Mata Chica hosts The Great Adventure

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 41            November 6, 2003

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Cast and crew of The Great Adventure relax at Mata Chica

The producer and crew of The Great Adventure enjoyed their last night on Ambergris Caye, as guests at one of Belize's most prestigious resorts - Mata Chica Resort. Aired in over thirty countries on the Fine Living Network, the program focuses on "adventure by day and fine lodging by night."

    Last Wednesday, The San Pedro Sun seized an opportunity to talk with everyone involved in Belize's episode of The Great Adventure. The show is described as catering to "upscale viewers," whose income averages approximately $100,000US per year. When picking locations, the producer stated that they tend to look for unique experiences that the average tourist would not pick, or places "off the beaten path." The crew just recently finished filming destinations in Italy and will move on to Thailand next. With this in mind, the producer decided to search out a more tropical location and happened upon Belize.

    Producer Erich Recker explained, "What drew us to Belize, was the variety of attractions one could experience in such a small area. Between the rainforest, Maya ruins, spectacular dive sites, caving and one-of-a-kind resorts, Belize has it all."

    This rare aspect was echoed by the couple featured in Belize's episode, Melissa and Dan Thomson, newlyweds who were recently forced to live in separate California cities because of an unplanned job transfer. After submitting a brief biography and filling out a questionnaire regarding their preferences, they were chosen as the perfect couple to participate in the adventure. 

    Director and Cameraman Robert Cammidge and Audio/Cameraman Jetzen O'Connor commented on the amount of sea creatures they found while shooting a snorkeling trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. "This reef is similar to Curacao but with significantly more marine life. We've filmed popular dive sites around the world, and this is definitely one of the best," added O'Connor.

    The Cayo District was also a favorite of the cameramen because of the spectacular landscape, but it was the sound of the rainfall on the leaves at night that enchanted the audio man. 

    Although the crew usually spends the entire trip working, they were able to enjoy some "down time" in San Pedro. This included a relaxing day of fishing followed by traditional Maya cuisine at Elvi's Kitchen, where they boasted sampling some tequila with "Miss Elvi" herself.

    The Great Adventure show combines a variety of travel experiences. The goal of the program is to make the viewer feel like they are the "vacationer". To emphasize this, they often tape interviews with resort employees to give it a more personal touch. In addition, each individual destination is also available for viewing online, complete with detailed information on resorts and tours, at - accessible by typing in the words, "thegreatadventure".       

    The producer also praised the Belize Tourism Board (Melissa, in particular), for their cooperation in organizing this production. He complimented these efforts by saying Belize was one of the smoothest shoots they have ever done.

    The Great Adventure (in Belize) is scheduled to air in late January 2004. Travelers seeking unique experiences that combine adventure, excitement and elegance, may discover "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret" by checking out the show's website for exact times and locations.
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