Saturday, August 27, 2016

8-26-2016 Unexpected Dinner Party

Earlier in the week we had made plans with a couple friends to get together and discuss the
online listings for one of our friends' vacation rental. Unbeknownst to us, however, it had just
naturally turned into a dinner party throughout the day. So, we came over to a veritable feast
with wonderful company.

Simonetta and Tatiana were our hosts and the main cooks.

We enjoyed a couple different types of fish, potatoes, marinated string bean salad, two kinds of
fresh greens salads, and homemade hummus with chips.

We failed to take pictures of the rest of the evening, including the great company, but our friend Roi Brooks (a professional photographer) did, so here's a link to the photos he posted on Facebook.

It was a lovely evening with friends. We talked, we laughed, we ate, we drank, we listened to music, we sat  out (or laid down) and watched the stars and the Milky Way. It all seemed absolutely perfect until we got home and Cara found and had to kill two scorpions in the bathroom before she could use the facilities and go to bed.  :(  Ah well, at least Cara found the scorpions in the bathroom, instead of one of them finding us in our bed!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

8-7-2016 104 Turtles hatched

Today was a strange day and thus there are two posts for this day.  After the heat went out of the sun at about 4:30 we walked into the village.  Soon Sabrina called and said the turtles were coming out.  They had been laid on Fathers day and we have a post about that on this blog.

When we got there many turtles had been collected in this cooler.  The experts told us that they need some time to regroup before setting out on their ocean life.

You can never get a good picture because they are wriggling like mad

Cute little guy

The mother was as big as a kitchen table!

People were digging them out and handing them off

Most of them hatched and there was a pile of egg shells

Everybody took a turn at digging

We dug and dug into the night

Then we released them by the sea

They all took off right for the sea!

Good luck with a long life little turtles

8-7-2016 Waterfall Hike in Bocawina

This Adventure Sunday our friend Emma wanted to hike to a waterfall. (Cara went with Emma, Shelly, Bryan, Cheryl, and her daughter Khaya, but Eric had a headache so he stayed home.) We planned to hike the Tiger Fern Trail in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, but the park was closed due to storm damage, so we headed over to Mayflower Bocawina National Park. We thought we would hike up to Antelope Falls, but apparently everyone else had the same idea because there were three vans of people from a resort in Hopkins that were also doing that trail. So, we looked at our other options and decided to try a longer hike in a different area to Big Drop Falls.

This is the trailhead to Big Drop Falls, and the trail also passes three other waterfalls!

A pretty shell Cara noticed on the trail

Not too far on the trail you come to Lower Bocawina Fall.

Lower Bocawina Fall

We stopped here only briefly because we were focused on Big Drop Falls, but Bryan took a quick dip in the pool.

We continued on the Laguira Geigusi Trail, which means "Tears of the Jaguar" (in Garifuna, it
sounds to Cara).

Lovely cup mushrooms

We passed two other waterfalls, and the higher up we got the more storm damage we encountered
 (from Hurricane Earl).

Shelly commented that Earl created quite an obstacle course for us. (She is in the pink top at the left.)  Eventually, we got to
a point where we lost the trail. There were too many downed trees, so you couldn't see where the trail was supposed to go, and
you couldn't see the next ribbon trail marker. So, we bailed and headed back.

Khaya hiked a fair distance by herself, but she eventually ended up in Cheryl's child backpack.

On the way back down Cara and Bryan briefly checked out Tears of the Jaguar Fall. It was a very
steep trail, and Cara hiked down backwards, holding onto the provided ropes the whole way. It
was quite a workout, and Cara knew instantly she would be feeling it for days.

Looking from the trail down at Bryan at the bottom - can you see him waving?

Tears of the Jaguar Fall

Tears of the Jaguar Fall

Our last stop was Upper Bocawina Fall, and we spent a good while there.

One of several natural swimming pools at Upper Bocawina Fall

The swimming pool at the base of the main fall.

Looking down at the main pool from higher up in the fall

Emma saw Khaya on Cheryl's back and commented that we're not so far removed from the
monkeys as we might think. True, true.

After a quick snack we packed up and headed back down the trail.

Cara and Bryan stopped briefly to admire the beauty of the valley. It didn't show up in any
pictures, but because of this quick stop Cara and Bryan amazingly saw a green snake up in a tree
catch a small bird. It was a life and death struggle, but it probably did not end well for the bird.

Note: Thanks to Emma for letting Cara use some of her photos. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

8-5-2016 Impromptu Beach Wedding

On the Thursday morning following Hurricane Earl, while we were without electricity and just hanging out at Mark's palapa bar, we met a couple from Texas walking the beach. The couple, Jim and Terri, were supposed to get married at Jaguar Reef (a fancy resort) later that afternoon, but the minister was in Belize City and could not make it due to the devastation up there. So, they had a venue, but no minister, and they were trying find one. We tried to find someone local that could marry them, and we did, but then they didn't need him because, unbeknownst to the couple, while they were talking to us the resort was trying to fix things as well. So, Jim and Terri thought they had everything set up to get married the next day, but when they woke up Friday morning the resort cancelled on them, so then they had a minister but no venue. Our friend Dexter, who thought he was going to be the (acting, not official) minister on Thursday, ended up being a fantastic wedding planner on Friday. Since we helped, we all got invited to the wedding.  :)

The wedding ended up being held at Driftwood Beach Bar & Pizza Shack, which turned out to be perfect.

Dexter had Rastaman (a local artist/craftsman) and Sonny (who works at Driftwood) help him get things set up. They laid out
dried coconuts to make an aisle, and they made four beautiful arches out of coconut palm fronds. The woman who made the
bouquet picked flowers from her garden to decorate the arches as well.

Wedding planners and wedding party

The bride, Terri, and "her girls"

The bride getting walked down the aisle

The minister was able to make it from Belize City to officially marry them.

A local dog didn't realize he wasn't invited to the wedding, and he butted right in.

More dogs joined the wedding party.

Exchange of vows and wedding rings

Newlyweds Terri and Jim

The guys (including the locals who made the wedding happen: Rastaman, Dexter and Sonny)

The ladies

The bride with Kim, the woman who made the bouquet

Dexter with the happy couple

Local drummers were hired for the evening's entertainment - a nice touch.

It was a beautiful wedding and a very fun night!
Congratulations Jim and Terri!!!  We wish you a lifetime of happiness together!

P.S. Thanks to our friend Mark for letting us use some of his pictures in this post.