Sunday, June 6, 2010

Belize

I am finally back to reality after a wonderful trip to Belize - a trip that had been planned since January. When my husband and I go on vacation, we look for a truly unique experience. A lot of research is gone into finding just the right place. We found that in 2 resorts in Central America owned by famous film director Frances Ford Coppola. What drew us to these places? They were small and quiet - not cookie cutter all inclusive party places. In your own individual thatched roof cabin, there is no A/C, phone, computer, TV, or radio. You are there to get away from it all, and enjoy nature at it's finest.

Any place worth getting to, can be quite a journey......

We flew from Detroit to Miami, and then from Miami to Belize City. The first resort we were going to spend 3 nights at - Blancaneaux Lodge - was a 2 hour drive from there. From reading the reviews, I knew that many of the roads were unpaved - even washed out at times. But our driver, Theodore, was so informative and pleasant that we hardly minded. He told us all about his diverse country - pointed out citrus farms - and had I not seen it for myself, I would not have believed that Amish farmers settle there!

Once at the resort, we could not believe how beautiful it was. We were welcomed with a wonderful drink called Jaguar Juice at the bar pictured below. Then we were lead to our cabin, complete with an outdoor living space! The local woodwork, textiles and handicrafts/decor were exactly what we love about places like this.


There is a creek that runs through the resort - the Privassion Creek - and Jon had crossed the bridge to the other side to take this photo of me in the gazebo that overlooked the water.
The next morning, we set out on a tour of Barton Creek Cave which was used as an ancient Mayan ritual site. Our guide paddled us about a mile into the cave. It was really enjoyable.
That same day, we decided to hike to a waterfall that you could swim in. I workout regularly, so I thought the 1.5 hour walk would be a piece of cake. Ha! Steep inclines, hopping across rocks in smaller streams, crossing bridges made out of tree trunks - craziness! So, we finally get to the falls and the side we are on is too rocky and steep to get down to the water. So we see that we will have to cross the river further down to get to the other side where we are seeing people get in to swim. I had a moment of "let's just forget it", but it was such a journey to get there.... remember, it's just Jon and I... no guide or anything. So, we strip down to our bathing suits and leave our clothes and shoes laid out on some rocks. You can't see the bottom of the river, so you have no idea how deep it is or where the rocks are. The best thing to do is just get down on all fours and crawl/swim across. Ewww! The rocks were all slimy - yuck! Get to the other side (Jon is ahead of me) and I didn't get a good grip on the rock so I start to get taken down stream!!! Luckily, Jon was able to grab my hand. Scary then, but pretty funny now! So we finally get up as close to the falls as we can, take some pics, and.... it starts pouring.... on all our clothes and shoes. Needless to say, the walk back was not so fun. Once back at the resort, the people were asking us if we took the "road" to get to the falls - what road??? Apparently, there was another road that was easier and would have put us on the right side of the falls where we needed to be. Oh well, we will always have this adventure to look back on.
The next day, we traveled to Guatemala to some gorgeous Mayan ruins at Tikal. To give a little history here, we love sites like this. We would love to visit the pyramids some day. We watch as many shows as we can about these places, and on our honeymoon to Mexico we visited another Mayan site - Chitzen Itza.
Going through Guatemala was visually exciting as well - more unpaved roads, and animals like horses, cows, dogs and chicken roamed about. At the park, you could climb many of the temples. Not usually up the temples themselves for preservation reasons, but they built wooden staircases along the sides. The views were incredible. You can't believe that you are standing on something that is thousands of years old and was built without the modern technology that we have today. You can see the other temples emerge from the treetops. There are thousands of these sites that still have not been found because they are under all of the thick growth. And unfortunately, the country is too poor to put money into excavating them.

These first few days were physically exhausting, but we were well rewarded with wonderful dinners every evening made from the organic garden and wood-burning oven back at the resort.

For the next 3 nights, we moved to the sister resort - Turtle Inn - on the beach. Our little cabin was right on the sand and mere feet from the ocean!

We mostly relaxed, after such busy days previously. We laid under palm trees, swam, searched for shells, read good books, even got 1.5 hour massages from some wonderful Thai ladies! But somehow, we still found enough energy to kayak and snorkel.
Happy hour with the best mojitos mixed by Marco!
We didn't meet any famous movie directors or actors, but we did get our picture taken with this "star"........
This type of trip is not for everyone. When we told some people where we were going, they didn't even know where Belize was! It was rustic, but it still had it's charm and elegance. I do have to admit that the rooms did have one modern amenity - an iPod docking station. But who needs music when you can listen to the local flora and fauna!

3 comments:

TesoriTrovati said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

How awesome is that? I think that 'star' was better than someone stalked by the papparazzi. What a stunning locale. I cannot even imagine going someplace like that. Thanks for taking me on a tour!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Lucid Moon Studio said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow! Your trip to Belize looks amazing! It reminds me of our honeymoon to Costa Rica. We are the same way, we love adventure and staying at neat resorts like that. I definitely want to go there sometime!

Lisa

Erin said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This trip looks AMAZING! So jealous! ;) But I loved hearing all about your adventure! You and Jon are a gorgeous couple!