Monday, March 05, 2012

Vacation Day 9: Belize
On our last trip to Belize we went to the Altun Ha ruins. There are lots of ruins throughout the western Caribbean area and many of them are very impressive. Altun Ha is kind of small but they were fun because you could climb them. I’d read that Lamanai was much better but it’s also quite a bit further from the port. I looked for a trip and finally found one: Fantasea Belize. I was told we should get off the ship as quickly as possible to ensure that we’d have plenty of time at the site.

When we arrived in Belize we were greeted by absolutely gorgeous weather. Clear and warm with a nice breeze. We were able to get off the ship on what I believe was the first tender and pretty quickly found our guide for the day. He explained that we’d be driving about an hour then taking a boat for about an hour to get to the site. G slept in the car which was good and then we arrived at Ecotours who were to provide us with the boat transportation to the ruins. We were frustrated to find out that they were expecting another group from our ship and we had to wait for them. As it turned out we ended up waiting almost 45 mins which would really cut into our time at the site. Bummer. While we were waiting, G amused herself creating a path with giant leaves she collected. She was very proud of the result and somewhat miffed when we returned a few hours later and it had been raked away
On the positive side the hour long boat ride was awesome! We saw spider monkeys. In fact another boat we were alongside at the time brought bananas and they jumped into the boat to get them! We also saw tons of beautiful birds and a crocodile. G loved the boat ride. The kid just really loves to be in, on and around the water. I call her my little mermaid :-)

Once we arrived at the ruins we had a quick island style lunch of chicken cooked in jerk sauce, rice with beans, papaya and fried plantains. Yum!!! Then it was time to walk up to the site. Our guide knew nothing at all about the ruins but the other group’s did so we followed along behind him. The ruins are more impressive than Altun Ha, taller and with more detail. We got to see the mask temple??? And the taller one appropriately named the High Temple. Since we were a bit short on time I climbed it and Bobby stayed on terra firma with G. If we would have had more time I think we would have dragged her up there with us. Going up was quicker and easier than I thought it would be. I just held on really tight to that rope :-) but the view from the top was to die for!!! We only had the one camera so I couldn’t take pix but it was awesome!

The speck at the top is me!

Bobby snapped this one on my way down. Getting down was a little harder than going up.

After that it was back to the boat for a much faster ride back and then, of course, another almost hour car drive back to the port.

It was a long day. It was very interesting and I’d recommend it to others. In fact, I’d really like to go back on a land vacation so we could spend a lot more time there exploring. There were other sections of the site we did not get to visit which was unfortunate and I didn’t get to step foot in their gift shops –oh the tragedy ;-) We were just about the last people back on the ship… again.

After a quick shower we were off to dinner. The food was super tasty: filet mignon and fried shrimp. Yummy!! As has become our routine, G eats dinner and then skips dessert preferring to be taken to the kids club for fun! We then sat and had our dessert –warm chocolate melting cake –then walked around, looked at pix, and hit the show. The show was really good this time. It was a juggler show called Evolution but it was very unusual and the guy was super funny. I’d told G that the show was probably going to be fun so she actually had the counselor call us –Carnival gives you a phone that works on the ship—to come pick her up and she watched the end.

What a great day!!!

Tomorrow: Isla Roatan

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