In addition to snorkeling and scuba diving, one other thing we’d hoped to do while in Belize was visit some Mayan ruins. Unfortunately (and this is really the only negative to the entire trip), we didn’t realize that many of the tours available from the Turtle Inn depended on others being interested in taking the tour as well. While they were still willing to schedule activities just for you, the cost rapidly shot up if it was only for 2 people.
In the end, we decided to forego any trips to the Mayan ruins or to see wild monkeys and jaguars due to a combination of the cost and the fact that it was pretty hot and sticky during the day. Being in the water was lovely, but we’d already heard some guests complain about the bugs and heat when they went inland. Another day of honeymoon relaxation didn’t sound so bad!
We split our final two days between another day of lounging at the resort and another snokeling trip. The lounging day was greatly enhanced by the fact the morning after the earthquake, we’d packed up our things and moved from our seaview cottage to the seafront “Chinese Matrimonial Suite.” As fabulous as our first cottage was, this one was even better!!
It was SMACK on the ocean (note the proximity of the hammock to the cottage, and that same hammock to the shoreline) and was rather appropriately named the “Iguana” cottage, probably based on this guy and his friends, who we saw on multiple occasions throughout the week:
It also had this behemoth of a bed, the namesake of the “Chinese Matrimonial Suite” in the first place. It is a Chinese fertility bed. (Don’t get any ideas people, there are no buns in this oven yet.) Anyway, the real point of showing this photo is to demonstrate the mosquito net, which we only used on our final night in Belize. The bugs, which were not bad for the first part of our trip, took to my legs with a vengeance over the final couple days.
After we moved to this cottage, we didn’t need to sit by the pool anymore. Between the hammock out front and the many comfortable chairs on our porch, we were happy to stay at our own cabana. The short move from our original cabana to the oceanfront also gave us access to the constant, pleasant breeze off the ocean. Sitting in the shade with that breeze was heavenly.
That afternoon I finally decided to try the outdoor shower, which we hadn’t used in the previous cottage. I walked out into our private garden, turned on the water, and stuck my head underneath. Immediately, a FROG fell on my head. While I’m don’t usually have a problem with frogs, let’s just say that the frog was not something I had planned on getting up close and personal to while I was naked. And thus, that was the end of the outdoor shower experiment. 🙂
The infamous outdoor shower
Before we had to leave Belize, we also went snorkeling a second time, and were fortunate enough to get to visit a different island. After a 45 minute boat ride, we approached the Silk Cayes. The island we pulled up to looked like this:
Seriously. That was the ENTIRE island. I walked around the whole place during our lunch break and it took me three minutes. That, my friends, is a small island. Doesn’t it look like something out of a cartoon, where you’d expect to see a guy with a long messy beard writing messages in bottles?
Sadly, we did not have another underwater camera for this trip, and the battery in my digital camera died just after we arrived so I only have a couple photos from that day. The snokeling, however, was amazing. Because we’d traveled farther offshore — 20 miles, all the way out to the edge of the reef, instead of the 12 miles on previous days — we were lucky enough to see a wider array of sea life. In additional to the many kinds of fish we were used to seeing at this point, we saw:
- Reef squid! A half dozen of them, all in a line, and I swear they were looking at us. As I swam around them, they seemed to turn their bodies to keep their eyes on me.
- A bright green moray eel! Our guide saw him free-swimming, but by the time we followed his pointing finger, the eel had retreated into a hole. We still saw his head sticking out though.
- A nurse shark! At the end of the day, we motored over next to a fishing boat that was cleaning its catch. The shark was there, and we splashed into the water for a closer look. He kept his distance, and so we really only saw the shadow of a shark, which in a way was creepier.
- Sting rays! And spotted eagle rays! They were attracted by the fishing boat as well, and swam in circles around our group. They were awesome, and could put on quite a burst of speed if they wanted to.
As a bonus, on the boat ride back in our guide spotted dolphins leaping out of the water a quarter mile away. We zoomed over to them to watch, and then played a game of chase. Apparently the dolphins like to “race” the boat, so he revved the engine and we drove around in wide circles while the dolphins zoomed back and forth alongside. It was awesome.
Sadly, the time finally came to leave the Turtle Inn. (I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good quiet place to relax.) In talking to one of the women who worked at the resort earlier in the week, we’d learned that Belize does have a kind of rainy season that starts in June. Some years it starts right on June 1, she said, and some years it is a few days later. We left on June 1 and, as if on cue, there was an enormous thunderstorm the night before. The lightning and thunder were constant, and when it woke us in the wee hours of the morning, we noticed that someone had come around during the night to pull down the curtains surrounding the porch. Despite that, our porch was still covered in puddles the next morning. It was the first time it had rained all week, and the first time we’d woken up to a cloudy sky. After a final relaxing breakfast, we headed back to the Placencia airstrip. I think this picture below captures the first time in a week that Jose had anything on his feet besides sandals.
We had a couple hours to kill in the Belize City airport, so we bought a few final souvenirs from the airport shops and Jose enjoyed a final Belikin Beer before we bid Belize adieu. I certainly hope that we’ll be back someday.
You can enjoy my entire set of Belize photos on Flickr, or just use the photobrowser below: