We rode in bumpy waves fourteen miles out to the barrier reef, and snorkeled there in the scorching sun. I had never done it or ever even worn flippers, so I was kind of nervous and kept getting water in my tube! Our guide went with us and we saw so many colorful fish – also barracuda, nurse shark, sting rays, and some kind of spotted ray that swam by us so gracefully. It’s so quiet under water that it’s hard to be aware of danger. Coral that looked like brains.
We stopped at an island called South Water Caye, which was a paradise. All white sand and palm trees, where there is a marine biology station. But no one was there, and we could just relax there and eat lunch. Our guide threw out a net when we saw a rain of fish and caught some bait fish, which he later used to fish a two-foot barracuda out of the water where we were snorkeling.
Once back home, we were sunburned and tired, but showered and jumped on our bikes to go try the “Curve Bar,” a newish place down the road near the river. It was awesome!
Matt had fishburgers and I had salad with blackened barracuda – barracuda is delicious! A photo shoot was going on there for the new website, and the photographer took pictures of us eating our meal.
Other ex-pats were there eating, including a young couple from New York City who had auctioned off all their belongings to move to Belize.
Our Belizean waiter was disappointed because a crocodile he had been feeding, named “Junior,” had not shown up that afternoon for the photographer – the restaurant is on a dock over the river. As the waiter was at our table cleaning, he suddenly shouted, “there he is!”
Sure enough, Junior was “parked” near some steps at the edge of the river waiting for his food.
At least six feet long, his eyes glowed in the dark like a cat’s. The waiter ran to get the meat he had saved, and Matt went down to the river’s edge to observe the feeding. Got some good pictures because he was hanging around for a while, swimming below our table and occasionally going back to the steps hoping to get more food.
As it happened, on the way to the restaurant I had heard some noise in the water near the path, which is bordered by mangroves, trees that grow in water and where the crocs like to “hang out.” Now certain it had been a croc, we were a little nervous about riding our bikes back in the dark! We made it home, though, carrying flashlights. Then the electricity went out at our house so it was candles and early to bed.
Today we were picked up by our guide and drove to the Guatemalan border to see the beautiful Mayan ruins. The countryside inland is gorgeous – green, unspoiled and mountainous. Took many pictures, including ones of howler monkeys in the trees. Our guide at the ruins showed us how to find big holes in the ground, vibrate a stick inside, and make emerge…a tarantula! Huge furry spiders.
The people are poor here, and many not highly educated. Still, they speak three to four languages, including dialects that have nothing to do with their ethnic groups. It’s amazing to listen to them talking.
Matt’s dog bite is healing well. However, he was advised by a guy at the croc bar last night who works for the humane society to do the rabies shots upon our return.