Monday, April 25, 2005

Our welcome to the blue seas and jewel like cayes of Belize Posted by Hello

The remarkably stunning Ambergris Caye west coast Posted by Hello

The waiting room at Belize International Airport Posted by Hello

I'm leaving on a jet plane... Posted by Hello

Relax..don't worry! Posted by Hello
After a gruelling journey from London to JFK, then a ‘lovely’ stay at an airport hotel at La Guardia, followed by a flight to Houston – we were finally on our way to Belize. It was a quick acclimatisation to the heat, which involved me going to the ladies toilet to change into my shorts and sandals and then a panic when I realised I had left all my money in the toilet. Fortunately no one took it and we saw that as a good omen on which to start our trip.

The first person to greet us ...Iguana Rocks Posted by Hello
Maya had never been on a small plane before and was a bit apprehensive, especially when her seat belt didn’t work. This was followed by a conversation with a lady sitting near her who said ‘Don’t worry, I’ve been in this plane when it’s crashed before. It was fine, everyone just got out and walked back to shore’. Never mind – we made it to AC, grabbed a cab and headed for our first destination. Mata Rocks.

The view from our room at Mata Rocks Posted by Hello
We were greeted by the wonderful staff there. I cannot praise them enough. We dumped our stuff in our room, dipped our feet in the sea and headed off to Elvi’s Kitchen. The food was good, the staff were lovely but it felt expensive and geared towards USA tourists.

Our first sunrise on Ambergris Caye. Posted by Hello
We got up for every sunrise in Belize. In fact on the first few nights we got up at 4am and hung out with the hotel’s security guard, communicating as best we could with our limited Spanish and her limited English. Nevertheless we had fun exploring under the pier with our torches in the moonlight.

Breakfast at Mata Rocks beach bar - The Squirrel's Nest Posted by Hello

Mata Rocks preparing for my first open water dive Posted by Hello
The Squirrel’s Nest is Mata Rock’s fab little beach bar. It is usually buzzing with people and we met some truly gorgeous people from the northern USA and Canada who were escaping the freezing weather.

It was really tough relaxing on Ambergris Caye Posted by Hello
The beach at Mata Rocks is small, cute and perfectly formed. We enjoyed paddling and we took the opportunity to snorkel at Victoria House Hotel’s pier, which has a surprising number of interesting fish under it. We ate at their bar restaurant a couple of times and while expensive, the food was superb. We had our first conch ceviche there and loved it.

our snorkel guide spearing a lobster Posted by Hello
During our week on Ambergris Caye:
We went snorkelling to Hol Chan in a glass-bottomed boat.

colourful coral Posted by Hello
I did my diving certification with Pro Tech. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Hol Chan fish Posted by Hello

The SAGA animal shelter. They are doing a great job with few resources. Posted by Hello

An Ambergris Pot Licker looking for a new home at the shelter. Posted by Hello
We visited SAGA Animal Shelter.

This is 'The Cut' Posted by Hello

This Neighbourhood Watch sign gave us pause for thought Posted by Hello

Music played on the sea always sounds better - The Palapa Bar Posted by Hello

This dog couldn't wait for the hand ferry to carry him across so he jumped ship and swam Posted by Hello

Then hand ferry across the cut. Posted by Hello

Hammock House is a funky place to have a drink if you need a break heading up north Posted by Hello

This horse is waiting for his owner on the other side of the hand ferry Posted by Hello
We walked to the south and hired a golf cart for the day to go to the North. Up north we saw some great houses, bounced around a lot in big potholes, visited the Palapa Bar and ate some BBQ at Hammock House. We watched the ferry traffic jam. On one of our crossings a local dog joined the group on the hand ferry, but when it wasn’t moving quickly enough, he jumped off and swam.

The lagoon is beautiful at sunset Posted by Hello

Everyone joins in with the painting during Carnival in San Pedro Posted by Hello