Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Animals near Thatch Caye

Here we were... stayed at this private island called Thatch Caye (Pronounced as "Key"). We were here for 4 days/3nights. We saw lots of various animals on this island, but they are all not from local... all are brought onto this island.
First, there is a peccary named Pumba. Certainly our favorite of all. When we walked by Pumba's home, he would look for us as he heard our noise. If you call his name, he will look at you and come towards you waiting to be fed. Very cute indeed!
Here is the coati. These are racoon like animals. We saw them in Tikal. There are probably a couple dozen of these things on Thatch Caye. They come around in herds. Very cute and friendly animals. A bit edgy...
Then there is the mouse looking animal and a bird. Both I don't know what they are called. They are definitely super friendly and they would come up to me for some pineapple... and allowed us to pet them. Even the bird!! We heard from other guests saying that this bird keep following them hoping to be fed... He walked so closed to their feet that they nearly kicked the bird. Definitely not afraid of people. :)

This magnificent fish is a type of sting-ray called Spotted Eagle Ray. They are probably the most majestic sea creatures that we saw in our trip. They swim so elegantly near us. We saw 14 of these rays in a single snorkeling trip near Tobacco Caye, which is about 15min boat ride from Thatch Caye. The snorkeling on that day was truly amazing!

On the last day of our stay in this island, we went for a 2 tank dive near South Water Caye. The quality of the dive is better than San Pedro although still not as good as Half Moon Caye in Lighthouse Reef. There were some sea turtles during that dive. We saw a big loggerhead turtle and a hawksbill turtle. Love to see them swimming... very cute! :)

Thatch Caye Resort

This is our last destination in Belize trip. It's called Thatch Caye, 8 mi off the coast of Dangriga. Beautiful little private island. This is an ecolodge where water are locally collected and treated and electricity powered by solar panels. A storm was impending when we first arrived. So we didn't do much for the first 2 days that we are here. Just walk around the island, checking out the animals here and enjoy the scenary. We stayed in this 2-story Casita. The cool thing about them is that there are hammock on the 2nd floor where we get to enjoy the view of the entire island while catching the seabreeze.

Friday, January 01, 2010

San Ignacio to Dangriga journey

New year day, we have to travel from inland to coastal Belize. Usually there is an express bus, but not today because it's a holiday. So we took the local bus to Belmopan, then transfer to another to Dangriga. Because of the lack of bus during the holiday, the buses were more crowded than usual.

We met a Canadian couple who also wanted to head south to Hopkins, but they had bad experience the last time as the bus got too full and they didn't make it onto the bus. So the wife was really keen to share a cab with us. But that's going to cost US$40 instead of US$6. We declined the cab idea and decided to brave the bus experience. And yes it was full. The bus was an hour late. I had no choice but to do what the local does. I had to push myself through the crowd to the entrance door. Before the door is open the bus driver told us there are only 15 spots. When the door opens the gatekeeper only let 5 people through. I managed to go through but not peisun. I tried to get her, but they wouldn't let her out. I was told to find her a seat first.

So I figured, 15 spots should be easy. But not, there were no more seats when I get into the bus. People have placed their bags to reserve their spots. So I just took a random spots and placed my bag in another random seat. Then I waved to the gatekeeper to let pei sun come aboard to join me. Later the people came back from break and returned to their seats. Peisun's seat already had 2 people. Fortunaely they are willing to share the seat. And it is a 2 hour bus ride.

After lots of commotion , someone was kicked out of the bus and i don't know why. Something to do with not paying, then peisun got her seat. Awesome! Finally, our bus was cleared and ready to depart. After that I knew we were safe. I am glad the Canadian couple didn't come with us to the bus, I am sure they won't make it.

The bus driver was trying to be accomodating and told the overflow passenger to wait outside the terminal. But the authority was there checking, so he had to drive on without picking up those guys whom he told them to wait in front of gas station across the bus terminal. I am glad we didn't do that. Some smarter passengers walked further so that the authority won't see before hopping onto the bus. It was quite a journey and experience.

Christmas in Meadville 2009

Welcome to Tikal

We signed up for ATM(Actun Tunichil Muknal) tour. But it got cancelled because of the rain and the river is too high to swim across to the cave entrance. Instead we ventured into Tikal, Guatemala. Tikal is a huge Maya ruin in the middle of the jungle. It's awesome!! Pictures may not do its justice. We will have to post detailed description later.

Happy 2010

Happy new year! We spent our new year in San Ignacio. We could hear lots of fireworks from our room. It's like Chinese new year!