The post-christmas movie will be Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic at the Varsity. Showtime is 7:30. Hope to see y'all there around 7:15.
I woke up Sunday morning around 6:30 a.m. After 15 or 16 hours of sleep, I was pretty much ready to be awake. Jennifer, however was not. So I sat outside and read my book while the rain poured. It was really coming down. The porch was covered, of course. As a local German shepherd noticed. He/she was laying on the porch, lazing about. Occasionally it would get up, move, and then lay back down somewhere else. And occasionally a couple of other dogs would come up and attempt to play. Then they'd run off. The jungle was thick enough that they'd disappear 10 feet into it.
I had breakfast. Jennifer didn't. At around 11 a.m. someone from the front desk came over to see if we planned to use the cave float trip I'd purchased. So, at 11:30 a.m. we headed into the caves. First part was a pond sized thing. A big pond, in the shape of a U. You floated to one end, climbed over some rocks, then floated down the other side deeper into the mountain. I could see the occasional bat flitter around in the dim light from our headlamps. At the end of the U, the side was a cascading waterfall. The water was maybe a quarter inch deep as it was flowing over over a formation. Hard to describe, but absolutely gorgeous. We climbed behind it into the
cathedral chamber, where there were a ton of formations.
One of the dogs followed us all the way in, though I missed where he went on the way out. Basically, we sat on the innertubes and just floated out. This time it was with the current, with only a bit of occasional paddling to steer. We got to the end, and climbed over some rocks again so we could jump in a river. Not quite as big as other rivers I've floated, but none of those were underground. Course, it was only 10 or so minutes that we were there before we were out of the cave and headed back to the parking lot. Still fun.
After drying off and changing, I checked out, and we headed off to Black Rock Lodge out in the country beyond San Ignacio. Maybe a 40 mile drive, but two hours on Belize roads. Specially considering that it was 6 or 8 miles of fairly coppy dirt road to get there. The last several miles were on the Macal River. And at last we started climbing up the side of the steep valley to the
resort. Black Rock Lodge runs completely on solar and hydro-power. They have 13 cabanas each overlooking the river and looking up at the jungle-covered cliff-side across the river. Absolutely gorgeous.Jennifer crashed for a nap. Girl was still tired. I sat out on the patio looking over the river and finished my book. And then started another. Nothing like reading with a view.
Dinner was on an open air patio with a thatched roof, also overlooking the river valley. The entire time we were the only guests at the place. The owner's son Julian (and I think part-owner himself) came down and had dinner with us. The food was excellent. You ordered dinner and got what the chef decided. Most excellent food, and great conversation with Julian was great. He's Belizean, but his parents were from Canada and South Africa originally. If I ever go back to Belize, I want to stay there for some time. Nice and relaxing. Though they have a ton of eco-tourism there and lots of hiking and horse riding and mountain biking and such stuff. But you can't easily beat that view.
One of my New Year's resolutions this go around will be to actually plan my vacation early this year. I don't want to be scrambling to take my vacation at the last minute again. Last year I took a week off at home in July just because I couldn't figure out where to go and I couldn't find a travel companion. This year, I swear I'll have at least one vacation out of the way by June. Travel companion or not.
Places to go: Iceland, South Africa/Botswana, Thailand, Slovenia.
Looks like Ireland in 2007. And maybe Paris and France as well. Those depend on the travel partners who want to go.