Grandma's Belize trip report (long)- part 1-US to Caye Caulker to San Pedro

Grandma's Belize trip report (long)- part 1-US to Caye Caulker to San Pedro

Post by RosalieAnn Figge Beasl » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00


My husband Bob and I are just back from a poor man's/woman's trip
to Belize.  I booked the trip through Belize Transfer Service,
but Harvey (the agent) got sick and the person who took over for
him did not do a good job of implementation, which caused a great
deal of aggravation.

Feb 26 -The day before: I went to the library and got 'Belize A
Natural Destination' and 'Guide to Belize', which I took with me.
The Guide to Belize was *extremely* helpful.   I also took copies
of relevant pages from 'Central America on a Shoestring' and a
couple of other books.  Their city maps were helpful.  It took me
most of the day to pack.  I sent Bob out to get more sun screen,
- we used it up on our last trip.  I had stopped the snail mail,
but mindspring wouldn't let me sign on.  I had to get up early
(4am) and get the last minute e-mail on Feb 27, the day we were
leaving.

Feb 27 - We're off!!  The taxi came early, and we are at the
airport before 5 am. for a 7am flight.  They were offering $300
for people to stay back, but in the end, we had an empty seat
between us.  Bob has two softside bags of carryon size, and I
have a carryon size roller bag, and another softside carryon bag.
Inside my bags I also had a fabric cooler, and another smaller
bag.  Bob has a small waist pack, and I have a very very large
one.  We checked all the carryon bags except the one with my dive
computer and dive camera in it.
        The connecting flight was an hour late getting to Miami, and
was full.  We arrived in Belize (late) about 1:30 pm. We were
sitting next to a Belize national who said that all the boats to
Caye Caulker would have left by the time we landed (not true), so
we decided to fly.  The taxi fare was reported to be $15 US to go
to Belize City, and about $7.50 US for the two of us to take the
boat, and the price to fly was $42 US each.  So it wasn't such a
great difference and was much faster.
        Very quick getting luggage & through customs etc.,- we
practically were running through the airport from one plane to
the next.  First flew (Tropic Air) to the municipal airport, and
then hopped onto an even smaller plane for  (according to the
pilot) approx. a 12 minute flight to Caye Caulker.  It wasn't
very far from the airport to Ignacio's Huts where we are staying,
but it is really hard to roll a heavy bag in deep sand.  Got a
lift partway from the Belize Dive Services people who happened to
be there with their golf cart and took pity on me.
        The lady at Ignacios there wasn't pleased to see us with our
voucher, (She didn't think we had a reservation) but she did give
us the key to #14, saying sternly "No hot water", as she did so.
        We      dropped our bags, and coats, and then walked slowly (It's
hot) up into town to check out the next day's activities.  I was
barefoot (mistake - the sand is very abrasive and, even though I
go barefoot a lot and have tough feet, my heels got sore).  Got
directions to the Driftwood Snorkel Shop from the PO.  Driftwood
said 'No problem', although they didn't know we were coming
either.  Asked about renting a golf cart - $15/hour.  Ugh.  Out
of our range.  Had a nice talk with the Belize Dive Service folks
where I am diving on Sunday though.
        Stopped and bought a Belize map at Seeing is Belizing (a good
bookstore and the only one we saw in Belize), and had dinner at
the Sand Box, which was very good.  The floor inside is sand too.
We ate outside.  Discovered that in Belize there is a charge to
use credit cards (6%), which you don't pay if you use traveler's
checks or cash (either American or Belizian).  
        Bob bought some water on the way back to Ignacios.  Stopped
and talked to Ramon who manages Ignacios.  He gave us toilet
paper, and (under protest) towels.  The lady there during the day
is his mother.  He apparently has another job during the day.
It's very windy tonight - the surf is crashing on the reef.  We
went to bed right away.  The bed is very bouncy.  Bob doesn't
like it.  I don't care.  Don't really need the overhead fan now.

Feb 28 -  Got up early and sat in the bathroom (which has a night
light as a light) to write my journal.  Discovered that while
there is electricity in the bathroom, there's no mirror.  I tell
Bob that he's been shaving for 40+ years and surely he knows his
face by now.  We walked up into town and had breakfast at The
Other Side of the Moon.  I had fried jacks, which are very good.
They are like a cross between donuts and funnel cakes.  I think
they are really sugar tortillas deep fried.
        We are going snorkeling and to see the manatees with
Driftwood.  I thought we'd have lunch provided for this snorkel
trip, but there is a mix-up, and there is no lunch for us.  By
the time I find this out, it's too late to get one.  Oh well.  We
got our fins (we have our own mask and snorkels).  There are 9
people who are together - ending up a 3 week tour - mostly Brits,
but one German girl and one Canadian.  Also we pick up a woman
and her daughter from a pier - she was supposed to go with
someone else, and at the last minute they said they weren't
going.  She had a mask but nothing to hold the snorkel on with.
        First we go to see the manatees.  It's really hot in the
boat, and the canopy is not up.  Rocque stops the engines and
poles the boat in (like a punt).  We see the shapes dimly through
the water, and then just their two nostrils when they come up to
breathe.  Not even the eyes.  We pole out, and then head for
Sergeant's Caye, but there are so many people there, we go to
Goff Caye instead.  There are (we counted) 19 palm trees.                      
        Everyone has lunch (except us- I have some raisins and a
couple of breakfast bars in my pack, and water, and some of the
others share fruit).  Then we snorkeled.  I swam around the whole
island.  Lots and lots and lots of staghorn c***- also some
elkhorn and some fire coral.  Good numbers of fish.  Find that we
should have brought towels.  Oh well.  Get into the boat and come
back to Sergeant's Caye and snorkel there.  I found out later
that something had gotten into my T-shirt and stung me under the
arm.  Since we have so many people in the boat (13), the Rocque
isn't sure we'll have enough fuel to get back, so he buys a can
of gasoline from another boat.  I think we needed it too.
        They let us off at Ignacio's pier, and we shower and change
and walk back up into town.  The lady at Driftwood called for us
to Rubie's (our next stop) to be sure they knew we were coming
(They said they did-but they were practically the only people who
did for the whole 2 weeks).  We were to have dinner at Rocque's,
but there was a slide show about the reef at Seeing is Belizing,
so we went to The Other Side of the Moon for drinks and wings (we
were hungry since we hadn't have lunch), and then went to the
show.  It was very informative.  Then on to Rocque's.  It was one
of the best dinners I've had - lobster tails, potatoes and cole
slaw.  Bob is sunburned inside of his elbows, and has a scrape on
one finger.

March 1 - Sunday - most of the breakfast places are closed.  I
bought a juice box and an individual box of cereal for breakfast.
Bob went to get me a sandwich for lunch and got his breakfast at
Castaways while I got fitted for a BC and weight belt for diving.
(Bob doesn't dive yet.)  Made $1 donation to the dive chamber.
There was a couple from Holland and a guy named Chris who were
doing their 3rd and 4th PADI OW checkout dives and a couple from
Alaska.  There was to be another man, but he said he thought the
weather would be too bad and didn't go.  Actually it was perfect.
Had two really nice dives.  On the way back we saw some bull or
blue (?) sharks chasing a baby eagle ray.  They ray was doing
some spectacular leaps out of the water, but I think the sharks
got it in the end.  Rinsed off the equipment, and walked back to
Ignacio's and showered.  
        Bob spent the day walking around and looking with binoculars
at sailboats, taking pictures of oil tanks, shopping (bread, soft
drinks and water) and sitting on the pier.  We walked up to
Popeyes this evening and got pizza, but our eyes were bigger than
our stomachs, so we took most of it home with us (in foil, as
they want $1 for a box).  We usually walk along the beach on the
way home, and there are some big fiddler crabs.  I have my camera
with a flash and take a picture of one of them.  Had the fan on
most of the night.

March 2- Monday - We've discovered BCB (Belize radio), and we get
the weather forecast during the 7am newscast.  10-20 knot winds
today.  Packed and checked out. Driftwood sent a boat down to get
us and our luggage.  We got fins.  Driftwood will fill up your
container for $1, and I have a 40 oz. camel that I get filled.
There are 9 other people on this snorkel trip to Hol Chan, and
Julio is the guide.  First we went to the area with small nurse
sharks and rays.  The rays 'buzz' you, and Julio picks up the
sharks and carried them around and pets the groupers. One of the
guides coaxed a green moray out and fed it a fish (at the end of
a long stick).  I don't like this kind of thing, but I guess it
is what most people want.  
        Then we went to the Hol Chan area and paid the ranger our $5
BZ, and did some more snorkeling.  Bob packed the 3rd snorkel
camera (we've used up the other two - they are disposable) so I
don't know where we'll use it.  They put the dive ladder on the
back of the boat so it is easier to get in than when it is on the
side.  We saw a blue trigger and lots of other fish.
        We all got back in the boat - some people cold and everyone
wet.  They let us off at Rubie's pier and we checked in.  We got
room #2 on the second floor, but it wasn't made up yet, so we sat
on the deck overlooking the beach and had breakfast rolls.
        I have a C***Beach dive shop voucher for a two tank dive
plus a night dive.  So I go to the hotel and then the dive shop
to check it out.  I try to call ahead to places from the hotel
phone, but I can't use my phone card to call except back to the
states.  I left my
...

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Grandma's Belize trip report (long)- part 1-US to Caye Caulker to San Pedro

Post by RosalieAnn Figge Beasl » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00


March 3- Tuesday.  Went downstairs to Ruby's for breakfast.
There's not much place to sit.  We tried watermelon juice and rum
cake.  Really both are too sweat for me - made me queasy.
        Got ready to dive - I am the only one going.  George, the
divemaster was late - came in on his bike.  They didn't have a
wrench to put my console on so I went back to Rubies to get one
that Bob made me bring.  While we were gone, Bob went to take
more photos of oil tanks that I saw when I went down to the phone
company (the electric co. is next door).  We went out to Tre
Cocos.  We saw sleeping nurse sharks and a big sea turtle
swimming by (who basically ignored us) and a huge barracuda.  I
forgot to switch my dive camera on before I locked it up in its
underwater case, so I missed all those pictures.  I was ashamed
to tell George.  When I got down to 750 lbs I was having trouble
staying down, so we did the 5 min stop on the bouy rope.  George
put some air in my BC to come up and the valve stuck open which
made me feel like the Pillsbury doughboy.  The sea is a little
choppy - still 10-20 knot winds, but I don't have any trouble
with that.  
        Went back to the hotel, and rinsed out my skin and hung it to
dry on the balcony lines.  Went to Little Italy and had the lunch
buffet.  They give you ice water with your meal without your
asking - the only restaurant in the whole trip to do so.  Food
was pretty good too.  Lunch for two was $15 US.  Had a nap.
        By afternoon my skin was dry. We went to Tuffy Walls.  This
was a drift dive (like the ones I did off Caye Caulker), so
George brought another guy with him  to run the boat.  We drove
around some of the big sailboats on the way out.  I remembered to
turn on the camera this time.  Sea was really rough outside the
reef.  We saw lots of sharks and another huge barracuda, but I
think the reefs are not as colorful as in the ***s.
        Bob spent his time sitting on the porch and watching the
sailboats come in and anchor with binoculars.  The lady in the
next unit complained that the tree was in the way of seeing the
reef and water, so they chopped it down this morning.  We walked
up to Elvi's kitchen, and sat by a window and watched the
traffic.  I had chicken with coconut rice. Window shopped a
little on the way back to the hotel.

March 4- Slept a little late.  GOt the 7:15 BCB weather forecast
- 88 deg F inland and 86 deg on the outer Cayes, low 77 deg F,
10-20 knot wind, partly cloudy, water temp 82 deg -- same old
same old.  The room is a little noisy with the windows open you
can hear conversations from downstairs and next door.  Finally
found that the bathroom light is behind the mirror.  And here we
have hot water.
        Stopped at a local craft shop and bought some locally made
silver and black c***necklaces and earrings for daughters,
granddaughter and daughter-in-law.  I asked them to make me a
necklace to match the angel fish earrings they had, and they said
to come back in the evening and they'd have it ready.  Cashed
some traveler's checks at the bank and had breakfast at the
Island Cafe.
        I want to contact the Jaguar Inn where we are staying at
Tikal, so we go up to the phone company again.  I called the
lodge that is taking us on the tour and they don't know the
number.  I have to call long distance info.  Then I have to make
the call through the long distance operator.  I talked to three
people before one of them spoke English.  He said they didn't
have the specified room for the first night, but the second night
there was plenty of room.  I had not only the coupon, but also
the check for them.  He said that was usual because the mail
service was so bad in Guatemala.  He said they'd find a room for
us but it might not have a private bath.  I said in that case
maybe we needed to have a reduction in price.  Unfortunately I
didn't get this man's name.  We also checked that we had
reservations on the appropriate Maya Island Air flights and was
assured that we did.
        We took some photos of the town infrastructure on the way
back.  There are no lemons - only limes.  You get a lime slide in
your iced tea.  Streets are sand.  People ride bikes, walk or
have golf carts.  They sometimes use flashlights for lights at
night.  There are more cars in San Pedro than in Caye Caulker.
Saw a Mennonite man and his little boy delivering eggs to the
grocery stores this morning with a little wooden cart.  Walked
down to Estels for a late lunch.  I took a nap.
        Tonight I am doing a night dive at Hol Chan.  We start out
and get there before anyone else.  George has been diving these
waters since he was a child, but he is only one year older than
my youngest child.  The Hustler boat (with the twin 200's) comes
after we get there and uses the orange mooring buoy which is the
boundary marker.  We start out before it is quite dark.  George
warns me quite severely that I am not to give up, no matter how
tired I get because if I get swept through to the other side of
the reef they probably won't be able to get me.  Actually, the
current isn't too bad and I come back with plenty of both
strength and air left.
        We saw two green morays and a spotted moray, several large
lobsters, went into a couple of caves, a sleeping parrot fish in
a mucus cocoon, a large shrimp, sea urchins etc.  Midway through
the dive, divers from some of the other boats decended onto us.
One guy was coming down right on top of me, so I reached up over
my head and gave him a shove in the ***so that he would come
down in some other place.  Came back and showered.   I wanted to
go back to Celi's, but they are closed on Weds, so we went to the
barbecue on the beach in front of the Holiday Hotel.  It was
$15.50 for two dinners- a real deal.  Chicken, fish or pork,
rice, salad and a soft drink.  Had coconut ice cream at Celi's
deli afterwards, and picked up the necklace I'd asked for.

March 5 - It's Bob's  62nd birthday today, but I didn't sleep
well and am grumpy.  FInished packing and went to the airport -
got a boarding pass on an earlier plane.  When we got to the
municipal airport the rental car people didn;t answer the phone.
Tour Belize rented us an ugly magenta Geo Traker convertible -
not 4WD.  It had 95k miles, and the tires didn't look too red
hot.  Bob said the spare looked dry rotted.  The only thing we
charged for the whole trip was the insurance on this car.  They
gave us a map, but it was pretty useless except that it showed
the gas stations.
        We headed out the Western Highway for the zoo.  Saw two
jaguar, but the tapir's were hiding.  Saw just about everything
else.  Bought the book about the***scomb Wildlife Preserve.
Went to the snack bar and got a plate with chicken and rice and a
soft drink and took it outside to eat.  Stopped by the bathroom
and somewhere I dropped my checkbook which had my driver's
license and all my folding money in it.  We went down the
Hummingbird Highway, which Bob hated.  Even after we got to the
good part he was still grumpy.  We stopped at the Esso station at
the intersection of the Hummingbird and Southern Highway.  That
was where I discovered that my checkbook was missing.  A girl at
the station with a cell phone called back to the zoo for me (cost
$1).  They had the checkbook!!  But it was not 3:30 pm, and it
had taken us 2 hours to get to this point from the zoo and they
closed at 5.  So we decided to go back on Sunday on our way to
the Cayo district.  Needless to say this did not make me Bob's
favorite person!!
        What I was buying in the store when I discovered that my
checkbook was gone was a block of frozen water, a dove ice cream
bar and some crackers.  Gasoline (hi-test which we had to use) is
$2.50 US a gallon.
        Drove down the Southern highway, which is very washboardy and
dusty.  Arrived in Placencia just before 5 pm.  Found Tradewinds,
and the lady who was there gave us the Queen Conch cabana which
was *very* nice and included a kitchen.  However, we again had to
trek all our luggage across deep sand.  They told us to park in
front of the coop, but I don't think their definition of in front
and ours was the same.  I arranged to do a dive the next day with
Seahorse.  
        We were going to go to Tentacles for dinner, but they were
closed on Weds.  Instead, went up to the Gallery, and Bob had
shrimp (steamed instead of fried), and I had conch steak, and
grapefruit juice while we listened to jazz.  The lady also
inquired if we would eat a fresh salad, because if we wouldn't
agree to eat it, she wasn't going to give it to us.  (Apparently
some people refuse to eat fresh vegetables. - we did drink
bottled water, but I brushed my teeth with tap water, we had ice
in our drinks, and we ate salads, and never had any intestinal
problems at all.)
grandma Rosalie

 
 
 

Grandma's Belize trip report (long)- part 1-US to Caye Caulker to San Pedro

Post by RosalieAnn Figge Beasl » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00

I have to apologize - wrote the last part at night and sent it
before I proofread it.   I'll try to do better this time.

Quote:
>  We tried watermelon juice and rum cake.  Really both are too sweat for me

Should be too sweet for me.
Quote:
>There are no lemons - only limes.  You get a lime slide in your iced tea.

Should be slice not slide.  
Quote:
> But it was not 3:30 pm,

should be *now* 3:30 PM
Quote:
>    By afternoon my skin was dry.

For the non-divers, that's my dive skin, not my personal skin.

Quote:
> While we were gone, Bob went to take more photos of oil tanks

Bob is a public health engineer in our home state EPA oil control
program, and I am an Industrial Hygienist who does confined space
training, so both of us are interested in oil tanks.  He drives
an electric car so we look at the electrical infrastructure too.

March 6 - Left Bob in bed and took my mask snorkel and console
over to the dive shop.  Brian, who I talked to last night and
whose wife made the lunches for the group (and who I would have
liked to go with), was doing an OW checkout, so we were going
with Micheale (I don't know how to spell it, but he pronounced it
like Michele).  He was IMO a hot shot young man.  It took him 3
tries for him to finally give me the right size fins- like he
wasn't listening.  He said he could not give me a BC that fitted
- they apparently didn't have a men's XXL (which usually fits
pretty well) so I had to wear an XL and the velcro waist
fastening didn't even meet around my waist- I could only use the
top clip..  
        I gave Brian two $50 travelers checks (the two tank dive was
$75 US, and the lunch was $6.00 US), but he didn't have change.
I signed the release forms (as did everyone including the
snorkelers), and I got change from him when I got back.  He asked
if I wanted to go the next day to Laughing Bird Caye.  I did want
to, but I had scheduled myself for just one day of diving in
Placencia, and there was something else I wanted to do tomorrow.
        They looked at my dive log, and gave me 18 lbs. of weights,
which gives me neutral buoyancy in salt water up to about 1100
lbs with zero air in my BC, at which time I become gradually
positive (esp. at shallow depths) and have a hard time staying
down.  Normally, I don't use more than 2000 lbs. of air, so this
has not been a problem.  The limitation has not been the air, but
the time allowed at the depth, or some other parameter.  But here
in Belize doing drift dives I have used a little more air.  On my
first dive in Caye Caulker, without realizing it, I went down to
102 feet to see a shark or something at the bottom, and then got
so light at the end that I came up much too fast and stressed out
my dive computer.  Because I'm old and fat, I try to be
conservative, and this dive was not -- but I didn't appear to
have any ill effects.
        The boat used was the usual open skiff with benches on each
side and holders for the bottles etc in the back, and this boat
had a bimini and it was up.  We had 8 divers counting M, and 10
or so snorkelers with their guide and the boat driver.  A lot of
the snorkelers came from the Green Parrot, which is up the coast
a bit, with their own lunch.  The dive shop sent a boat to ferry
them down to us.  We dropped the snorkelers off at Ranguana Caye,
and went a little south for our dive.  
        Besides me, the group consisted of an older (i.e. close to my
age) Canadian couple (the woman recently certified), and young
Boston couple (he was a Naval officer), a single man who was
retired Navy, and a young very attractive German girl with a punk
haircut who had fewer dives even than I did.  M paired the German
girl with the single guy and told me that I was his buddy.  
        Interestingly, he was the only one who asked me to set up my
own gear.  In Caye Caulker, I could have done so if I had acted
quickly, but since I did not, they did it for me, and in San
Pedro, George took everything over.  Belize Diver Services also
looked at my dive log, but George did not.  M. gave me an air
bottle with only 2700 lbs. in it.
        We were doing a drift dive, and I was first into the water.
It is hard for me to fasten a weight belt while sitting down (I'm
thicker when folded in the middle), and I had to redo it when I
got in.  We hung on a trailing line while we waited for the
others. By the time everyone was in, I was down to 2500 lbs,
because I didn't snorkel on the surface.
        There was some current, and M set out at a cracking pace.  I
was comfortable and could do it easily, but I was swimming a bit
harder than usual, so at the end of 30 minutes I was down to 500
lbs. and came up a little fast.  Most of the others had already
returned to the boat.  We saw some large sharks, (which I went
down to photograph) but I had some film left in my dive camera
which I finished up on the shallow reef around the Caye while
snorkeling.
        When we came back to the Caye for lunch, there was an elderly
woman sitting down in the water where there were some waves, and
she was having trouble getting to her feet.  M. sort of laughed
about it- said he hoped she wasn't sitting on anything that she
was allergic to.
        Lunch was a sort of barbecued or spicy fish balls, cole slaw,
and beans & rice with watermelon and cookies for desert, and a
choice of water or oj to drink.  I enjoyed it.  Most people took
off their skins or wet suits, but I did not because I was afraid
I wouldn't be able to get back into it again.  When I went back
to the boat for my dive camera, the boat lifted and shifted and
the bottom of the ladder came down on top of my foot.
Fortunately, it didn't break the skin, and I just had a livid
spot there.
        The Canadian couple decided not to go on the second dive
because they felt they could see more fish right at the island.
We went right straight out from the Caye this time.  I complained
about the lack of color in the reef, and it was suggested that
there would be more color if I had a dive light, so I took one
(don't think it made that much difference).   M put 4 more lbs.
on my weight belt.  We saw more big sharks (8 foot or more), a
queen trigger, and a spotted moray (that I didn't get a picture
of).  Also saw a cleaning station, but we were again moving
pretty fast so I couldn't stick around to observe.   At the very,
very end of the dive when everyone was either coming back to the
boat or was already in the boat, M got very e***d because two
dolphin came to play.  One of them had a damaged dorsal fin.  
        When I came up, after doing my stop, the boat was fairly
near, and I swam towards it, but it moved away before I got there
(maybe following the dolphins).  When I did reach it, I handed my
dive camera and dive light up after I took off my weight belt,
but before the rest of the equipment, and the boat handler
dropped the dive light.  It doesn't float and I couldn't get it.
(Guess I could have asked the dolphins.)  The dolphins stuck
around until we left.  I read later that there are often dolphins
at this spot.  After I get out of the water,  I am very tired.
        When I get back to the cabana, Bob is in a hammock reading a
book.  He walked around the village, and picked up some coconuts,
one of which he cracked open, drank the juice, and ate some of
the meat.  He'd also washed out some shirts, and bought some
water, peanut butter and jelly and bread at the market, and
generally had relaxing day.
        We tried again to go to Tentacles for dinner, but they were
still closed.  There is a small cruise ship (Tempest?) anchored
out - the same one we saw off the west coast of Costa Rica when
we were there.  There are also a couple of sailboats, and a
couple of what look like shrimp trawlers.
        We walked up as far as Omar's to have dinner.  They were out
of everything (pineapple juice, soft drinks, beer and ice cream).
I had a huge (and very good) chicken burrito, 2 hot teas, and
lime juice (I was very thirsty).   I forget what Bob had.  It was
$15.25 US incl. tip for the two of us.

March 7-  Sat. Tomorrow (Sunday) we are leaving here and going to
the Cayo District.  I want to go up the Hummingbird Highway (HH)
and visit the Blue Hole and St. Herman's Cave.  But if we have to
go to the zoo to get my checkbook (and hopefully cash), we will
be going up the Manatee road, and I know Bob won't want to go
down the awful bits of the HH to get to those places.  Today we
were going to the***scomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (jaguar
preserve) (CBWS).  I suggest that we run up to the zoo, and then
visit the CBWS on the way back.  That way the HH will be the
logical way to get to the Cayo district.  Bob agrees.  We ate an
orange, and leave.  We got to the southern highway/HH
intersection at about 10 after following an army truck towing a
personnel carrier most of the way.  
        Bob finds that the Manatee road drives very nicely at 45-50
mph.  That speed smooths out the washboards.  This car has A/C
which works pretty well, but the car is not airtight, and
everything inside gets very dusty.  There isn't as much traffic
on this road, and parts of it are very pretty.  We do sort of
drop abruptly into a hole that we never saw twice in quick
succession, but otherwise the trip was uneventful.  We saw a
great blue heron, some hawks and vultures, a road runner, a green
snake (the second one I've seen), water lilies, banana, orange
and grapefruit trees.  There are some very pretty yellow
flowering trees that I don't know the name of too.  
        The zoo has my checkbook, with all the money still in it.
They don't know who found it or where it was found, so I make a
donation to the zoo, and we turn around and drive back.  We get
back to the intersection about noon, and drive into Dangriga for
lunch.  Finally find a place to park in front of the Silver Star
Cafe.  This turns out to a mostly Chinese restaurant which also
has burgers, which is what we get.  Good, hot, fresh burgers and
cold soft drinks which cost us $4.50 US for two.  There is also a
Chinese grocery across the street which closed at noon.   Saw
school children (in uniform) coming ...

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