Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Well, this is it...

The last Belize post.

Don't stop checking the blog, as I have lots more to add once I get stateside and settled.

Well over 1000 pictures to sort through, lots of stories to tell, and hopefully fill in some blanks.

But now, I need to pack, then do the Belizean version of the perp walk down the pier to the boat, to start the journey home...

I have made a lot of friends, hopefully not a lot of enemies.

Stay in touch, drop me an e-mail, comment on the blog etc.


Give me a few days to shift gears from the "go slow" mantra here, to the crazy fast life stateside.

Ohh, and about Belize? I'll be back. . .

Monday, December 1, 2008

A day at the beach and National Park Tour

I went after a bike to ride down to the turtlemans house. Right next to the bikes I spotted this guy. He posed for me, so I felt obligated to grab a shot.

This is a view of the turttleman's rental, $150 us, night

This is Daniel, the turtleman's oldest. He helped me place a geocache very near here. I named the cache "Daniel's Belize Cache" He will watch over it for me when I am not around. I know it is in great hands.

National Park Tour

Because of all the work we have done in the area, determining boundaries, Sueno del Mar purchasing and installing signs, they offered to take a few of us on a tour of the National Park.

I am hopeful that the information I collected will allow me to get Belize's first earthcache ever posted. http://www.earthcache.org/ for more information about earthcaches.

We are situated inside the second largest barrier reef in the world. A few miles from here, the reef actually hits land.

Because of the reef hitting the land, we can not get to the National Park from here inside the reef. The preferred way to reach the Park Museum is to travel by boat on the lagoon side of the island.

Since we are already North on the island, this would require a 12 mile boat ride towards town, then about a 12 mile boat side on the lagoon side, for a total 24 mile tour one way.

From our location, we have a couple of other options.

Exit the inter-reef area, and go out to the open ocean via couple of cuts (or openings) in the reef.

Navigating these cuts is tricky, as all around the cuts is coral reefs, the very reef we are trying to protect. (I'll get to the other option in a bit)

We had an excellent captain, and he expertly navigated our little boat in the open ocean, with waves that were well above us and into and past the outer reef area.

It was much to rough and way to wet to risk taking any pictures while we were in the open ocean. This shot was after we were back inside the protection of the reef.

Ambergris Caye was initially purchased to be used as a coconut plantation. This part of the island had lots of Palm trees, in fact if you look at it on Google earth, you can still see the trees are planed somewhat in rows. This is some of the beaches in the National Park, formally known as the Pinkerton estates.

We are about to enter the cut, at the end, this cut was hand, dug by the Mayans with flint rock tools and allowed Ambergris Caye to become an island.

To the left is Belize and the right is Mexico. This gives you some idea how narrow the cut gets in places.

Just some of the birds we saw.

This is the last piece of Belize, next stop Mexico!

This is the new walkway to one of the Mayan burial sites.

They call this a trail... glad we had a guide!

The burial site. This is one of seven in the park that has been discovered to date.

Approaching the museum. It is also another burial site.

The sign for the national park.

One of the many displays inside.

Tools (flint rock) and pottery. They also have an intact bowl that isn't on display that has gold on it.

Entering into the lagoon.

See the well marked trail ahead? No worries, I didn't either!

On the "well marked trail through the jungle, this leads from the lagoon to the ocean.

At last, the ocean. Its about a 3.5 mile walk from here back to the villa.

My understanding is that many of the Cruise ships dump there trash overboard. This is on one of the cruise ship routes.

A bunch of Cubans escaped Cuba on this ship. Just a few days into the journey, the motor quit. The trip took 23 days, they made a makeshift sail. They threw the motor overboard when it quit so they could sail faster. Once the make landfall, they scatter in the jungle, because if the get caught, they will be exported back to Cuba.

This Cuban boat is right outside a fairly new residence. Note the wind generator in the background. No power, phone, etc this far away from town, so if you build here, it is 100% on your dime for all utilities.

Outside the greenreef building. No, that's not a geocache that floated away.. or if it is, it was already emptied.
Monday: First Aid for Sueno del Mar Staff

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sueno del Mar - First Aid!

19 guests left today, something I am not looking forward to is leaving...

In an effort to improve the medical care at Sueno del Mar. I met with members and guests of Sueno and worked on guidelines, skills equipment review and scenarios.

Everyone was very appreciative and it was a true learning experience for everyone.

View from building one, kayakers, the hobie and the pier.

Lunch... the first fish he caught, the chef cooked it for him. He devoured it.
The bar at the 18th latitude, all Belize hardwood.

Capt, and 1st mate of our excursion.

Saturday, November 29, 2008



All that portion of the Caribbean Sea and Land being Ambergris Caye, in theBelize District, comprising approximately 28,148 acres and bounded on the North by the International Boundary between Belize and Mexico; on the East by a 1,207metres (3/4 miles) buffer east of the reef crest; on the South by the Caribbean Sea, parts of Robles and parts of land now or formerly known as the Pinkerton Estate; and on the West by a north-south line between Ambergris Caye and Deer Caye.

I spent most of my day working on determining where the South park boundary was. Dinner guests at Thanksgiving were staff from the park. There was some question on where the park began, and where it ended.

We had some pretty sketchy details as far as some landmarks, but nothing decisive. We discovered some documentation on lat/lon but it was based on North American Datum 1927, based at Meads Ranch Kansas! (Yes, I have been to the point and seen the markers).

Needless to say, we needed some updated coordinates. While I am sure the new coordinates I determined are not 100% accurate, it was much better than we had going into it.

Three of us took off to the waters to identify and install a couple of buoys to identify the South side of the park.

This is a very important step, as inside the park is protected waters. Kinda hard to protect if you don't know the boundaries.

Another day, another civic duty done

Thanksgiving in Belize

Thanksgiving Belizean Style.

We had wine and olive tasting, dancers (I took video, so I didn't get any stills) and dinner.

Everyone cleaned up pretty well, and it's time to start the party!

Wine tasting and olive tasting.

Five different desserts, pineapple upside down cake, chocolate cake, carrot cake, cupcakes and more.

Salad and stuffing

Rice and beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, bacon wrapped lobster kabobs, chicken rolls, and turkey.

Sueño del Mar Family & Friends Holiday Outreach

We are "adopting" ten local families for Christmas.

Several local churches identified these needy families that we have selected.

Large colorful wash buckets are in the palapa with individual family information to help you make appropriate gift contributions.

Suggested items:
Non-perishable food (canned goods, rice, sugar, flour, beans)
Toys (books, dolls, school supplies, candy, cars/trucks, craft supplies, games, crayons)
Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, cologne)
Paper Goods & Cleaning Supplies (toilet paper, paper towels, sponges, cleaners)
Linens (sheets, towels, kitchen towels/hotpads)
Kitchen Essentials (bowls, flatware, cookware, utensils)
Grocery Gift Certificate

Please no: * Alcohol /Tobacco * Cash * Perishables

You do the shopping and deliver to the palapa and Sueno volunteers will make deliveries by Monday, December 22.

The first donated item.

Notice a resemblance?

The party after the party.

Friday morning sunrise

Calm seas during sunrise.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Weds - Dinner Boat

A couple of times a week Sueno del Mar has a late night boat to town, to allow those that might want to visit San Pedro in the evening for dinner, etc.
One of the owners here had made a connection to a guy he use to work with back in 85 from Bolder Co. It sounded like a long shot, but we decided to try to find the place.

We didn't have a lot of details about the new place, but went in search of it anyway.

We found it, it is about 2.5 miles North of town. They haven't been open very long, but we were willing to try the place.

Sign for the place off the golf cart trail.

Cart side entrance - Bella Vista Resort.
We started with a few tapas (appetizers) This was Baked Artichoke Parmesan dip. It was fabulous. We also had bacon wrapped dates and another one that the name escapes me, but something with ham.
This was the two entrees, one was the pirate sandwich, (excellent) the other was paella, a rice dish. Both were very good. (Don't let my taste for rice influence you on this dish. Some at our table said it was the best they have ever eaten.)
Three small scoops of vanilla ice cream with rum caramelized pineapple and two dollops of creamy carmel. WOW, this was great!
Bruce, one of the owners and the Chef from Spain.
If you get a chance, give this place a try, I think you will be pleased.