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#99009 - 03/13/05 07:01 PM and yet another trip newbie trip report!
Jancie Offline
First things first! I want to thank the creator of this board and everybody who frequents it. You guys are the reason I vacationed on "la isla bonita." I flew from Baltimore to Houston to Belize City, and then Tropic Air to San Pedro. Everything went as smooth as silk. Arrived on the island around 4 PM and was picked up by Orlando, a fast-found friend, who delivered me to Hotel del Rio. I absolutely loved my Cabana Chica! It was quiet, clean, comfortable and I had the best air-conditioning ever invented. The all-natural kind! I could literally lie in bed and watch the sun rise. (Not that I did) As soon as the sun breeched the surface of the sea, I was out of there, stumbling around looking for my camera, and fumbling with the door handle! Got excellent sunrise shots! Feel free to check them out at my homepage.
I also want to thank Marca, the beautiful young lady at Hotel del Rio, whom when learning I was interested in certain trips, sought me out to inform me of the places and times, if I was interested. Thank you Marca!
First night there, I walked into town and tried to familiarize myself with the numerous restaurants and shops. I stumbled upon Mangos, where I ate my dinner of mango-lime chicken, and drank 2 delicious Belekins while Dennis Wolf played his guitar. Afterwards, I walked the beach back up to my hotel, where after a quick stop at the bakery, I spent the rest of the evening on my porch, enjoying the wonderful breeze and the approaching full moon, reflecting off the waters. What a perfect way to end a day!
Day 2-The wind had kicked up during the night, and for awhile I worried that my cabana and I would be blown right off of the island! Woke up at sunrise, made my coffee and enjoyed my sugar cookies (from the bakery) one block behind the hotel. Walked the beach down to town and booked an afternoon snorkeling trip to Hol-Chan and Shark Ray Alley through Searious Adventures. Stopped by Blue Water Grill for breakfast and worked my way back to my hotel. Rested awhile catching some rays on the dock, before I headed down to hook up with Searious for my snorkeling trip. We arrived at Hol-Chan Marine Park, and like an idiot, I was so excited I jumped in forgetting my underwater camera. It was the most beautiful place I have ever snorkeled! Later at Shark Ray Alley I did remember my camera, and petted the sting rays and nurse sharks, and enjoyed the many schools of blue tangs and various other fish. Back by 4:30, showered and treated myself to french onion soup, filet mignon, chilean wine and key lime pie at the Stained Glass Pub. It is a beautiful full moon tonight. The children and their dogs are playing in the streets. Reminded me of better years; a long, long time ago, back here. Walked the beach back to my cabana, loving every moment.
Day 3-Woke up with the gorgeous sunrise, and had my morning coffee on my porch. Walked back to Papi's Diner for the best breakfast yet! Walked downtown to email everybody back home, and to tell them I am staying here (just kidding). Wish it was true. Hiked the beach back to my hotel, where I booked a trip to Lamanai, for tomorrow. Very hot with little breeze today. Went swimming by the dock, and since I am getting very red, I took the rest of the afternoon off, reclining on my wonderful palm-shaded porch and watching the lucky locals go by. Seeking supper, I headed into town and ended up at the Spindrift. Once again, like an idiot, I had left my camera behind. My theory was that I had already overkilled San Pedro with photo shots...how many more did I need to take? Duh! It was Friday night at the Spindrift! I should've known better. The chicken drop was ready to start, and I didn't have time to get back and pick up my camera. After silently insulting myself, I got a front-row seat upstairs and ate my excellent chicken tostados, while I watched the still-alive chicken perform! What an ingenious idea! Afterwards and with a smile on my face, I headed back up the beach, where I met a doggy friend, whom accompanied me for awhile, before taking off after a more "fetching" fellow. I love it here! Got a big day tomorrow, so I retired early.
Day 4- Lamanai today! Met up with Searious at Seven Seas dock, and we were off! Traveled inland via two rivers, and a very bumpy bus ride. Saw numerous birds and wildlife along the river route. Even saw a Laughing Falcon and a Jabiru! Made Lamanai by 11 AM, and toured the beautiful ruins. Along with the ruins, we saw a Blue-crowned Motmot, Bat Hawks, Lineated woodpeckers, a troop of coatimundis crossed the path ahead of us, and while we were spotting the howler monkeys overhead, a grey fox slinked across the path, behind us! What an wonderful opportunity! I have seen more wildlife here in Belize, than I did in Costa Rica! Heading back down the river, we saw a crocodile, lazing on a sand bar. This is awesome! After arriving back on the island by, I made another quick bakery run, and called it a day.
Day 5- Where is the time going? I was having coffee on my wonderful porch, when Marca came over and asked me if I was interested in doing another snorkeling trip? I said sure! She said they are leaving at 9 AM from Reef Adventures dock. I looked at my watch. It was 8:30! I thanked her and grabbed my gear! Made it to the dock and we headed out to Coral Gardens and Chuffy. Chuffy was my favorite of the two. We saw sea turtles, and a spotted eagle ray! Got back around 11:30 and swam out by the dock till 1:30 PM. Cleaned up and headed into town. Being Sunday, most of the shops were closed, so I ate an excellent lunch of hot wings, salad and key lime pie at the Jambel Jerk. After refueling my hunger tank, I walked over to Tropic Air, and booked a trip to Tikal, for tomorrow. Walked my favorite path (the beach) back to my hotel and turned in early for my big day ahead.
Day 6- Tikal! Taxi picked me up promptly at 6:15 AM and was at the airport by 6:25. Shared my sugar cookies and coffee, with the great guy who booked my trip the day before. I boarded at 7 AM, along with a family of four, and we took off for Belize City, and then to Guatemala. Once again, everything went as smooth as butter, as we slipped through the borders. In Flores, I was greeted by David, my tour guide. David, our driver, and I got in our car and set off, down the road to Tikal. Tikal was incredible!! Being that I was the only one who booked this day trip, I was a little leery. I am so glad I did it! Since this board is about the wonders of Belize, I will spare you all my long-windedness. But, I will tell you this. I am coming back and doing San Ingnacion (sp?) and Guatemala (again) this September. Tikal is a must do, for all those interested! Arrived back to the island by 6:30. Sent a quick email to everyone, and grabbed another duplicate of wings and salad at the Jambel Jerk! Tired, dusty and extremely content, I made my way back just in time for another bakery run, and then to my cabana and a very much needed shower. What a perfect day!
Day 7- My last full day on the beautiful island. Woke up early and got more great sunrise pictures! Drank my coffee and ate my sugar cookies on my porch. Walked downtown to email (whine about having to come back home) everyone, and bought some fresh pineapple, papaya, cantelope and watermelon along the way. Stopped at grocery store for more bottled water, and hit the bakery for fresh cinnamon bread. I don't know why I didn't do this right away. The fruit is scrumptious and the baked goods are divine (as you all know) and it saves a lot of money for other things. After a brunch of fruit and bread, I swam out by the dock till 1 PM. Showered, ate more fruit and bread and walked back behind the bakery and rented a bicycle for the rest of the day. Crossed the cut and rode bike up to Journey's End. A "northern" has blown in today and it is overcast and very windy. Stopped by the Jalapa Bar for a quick coke, and then back across the cut, stopping at Riverside Bar & Grill for supper. There I was served my chicken quesadillas and salad by wonderful and charming Somas! Great guy and good food! Returned my bike and had to stop and ask for an extra blanket at my hotel's lobby. Kind of chilly tonight!
Day 8- The time has come to bid goodbye. I will miss the smiling people and the laughing, happy children playing in the streets. Polished off my fresh fruit and some chocolate cake. Packed my bags and Orlando came by to take me back to the airport. Thank you all; for your insights, wisdom and the enrichment which this board has introduced me to. Happy trails to all you newbies, whom like me, will experience la isla bonita, for the first time.

Things I will miss:
#1. the laughing, happy children playing in the streets till late in the evening
#2. the wonderful constant breeze
#3. sandy streets
#4. going barefoot, everywhere
#5. my cabana
#6. my porch
#7. my porch's view
#8. not wearing a watch
#9. wondering what day it is?
#10. the bakery

God bless you all, Janice

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#99010 - 03/13/05 08:04 PM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
NYgal Offline
She's hooked smile

Thanks for sharing and I wish you could share that key lime pie too laugh

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#99011 - 03/13/05 10:57 PM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
dbdoberman Offline
thank you for sharing your tranquil & happy memories with us, Jancie. Jambel, Papi's & the bakery are my 3 fave places. I am going to spend more time just enjoying the view someday.

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#99012 - 03/14/05 12:10 AM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
Now Danny Offline
Great trip report Janice. Did you have enough time in Tikal? When you went to Lamanai what time did you get back and what was the cost.

This is our second time and we would like to visit either site. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

This is a great site. Take care smile

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#99013 - 03/14/05 12:58 AM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
Jancie Offline
Now Danny; I did Tikal only as a day trip. When I go back this September, I want to stay down in the Cayo district, and spend a couple days in Guatemala, especially do an overnighter in Tikal area. They say the sounds of the jungle at night are legendary. Tikal was awesome!! If you want, I can email you pictures of Tikal. For Lamanai, we left the island by boat at 7 AM and reached Lamanai by 11 AM. We glided slowly through the rivers, because there was so much to see. In the mangroves along the river, the air smelled so fresh and sweet. Saw lots of birds of all kinds, coatimundi, howler monkeys, a fox, iguanas and a crocodile on our journey. We were back at the island by 6:30 PM. Coming back down the river, we moved at a much faster pace, so we made better time. The trip cost $135 US, and included lunch, and drinks. No need to take money, except maybe to buy some souvenirs. You will need binoculars, camera, comfortable shoes and maybe some bug repellent. Worth every cent!

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#99014 - 03/14/05 02:01 AM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
klcman Offline
awesome!! -some nic pics there too!
_________________________
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

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#99015 - 03/14/05 04:02 AM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
Wicktrimmer Offline
Great pics, Jancie! Amazing wasnt it.....Gawd, I wanna go backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.
_________________________
Wick

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#99016 - 03/14/05 05:02 AM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
dbdoberman Offline
I overlooked the pix before, great shots, amazing color, you have a wonderful eye. Those sunrises were something, and I loved the blue heron.

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#99017 - 03/14/05 05:14 AM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
luvphins1 Offline
Thank you for the great trip report! We can't wait to go back in May. Wonderful pics also! They remind us of why we loved Belize so much. We took a look at those from Colorado too (since it's our state) and loved them all!

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#99018 - 03/14/05 05:18 AM Re: and yet another trip newbie trip report!
Chloe Offline
Jancie, you caught the magic of Belize, it will stay with you always. Thanks for sharing. Amazing how you sorted thru all the info/posts and knew you wanted to feel/see what we all have.
We get a tad foolish, but we give good help/info.
Now you know and can give away your experiences.
_________________________
Dare To Deviate

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