Today we were all off to various tours in and around Belize City. Randy, I, Lana, Barry, John and Mary were off the Al Tun Ha Mayan Ruins. Jim, Vilma, Bill, Jane, Bill and Vicki were off cave tubing. Frank and Paula headed to the reef for a day of snorkeling.
Our tender was a pontoon boat that was at one moment moving along and then the engine would slow down as the captain approached a sandbar. After sliding across the sandbar he would pick speed again.
After a short wait we boarded an old school bus and headed down the road. And what a road!!! I don’t think I have ever been on a road that was so full of potholes. However, the ride was made enjoyable by our guide who kept our attention with his pleasant, informative and entertaining talk about the history of Belize.
Once we arrived at the Al Tun Ha Mayan Ruins our park guide Wilfred took over and he was amazingly knowledgeable about the ruins and Mayan people and their culture. He also mentioned that as a child growing up in the area he and his friends and played hide and go seek among the ruins. The ruins were amazing. Randy, Mary, Bill and I decided to climb the ruins.
We climbed to the top of structure B and looked down and waved at John and Lana. The walk up was a little strenuous because the stone steps were very steep. There was a railing half way up with no railing for the last four or five steps. But it was worth the effort the view was amazing as you see from this vantage point the entire plaza and surrounding structures. Fortunately there was a very good railing all the way down as the steps were really steep and in some cases slippery.
Randy found it interesting that the descendants of the Mayans still live according to their ancestors in houses with thatched roofs and dirt floors. He also thought it was interesting they do own cars and trucks. He noticed plenty of the structures as we drove to and from the ruins.
Back on board the bus our guide once again entertained us trying to take our minds off the hour ride back to the port. Instead of returning us to the port gate we were deposited in front of a small inn called The Great House and were given tickets for free drinks at the hotel’s courtyard restaurant The Smokey Mermaid.
We stayed and enjoyed a very good and tasty lunch and several glasses of the local beer, Beliken. We all agreed at lunch that the tour and tour guides were great and very informative. We walked the several blocks back to the port and spent a little time window shopping while John and Mary returned to the ship.
We took Barry and Lana to one of our favorite watering holes The Wet Lizard. Randy and I love going there because it is fun, colorful and has one of the best vegetable salsas I have ever eaten. The menu reads, “This is not just any salsa, its way better! A perfect blend of veggies marinated in vinegar and lime juice with some habanero pepper to add a little kick”. Lana tasted it and said it was delicious. Lana called it ‘Jewish Health Food’.
We all gathered once again in the Aqua dining room although at different tables. Evidently the room we are usually seated was being used for a private party. I ordered the Chicken Breast in Kung Pao Sauce and once again the presentation was very different than I was used to. The sauce was actually grilled into the chicken breast. The chicken was then placed atop a bed of jasmine rice and this wonderful pineapple pico de gallo as a side. It was all wonderfully delicious. I did not leave a crumb on my plated.
During the dinner everyone exchanged stories about the tours they took. As I mentioned before Jim, Vilma, Bill, Jane, Bill and Vicki were all going Belize cave tubing. However, Bill and Vicki were a different group. Bill and Jane had a camera and got some good shots of Jim and Vilma and a group floating down the river. Some of the tubes were tethered together so they wouldn’t drift around the river. Evidently there are many groups (all with different colored tubes) in the river at the same time.
We all went to the show time production of “Band on the Run”. The performance cast did a wonderful job singing many fun songs from the 70’s era. Several members of the group leaned over our shoulders and said that the show reminded them of all the wonderful dances we attended when we were in New Beginnings. Yes, the show brought back great memories.