Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary in Belize!

This morning we woke up super early again and were greeted by this

What a wonderful anniversary present, huh?  By the time I got my camera it was fading a little, but it was a beautiful double rainbow.  Today we were in Belize and we were going to tour the Lamanai Ruins.  I didn't feel quite myself this day, and apparently had an allergic reaction to something because my face was swollen to twice it's size.  I took some benedryl at breakfast, and we were off to explore.  This day we didn't actually dock at the port.  We anchored out and got a tender boat to shore.  I think there were 3 ships there that day, so the earliest one docked and the other 2 anchored.  We got to shore and found our tour guide "Captain Chino".  We took an hour long bus ride through Belize City.  They had a lot of flags up and he said that the night before they had celebrated their Independence Day.  They celebrated from September 1st until the 21st.  He said there were somewhere around 75,000 people that come out to celebrate.  This was by far THE HOTTEST place we went. 

Our ship (and another) anchored off the coast of Belize

After the bus ride we rode down the Belizean River for the next hour, stopping to spot lots of wildlife along the way.  We saw iguanas, monkeys, birds, and even a baby crocodile. We felt kind of like Swamp People.  Jeremy suppressed the urge to yell "Choot 'em!"  (If you watch this show, you know what I mean). 

We had been warned well in advance to bring our bug spray, and we were glad we did.  Once we got into the jungle they were everywhere!  Even after coating ourselves with repellent, I still managed to get quite a few bites.  Along the path to the ruins we saw all kinds of critters.  Right before we went into the canopy we saw a huge black tarantula.  Capt. Chino told us that even the hairs on this one are poisonous.  If he brushed by you the hairs would stick into whatever they touch, kind of like porcupine quills, and begin to deliver the venom.  Lovely.  Needless to say I was on spider watch the entire day.  We also saw a line of army ants.  The kind that can devour an entire horse in 24 hours. We came out of the jungle into a huge opening, and there loomed a gigantic pyramid.  It is amazing to me how accurate they could be with the primitive tools they must have used.  This was the smaller of the 2 we saw, but it was massive.  The Mayans had carved jaguar faces into the front, to ward off evil. 

Captain Chino pointing out the jaguar

We spent a few minutes here, then continued on to the next one.  This one was 3 times the size of the first.  Capt. Chino told everyone to "climb at your own risk", so Jeremy took off.  I did manage to go up to the first level, but after that it was all Jeremy.  There was a rope to help you climb because it was sooo steep.  Jeremy made it up to the top and took some pictures.  Heights are not my friend, and for that matter neither are stairs, so I took some pics from my level also.  This is the dreaded point where my camera started to malfunction.  At first I couldn't use the screen, only the view finder.  Then it wouldn't let me review what was on my memory card.  From then on, we used the smaller camera and prayed my pictures would turn out.  Which they did, but I think my camera is a lost cause.  After our mile and a half jungle trek we got back on the boat.  It was so nice to have the breeze from the river after the heat from the jungle!  We ate lunch at the little hut where the bus and boats meet to transfer passengers.  It was good, but it was almost to hot to eat anything.

That's Jeremy standing at the top

Jeremy's view from the top

After lunch, we boarded our bus once again for our hour long ride back to the dock.  Capt. Chino announced this was the time on the tour for a siesta, and most people took advantage of it (Jeremy included).  We must have pulled back into the city about the same time their schools dismissed because there were children in uniforms all over the streets.  We passed one school that was just girls, and their uniforms were pink and purple.  How Mia would love that!  I tried to take some pictures from the bus as we rode along, but most didn't turn out too well. 

     We got back to the ship and got ready for our anniversary dinner.  We had made reservations at Cagney's Steak House.  It was the best meal we had all week.  We ate dinner and reminisced about what our dinner was like on our wedding night 10 years ago.  After a long drive we ended up ordering room service that night.  We had snacked on our reception basket that our caterer had packed us for the drive, so we weren't all that hungry.  We ended up sharing a cheeseburger and fries!  At dinner I still wasn't feeling extremely well, and hiking through the jungle didn't help either, so we went back to the room.  We did ask the waiter to take our picture, but my face was so swollen I will not be sharing that little gem here.  I am so glad we booked a room with a balcony.  It was nice to have fresh air in my pj's instead of going up on deck with 2000 other cruisers.  I think we were both getting a little homesick by this point.  Even with me not feeling well and both of us missing home, we had a wonderful anniversary.

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