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. 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

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