Saturday, December 28, 2019

12-28-2019 Windschief Annual Foosball Tournament

It was a small crowd this year, with only three teams playing in the doubles tournament.

There were a few more singles players. This is Oli vs Matt.

Pam vs Mark.

Kendra vs Trevor.

Michael vs Eric.

It was a double elimination and it came down to Eric vs Trevor. All three games were needed for this one, and it came down
to the last ball in each game - a very good match, indeed!

In the end, Eric and Oli won the doubles tournament.

Trevor won the singles tournament.

The three champions!

Scoreboard showing the singles tournament.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

12-22-2019 Sunday Beach Walk in Hopkins

We encountered a most interesting looking spider that was wrapping up a meal for later. We had to Google it, but this is a Gasteracantha cancriformis, a type of orb-weaver spider. It is a female because it has six "spikes" instead of four or five.

Lovely decorations for the nearby beachside restaurant called Fred's Lime Tree.

It was a fairly calm day, which unfortunately meant that the sand flies were out in force.

The dock between Hopkins Bay Resort and Seiri del Mar.

The natural area known as "Hawaii".

Nice views of Gaston's sailboat...

Saturday, December 21, 2019

12-21-2019 Deep South Farms Tour

We went with some friends to Deep South Organic Farms to buy some products, and the owner, Chris (in the orange shirt),
gave us a tour of his 150 acre farm. There is a separate farm for pigs because he doesn't want their waste to contaminate
anything on this farm. There is also a separate farm for shrimp because they need brackish water.

Some of the young chickens. They are also put in large cages on the grounds every day, and the cages moved around for the
chickens to eat any pests plus fertilize the grounds with their poop. In fact, there is no waste here - everything gets used.

A molly apple tree - they also grow coconut trees, cassava, and much more.

One of the farm dogs in front of a duck pond.

Apparently chickens normally only lay eggs for two years, but these have been laying eggs for over five years because of the
natural food that Chris found to work for them. There are cattle in the fields beyond the chickens.

One of many tilapia ponds. There is no waste here, so even the nutrient rich pond water gets sold to other farms to water
their crops.

The farm is beautiful, especially with the Maya Mountains as a backdrop.

Monday, December 16, 2019

12-16-2019 Bread and Butter Cayes Trip

We love to go out to the islands, so we jumped at the chance when some friends invited us to go to Bread & Butter Cayes.

It's a beautiful place to spend the day or the weekend (since they have some rental cabanas).

One of the many resident hermit crabs.

Relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather.

The island owners got two new young parrots as company for the older parrot, Polly.

Chilling and enjoying drinks and a nice pitch-in lunch.

Our friend who is known locally as "Tequila Mike" - he had to return to the U.S. the following day.

Rudy, the resident dog, who is sweet and rambunctious (when he's not napping).

Guests who were staying on the island enjoyed some paddle boarding on the nice, calm water.

The trip back to Hopkins - our captain was Dwayne, one half of the couple who owns the cayes.

The view from the Sittee River Marina, where we enjoyed Happy Hour before diving back into Hopkins.

Monday, December 9, 2019

12-9-2019 Scarlet Macaw Tour

We had heard from multiple people (including guides) that the Scarlet macaws arrived early this year, so a friend organized a
trip for several of us. (During most of the year the birds live in Chiquibul National Park, but January through March they can
be found eating specific fruits in the trees near Red Bank.)

Two carloads of us drove down to Red Bank and picked up our tour guide from Scarlet Macaw Bed & Breakfast.

We stopped at one spot along the road when the guide saw several Scarlet macaws in the trees in the distance. After they
flew off we walked further down the road and then hiked up a big hill to overlook the valley.

These little red berries are one of the fruits the birds come to eat.

Almost to the top... None of us was expecting a big hike.

We were rewarded with the sight of several Scarlet macaws.

Unfortunately, it was overcast, so the colors didn't turn out in our pictures. Only when the birds were flying against the
backdrop of the green trees could you see their full glory - like big flying rainbows.

Ah, the love of a mother and daughter.

When the birds left the area we hiked back down the hill to go to our next location.

Walking the road back to our vehicles.

Our next stop was the Mennonite community of Roseville. This meant a river crossing, which, again, nobody was expecting.

Thankfully both drivers had vehicles that could make the crossing. However, we missed taking a picture of the sign at the
entrance to Roseville which said "Come Well Dressed". We assume that's because it's a Mennonite community who wants
people dressed modestly - fair enough.

We didn't take pictures of any people, but this cow didn't seem to mind our photographs.

Walking toward the hillside where the Scarlet macaws hang out. That is our Maya guide, Rogelio, on the left.

More cattle to greet us at the end of the road.

We saw lots more Scarlet macaws (that didn't photograph well), plus this Toucan (in the center).

A dam on one of the Mennonite farms.

Homemade hydro power.

One last sighting of Scarlet macaws before we left. They squawk loudly, so you hear them coming from a long ways away,
and you have plenty of time to look around and find them.

Rogelio took us to their nearby family farm for a brief tour.

Unfortunately, nobody can remember what our guide called this fruit.

Rogelio compared this fruit to cacao, but the flavor is more like melon. It was good, but we
all agreed that the fruit of cacao is better.

Our very last stop was the "zip line" that people would use to get to and from Roseville as a shortcut, or when the water in
the river is too high to cross.

We were fortunate that someone was crossing back from Roseville (with his bicycle in tow), so we got to see how it worked.
The first half of the trip is quick thanks to gravity, but for the second half of the trip you have to pull yourself across.