Never had a charlie horse in my fingers before, maybe I gotta learn to write less? Naaaa!
Woke up at 5:30AM again … no problem.. not a sleepy seed to be had! Good thing as we were to be at the dock at 6:45 for Tanisha Tours to pick us up.
Now a word from our sponsors (aka as unpaid commercial)
If you’re looking for a great day trip to Lamani with lots of stops on the way (remember, it’s not the destination, but the journey) then you might want to think about going with Daniel at Tanisha Tours. He’s incredible source of information, interested in the ecology of the area, from the channels that we went through to get there, and at the site itself) www.tanishatours.com
Now back to your scheduled program.
The trip across the bay was incredible. The colors so unlike the ones that I was use to seeing growing up along the Maine coast. The pics in my album of the bay crossing has not been retouched, that’s it folks, that’s the color! (ouuu … ahhhhh). We were served “journey cakes and fresh squeezed OJ. (I had to ever so discretely take off the tomato slice and Jalapeño pepper). Didn’t dare toss ‘em in the water, wasn’t sure how the local fish population would deal with veggies!
Picture this; there we were, ZOOMING a bazillion MPH toward a groove of mango trees …. and just like magic, Daniel presses the open sesame button, and there is a channel for us to go through. Guessing that the ride through the channel was about 30 minutes. Made lots of stops to catch glimpses of “stuff” …5 small bats lined up on a tree, numerous birds that he spotted just as quickly as “main-landers spot their kids in the mall”.
The first stop was more or less a bathroom stop (use it folks, like ya mama’s said “even ifin ya don’t have to go – squeeze” you may be glad that you did.) There were a couple of places selling souvenirs; I found a nice cross necklace that also had beads worked into it for only $6US. I think that he said that the village had around 85 inhabitants. Wish that I had asked how they ever got to be there in the first place, as it was/is right out in the middle of no where.
Next we boarded “THE BUS” that would take us on our hour ride ‘cross the mainland to the next waiting boat. Bus had AC, kinda like a trickle of a cool breeze. Saw some cattle (man they were way different looking then the critters we have in Ohio. Plus, each one had a lil white bird standing next to it, I kid you not. Like that was their assigned cow, and that was that. No fighting ovah who had the biggest or best on either.) The ride was slow and bumpy, 'cept for the patches of pavement that lasted no longer then 3 minutes at a time. Daniel gave those of us who were interested some more history about the area, like the one small village was just getting ready to have electricity, but maybe not being able to afford it.
A couple of places had lil kids lined up in front waving to us as we went by … big ole smiles on their faces. Wish I had gotten a pic of them, but windows were a bit dusty by this time and probably wouldn’t have come out.
From the bus we went to another, older boat that would take us to the ruins. More channels to go through. Saw a couple of guys fishing the channel, and my motherly instincts kicked in cause there was no way that those boats should be staying afloat!
Saw a pair of great white … heheheh … bet cha thought I was gonna say SHARKS! Nope .. Great White egrets, I missed seeing a croc (how sad for me!). There were some ladies form the Mennonite community on a dock waiting for something. Had to be, it was getting hot in the sun and they were in full black dress, maybe waiting for their summer clothes to come in? Daniel told us that the Mennonite and Amish communities had a strong presence in the area, and couldn’t say enough about what good workers and stewards of the land they are.
Then … then … then … THERE IT WAS! Somewhere ‘tween eating lunch and walking around we were transported to 600BC … THATS BC FOLKS! Amazing place. I’d suggest wearing tennis shoes (aka sneakers) if you’re planning on climbing to the top. Not much to hang onto on the way down, and sandals (even teva’s) in MHO, just aren’t good for that sort of thing. Look at it this way, when ya pack, use the inside of the sneaker for packing stuff like sunscreen, and you really won’t be using up that much extra suitcase space.
Saw a flock, herd, gaggle, hey just what ARE a family of howler monkeys called anyhow? They were just lying around the trees, arms and legs hanging over the sides of the limbs. One baby kept climbing up its mamma’s arm, then dropping into a nest of leaves. It had to be the mamma, who else would let a lil one cling to them in the heat and humidly? To top off the “what we saw” list … a toucan and a tarantula!
Ride back was EVENTFULL … for those of you familiar with boats and motors; our motor was “sucking air” and was into some major stalling out action. Had some “help” from another boat that came along, lots of guys with lots of opinions on what to do. The last resort was some lad who looked to be early teens spent the rest of the trip through the channel pumping the line to “beat the band”. (I think that I heard Daniel mutter something about the guy not taking good care of his boat, and I don’t even speak Spanish! – reminder, this wasn’t Daniels boat, but one that he must contract out to use on that last channel ride)
Now we’re back to the bus (bathroom break .. remember … squeeze) and onto the bus. This time there was no fooling around. Think that the driver musta had a good supper waiting for him at home, and since we were running about an hour late, we didn’t hit the bumps, we sailed right on ovah them. Too much sun and a rum punch (after we left the ruins) made for some wicked funny comments and lots of laughing. Just like a roller coaster except for the heights! AND … it didn’t cost any extra.
Stop …. Get off bus …. BATHROOM break (last one) and then it’s time to board Daniel’s boat. (Everyone used it this time; guess that it was the bouncing and rum punch – hmmm … not Daniel’s boat, the restrooms!)
Got through the channel to the bay just as the sun was setting. Full moon (or close to it) and bright stars made for a great crossing. And again … the “motor trouble” meant that we got to experience a sunset cruise, without having to pay extra.
(Footnote: Daniel doesn’t serve any rum punch until after the tour. Good idea, sun, water, and the heights of the ruins – mixed with an all-you-can-drink rum punch tour, in MHO is a bad mix no matter how you combine them.
And so another day comes to an end …. Lamanai Trip