Monday, April 13, 2009

My Excellent Adventures on the Mainland

To ease everybody’s mind, yes I survived my tour to the mainland of Belize. We did a lot of fun and crazy trips and adventures, so I thought I would write a few blogs about my days on the mainland just to catch everyone up and what I did and explain why I’m so very tired and happy to finally be back at San Pedro. 

I suppose the best place to start with my trip is from the top. We left Pedro’s Inn on Saturday, April 4 around 9:00 am to catch a water taxi from San Pedro to Belize City. Once we reached Belize City, I split off from

 the group with John so we could go to the airport and pick up Allison. I was ecstatic to see her and I could tell she was excited to be in Belize because she’s a much bigger traveler than I, so any chance she has to get out of the country she jumps at.

We then left to meet the rest of the group at Old Belize, which is more or less a tourist destination with a manmade beach and a five-dollar museum that takes two minutes to tour. This was nothing fancy and I was a little sad that this was Allison’s first impression of Belize. However, soon thereafter we got a van to take us to our first tour destination: Caves Branch.

We learned that Caves Branch is a great place because it had a lot of the “out-doorsy” things we wanted to do. When we got there, we realize that we were upgraded to stay in the cabanas instead of the barracks where we originally thought we were staying. This was really cool. These were grass huts with thatched roofs and bunk beds. There was no electricity except for a ceiling fan. We had lanterns for light and we had to take showers in outdoor showers. This was a really cool experience, especially for a guy who loves his TV and fancy amenities. I really enjoyed sleeping there and was upset we only got to spend one night there.

The next morning we all decided on taking different tours. Some people went cave tubing, others we

nt repelling down a cave, and I decided to go on the cave waterfall tour thinking this was my best chance to see a mermaid. While I didn’t see one, I did have an amazing experience. We had to hike about a mile in the jungle to a cave. I learned that you needed to wear long pants for this tour and of course I didn’t bring any. Lucky for me they had some extra pants that I got to borrow. The one catch is that these pants were a shiny blue material that made me look like a competitive speed walker: not a good look. Below is a picture of me in my fancy pants.

I sucked it up and got on the bus to the cave. Once in the cave we had to wear helmets with headlamps on them because, obviously, it is very dark in the caves. We had to crawl, climb, and swim through crevices and stalagmites. This was pretty physically demanding. By far the best of the tour was when we climbed up the waterfalls. We all wondered how we were going to make it back down and figured we would repel down with the climbing rope; boy, were we wrong. They made us jump down from the waterfalls. I’m pretty good with heights, but as soon as I was ready to jump the guide grabbed my shoulder and told me that was about to jump into a pile of rocks under the water. Apparently, that would have been a bad thing. I made a big jump and survived. This was definitely the highlight of the tour for me. I can officially say that I have been spelunking, how cool.

When we got back to the resort we found out that everybody had some really great tours and I think we all were pleased with the excursions we chose. After our excursions we had to pack our stuff because we had to catch a bus to our next destination: San Ignacio.

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