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Thread: Belize 4-13 Honeymoon Trip

  1. #1

    Default Belize 4-13 Honeymoon Trip

    After the blessing of my new bride, we were blessed with being able to take a couple of weeks off for our honeymoon and go to Belize.

    The journey began on a double bike all decked out with streamers, cans a draggin, all under a barrage of firework sparklers and loud words of encouragement. We hopped into a Very decorated Xterra around the corner and ended up at the historic Gaslight Inn in downtown Glendale at our very large honeymoon suite. The interior was all old wood and antique furniture with a full living room and kitchen and flat screen TV's. We spent a couple of nights there and Yellowsub (sis) took us to the airport to begin our international journey.

    We arrived in Belize City and stayed at a bed and breakfast there called D'Nest Inn. The lady and family that ran it were sweet but there was nothing located around it. We ended up walking to the closest restaurant which was somehow a Lebanese joint, stopped at a grocery store to grab some supplies and then returned before dark. We sat on the patio and watched the crocodile and the catfish swim around.

    The main reason to stop there for the night had to do with our plan to bus down the countryside to the southern end for our jungle lodge stay. We believed we were taking the James Express bus at 5:15 but the driver informed us it was only "mostly express." That meant it was still just an old school bus and that still stopped for 95% of people on the road who waved it down.

    It still only took us the 6hrs to bus down to Punta Gorda to meet up with our "taxi" who would take us to the river boat to finish our journey off. We had expected to take in some sights and country side on the bus ride, but it turned out to not have much visual appeal at all.

    Our taxi driver picked us up in an old beat up Mitsubishi van with the sliding door propped open. He was super friendly and insisted that we stop by his house to see his family and land. It was quite impressive with all of his hand built Mayan housing and gardens and his captured wild gibnut.

    A short while down the dusty road from there we arrived at the boat which took us about 20minutes upstream to Cotton Tree Lodge. They had rum punch waiting for us and we were shown to our reserved honeymoon suite. The lodge was set up very well. A raised path led you to each standalone suite and building. Meals were all included in our package and dinners were fancy 3 coursers. Our digs were pretty large and even had a pretty kick ass jacuzzi in the middle of the jungle in a thatch roof bungalow on stilts.

    There was a dock, rope swing, gardens, livestock, jungle paths, free kayaks and bikes, and tours available. I got the feeling we were atypical resorters when instead of going on the tour we asked for a packed lunch and the kayaks. The concierge girl looked offended and scared, especially since we told her we had no idea when we would be coming back. It turned out, that day we paddled up the river 5mi exploring along the way, then hiked to a small village. We made it back just before sundown.

    We swam a lot there and chilled about here and there. We took one guided trip to the Blue Creek Cave which was awesome. We had to swim inside it for about 30min until reaching the end at a large waterfall. Our guide, Pop, was great and in sensing my adventurism, asked if I "wanted to jump." Not knowing what that meant, I said yes and I followed him free-climbing in the dark up the wall and then into a small tunnel. There were blind crabs in the puddles up there and after walking along the sharp cave rock, we came to a ledge with the water and the other cavers below. The jump was more fun in the dark and I could tell at least one of the girls below was impressed.

    After returning to the sunlight, we began hiking back to the vehicle. I convinced Pop to stop at a rope swing and jump spot along the way back. It was beautiful there and the water was super clear and tinted blue. Staying near there would be pretty awesome in the future.

    At the lodge we swam some more and then decided break off into the jungle to track down the howler monkeys who had been pretty vocal but shy during our stay. Howler was a pretty loose descriptor of the noise we heard them making off in the jungle. Noel swore that they were actually raptors, that no living animal could possibly make that noise. The lodge staff said they didn't know why they made noise and only lent that they weren't "that big, just loud," as they held up their hands to measure out the size of about two feet. In the dark jungle depths we finally located the tree that we heard a couple monkeys in but they were too high above the canopy and out of sight. I found a very tall vine to shake and that may have angered them a bit. When they came into view, I saw two black animals hollering angrily at me, each at least as big as Noel. One of them, after screaming violently at me, turned around to intentionally show me his dangles. I did manage to grab some shots with the 300mm zoom lens but then Noel got a case of the "let's-get-out-of-here's" before I could flash mine back, so I zipped up and we moved on. We went from there and spent some time with the more domesticated and friendlier horses and goats before capturing a river sunset and heading in.

    One of the most fun games we played was iguana drop. From the hammock on our porch we could see 10-15 of them in the trees and every once in a while one would fall off the tall limbs and come crashing to the ground (or water). One time while swimming back from a rope swing jump, one dropped 2ft away. I joke swam towards it and it joke dove out of sight which was a bit unnerving. It popped up down stream and hopped out to climb and fall again later.

    We had 4 nights and five days there to explore around and get used to the jungle before heading to place #4 on the beach at Hopkins...

    Jungle pics:


    Our Honeymoon cabana

    IMG_9057 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_8875 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9008 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Kayaking the Moho River

    IMG_8770 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_8773 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_8802 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Sun setting

    IMG_8839 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_8826 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    The huge tree above the lodge

    IMG_8847 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    One of the many rope swings to be found

    IMG_8954 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Another river sunset

    IMG_8943 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_8992 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_8939 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Super high in the tree with the big zoom lens

    IMG_8931 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_8909 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Flowers of course

    IMG_8879 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    They grew rather larger here

    IMG_8872 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    From the cacao processing tour

    IMG_5263 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Another rope swing

    IMG_5122 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    An on-our-own bike ride and a hike led us deep into the jungle to this hill and the remnants of what used to be a large cave

    IMG_5283 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_5137 by Skatchkins, on Flickr
    Disclaimably quotastic
    I are photographer
    armchaircrisis.com

  2. #2

    Default

    Oh, and

    Name:  balls.jpg
Views: 106
Size:  125.6 KB
    Disclaimably quotastic
    I are photographer
    armchaircrisis.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    Great story and pictures. Thank you for sharing with us.
    <><

    No plan B.

    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger except for bears, bears will kill you.

    #Ibelieve

  4. #4
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    Incredible! The color of that water is amazing. And I love all the green everywhere.

  5. #5
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    balls. ;-)
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
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  6. #6
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    Awesome! Epic...
    James
    '06 LJ Bashmobile

  7. #7

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    Noel and I managed to pry ourselves away from the jungle and the monkeys and hopped a bus towards the beach at the small town of Hopkins. This non-resorty town was praised a bit by locals as a very laid back place to hang out at the ocean. We got dropped off 5mi away from town on the highway and hitch-hiked down what was left of a road. Our instructions from there were to find the town drumming center and Jabbar. We located him and then he sat us down and just kept repeating, "Slow down, you're in Belize now." He eventually walked us to our cabana on the beach and we settled in.

    The locals joked that Hopkins is a fishing village with a drinking problem. That seemed to fit it very well. Everything was super laid back though. We ate at a few of the limited beach restaurants and swam a bit in the ocean. We walked around town and explored a graveyard. Hopkins was all unpaved streets with colorful houses scattered between abandoned but still standing concrete ones.

    We called a tour guide up and began chatting about him taking us out to snorkel at the barrier reef. On a whim, we asked if anyone ever asked him to drop them off afterwards on one of the islands and then come back for them a few days later. He said he could totally do that for us.

    After the 45min boat ride out to the reef and a great snorkel tour, Boo from Sea More Adventures boated us over to Tobacco Caye and then acted as our intermediary and took us around to the lodgings to find out if any were available. There are only 4 places set up for it on the 150yd x 250yd island and one was available for two nights. We ended up staying above Jean's Place in a room to ourselves with three beds for only $27/night. Miss Margaret there cooked for us everyday and it was hands down the best food we'd had in Belize including the resort food. We had full course meals including fish, conch, and lobster every night for $7 apiece.

    Boo left us the snorkel gear for free (charging us only for the extra gas for the return trip), and snorkeling and sitting in the sun were the pretty much the only outdoor things we did for our island stay. -Oh, except playing with the island kitties that had been recently hatched.

    We saw a ton of brightly colored curious fish, starfish, crabs, lobster, moray eels, and humongous sting rays. The rays could be a little intimidating at 6' large with 5' stingers as they swam in the nipple-height water alongside or towards you. I'd try to see them first and slowly help Noel over to the opposite side of me to spare me her hurriedly clambering over me trying to use me as a shield. I did not know I'd like snorkeling so much and I would just keep going out over and over.

    Eventually we had to leave the island paradise back to our sweet setup on Hopkins. We stayed the last night there after eating dinner with a crazy old hippie lady and then bussed back to Belize City to catch our flight home to begin real life together.

    Mainland beach

    IMG_9093 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Looking out towards the islands

    IMG_9108 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    The graveyard

    IMG_9065 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9073 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Beach Cabana

    IMG_9432 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Island sun

    IMG_9320 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9193 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Lots of docks

    IMG_9220 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9171 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Ballers

    IMG_9204 by Skatchkins, on Flickr

    Sunrise

    IMG_9288 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9331 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9341 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9347 by Skatchkins, on Flickr


    IMG_9352 by Skatchkins, on Flickr
    Last edited by Skatchkins; 04-29-2013 at 08:55 AM.
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  8. #8
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    So awesome you guys were able to just rolled with it and just changed things on the fly.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  9. #9
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    What an experience. So very cool that you guys got to do this. I"m surprised you even came back

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skatchkins View Post
    Oh, and

    Name:  balls.jpg
Views: 106
Size:  125.6 KB
    Humans are mostly hairless, but our balls are covered with hair. This monkey is all furred up, but his balls are hairless. Go figure. Seriously, Michael. Did you manscape this tree monkey before snapping this pic?
    2009 4-door JK - 85% daily driver, 15% hunting vehicle, 100% fun!

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