Thursday morning we awoke to gray skies and wind. Not my choice for the weather, since we were scheduled for a boat ride and snorkeling. By now we had down the routine of our days. Eat breakfast, leave ship, meet up with our tour group, and then spend the rest of the day doing whatever the guides told us to do. Easy enough.
So after we met up with our guide, we were instructed to load into a boat that would take us to the northern part of Belize to a little island called San Pedro. This was by far my favorite tour.
Our first stop was Shark Ray Alley. We rode for over an hour along the shoreline, following it north. We stopped along the worlds second largest barrier reef, and everybody was given snorkel gear. I must first state that when I went diving off the shores of Grenada, which is much farther south and much warmer waters, I froze to death. I needed a 6 mm wet suit, and still I was cold. So with overcast skies, and some wind, I survived all of about 3 minutes in the water. The beautiful, warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. But Eric had a great time. The group snorkeled for about an hour. They saw sting rays, barracudas, and other tropical fish.
After everyone finished snorkeling, we headed to San Pedro. A lazy, quaint little beach city. Here we were served lunch at an ocean side restaurant. Marinated chicken, rice and beans, and potato salad. And my favorite, Coca Cola in a glass bottle that has been rebottled so many times that the scratches in it let you know many a hands have drank from that same bottled. Of course it has been cleaned and I like to think sterilized before it was refilled again. It tastes so different than Coca Cola from a can. Not so sweet. And then there’s Fanta. Orange, grape, and pineapple. My favorite drinks in third world countries. And nothing like what we buy on a shelf at the grocery store.
After lunch we walked the streets of San Pedro. It was exactly what I love about living in a third world country. Simple, laid back, and friendly. We were hours away from the busy cruise terminal. So here I felt more like I could enjoy the people. We stopped for ice cream at a little shop that claimed it had the worlds best Coconut ice cream. And I think they did. We walked on the sandy beaches and visited with the different locals on the beach.
Eric has been collecting carved wooden animals for years. He has at least one from every country he has visited. So as we walked along the beach, he spotted a little shop, or more like shack, that had carved wooden animals. He found a sting ray that he liked and would remind him of the snorkel adventure from that morning, and then began the fun of dickering over the price. As he did that, I started talking with the other guy in the shop. He informed me that I should not have an ultrasound (I had not even mentioned that I was pregnant) because they were AWAYS wrong and that the doctors were just stealing your money. Then he wanted to know if this was my first. “Nope.” So then how many children did I have? I said “six”. He almost fell over. He sorta gasped for air, and then said I was just teasing him. “Nope.” By then Eric had settled on a price and was paying for his little sting ray. The man I was talking to informed his friend of our conversation so far. They both said “No way! Americans do not have large families.” They had never met an American with more than 4 children. So I decided to have a little fun. There was a little basket sitting on the table that I liked, and since I have a basket collection from all the countries I have been to, I decided to place a bet with them. I said “If I can prove to you that I have 6 children, then you have to give me that basket.” They laughed so hard and then agreed. So Eric pulled out his wallet and showed them our Christmas picture, which is also the picture at the top of my blog. They counted three times before staring at me in disbelief. Then they accused me of adopting the children. Surely they were not all born to Eric and I. They wanted to know if there were twins or triplets. “Nope, and Nope again!” So completely speechless, he handed me the basket, and said that if I ever brought my children back to San Pedro, to his little shop, they could have anything and everything they wanted. They shook both Eric and my hands. And we continued on down the beach.
one of my favorites pictures of the day.
Love, love, love the colors on this building!
A little boy eating an orange.
The rest of the day was relaxing and uneventful. I would love to return to San Pedro again and spend a week on the beach in one of the little hotels. The sun finally decided to make an appearance late in the afternoon, and the boat ride back to Belize City was relaxing. We boarded our ship once again, were attacked by the Washee washee guard, swiped our cards to make sure Eric was not brining a new wife on board, and sent thru security. Cleared!!