Chris and I made it to Belize this afternoon. Great plane ride; it was about half full so lots of space. We did some course planning and notetaking for May, which made the flight by.
Once we got here we had a quick drive through Belize City and ate a great lunch at Bird's Isle Cafe on the water. The snapper was amazing.
Then we had a long, scenic drive to Dangriga. Belize is at the end of the rainy season so driving on the Coastal Rd. to Dangriga (which is tough on a good day) was discouraged to us by everyone we spoke with. We took the longer, more scenic route on the main highways and had a great trip into Dangriga. What I found most fascinating were the elevation changes between Belize City and Dangriga. I guess I wasn't paying that much attention last time I was here. Another cool thing, oranges were in full harvest...lots of hussle and bussle and orange truck traffic. Great citrus scents in the air as we drove with the windows down.
Pulled into the parking lot @ Blue Hole National Park and met a great local guide named Jobe. We set up a caving epxerience for Saturday on our way to San Ignacio. We'll do some cave tubing and some cave exploration...Chris has some cool ideas brewing for a caving adventure for the class!
@ Pelican Beach in Dangriga, the staff is amazing and friendly as they were last year as well. Such a quiet and beautiful place even on an overcast evening. Met Alfonso who helped with the bags...he gave me a quick synopsis of the weather and what to expect. A cold front is coming in tonight and might bring some light rain. He thinks it shouldn't be too bad. I asked him about some "can't miss opportunities" for our students for the May trip and he came up with a really cool idea. Don't want to spoil the surprise, but it involves some great local traditions.
Dinner was great...shrimp in garlic butter for me and grilled pork chops for Chris. Good stuff. Of course we topped it off with the local beer...Belikin. Really good, especially at 2 bucks a bottle!
The plan for tomorrow:
Early morning planning meeting tomorrow to plan some activities as the sun comes up. Then we have an 8:30 boat ride out to South Water Caye. Meeting with contacts in the Marine Reserve, then a meeting with our hotel manager to talk logisitics for May. Hopefully the rains hold off.
If we have internet access, we'll try to post something tomorrow night along with some pics. Cannot wait to bring the students in May!
We figured out some great phone options for calling back to the states. Google Voice is a penny a minute if you have internet access. If not the old ATT cards from big box stores in the ATL. Chris' calls cost about 20 bucks whereas mine cost 21 cents.