaper at Elvi's and better food. Also did the Lion Club's chicken BBQ. We were only in Ac for 5 nights so didn't get a chance to try Papi's or Capricorn. Should have gone to Capricorn instead of Ramon's but our traveling friends didn't want to spend the money. The guys did their diving with Amigos and the operation was great. I had been e-mailing w/ Gilmar back and forth before we left so it was great to meet him-he's so nice!!! Marciano(sp?) was the divemaster each time the guys went out. The only complaint they had was that the reef was in such bad shape which we later found out from talking to the ladies at Belize UW Video was caused by Hurr. Mitch. Such a shame-I can only imagine what it was like pre-Mitch-must have been beautiful. The guys were sad-not for themselves but for the reef. Things picked up w/ night dive to Hol Chan and Blue Hole trip. Weather played a factor-very windy w/ 8' swells. While the guys did Blue Hole on 4/7 my friend and I opted to do Lamanai w/ Daniel of Tanisha Tours-what a great day-never saw so many birds, monkeys, crocodile, turles, iguanas. We think Daniel has x-ray vision . We'd be speeding along in the boat and all of a sudden he'd spot something-we'd stop and go in for a closeer look. Ruins were nice-not as grand as Tikal but nice. Saw beautiful sunset looking back and then saw full moon come up the front of the boat!!! Our last full day we rented a golf cart and went exploring-north, south, through town, stopping here and then , waving to people as we droveby. The locals got a kick out of us as I was driving while my husband was enjoying the view. Sweet Basil for lunch-great salads but big enough for 2 to share. That evening the palapa bar next door at Paradise getting ready to close. I wanted a pina colada-he said he would but no ice left. Hubby ran to our condo-got our bag of ice and presto-pina coladas my last evening. People were so nice-always smiling. The kids were unforgettable-as I bought their beautiful necklaces and anklets, gave them candy and exchanged school stories. So precious are the memories. I took more pictures-think I have 300+ I will fondly remember this vacation even with the few glitches we had-Belize it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#37877 - 04/22/01 10:49 PM Re: trip report
jingles Offline
Great trip report. Thanks for all of your helpful information. Its also comforting to know that even though things were not perfect, you were able to enjoy a mostly wonderful vacation and not dwell on what seemed to be just one or two negative experiences.

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#37878 - 04/23/01 07:14 AM Re: trip report
seashell Offline
I'm sorry but for the life of me, I can't figure out what OF stands for. Please advise.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#37879 - 04/23/01 09:26 AM Re: trip report
Wendy Offline
Oceanfront?

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#37880 - 04/23/01 01:05 PM Re: trip report
Denny Shane Offline
I agree with Wendy... OF is Ocean Front.
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#37881 - 04/23/01 06:55 PM Re: trip report
KOZ FROM DENVER Offline
this is the second trip report in the past week that i have read, that talked about the bad shape the reef is in.

We are going to AC in June, none of us dive, but is that a concern for Belize that the diving isnt now what it once was?

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#37882 - 04/23/01 07:05 PM Re: trip report
seashell Offline
Doh!!
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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