Monday, March 27, 2000

February 26

Susan C:Two weeks and counting: We are both really excited about the trip and can't believe it's just around the corner. I've pretty much got most of the stuff I need. Bags arrived - very cool and I bought a small underwater camera from It's a Minolta Vectis GX-4 with 3 modes - regular view, wide angle and panoramic. It's only good to 15 feet, but in my experience, almost everything I want to see is within that depth, and I can free dive that deep. Or I should say I used to be able to. Also bought all my film and polarizing filters for my Canon.

Bought mosquito coils and holder. I have to call the doctor for malaria pills and I should probably update my tetanus shot. I've refilled my prescriptions so am well prepared. On Monday, I will start a tanning regimen at the local tanning salon. I've never done that before but I am soooo white that any head start on a tan will help.

Unpacked my pareus and summer clothes. I really don't need any more as we are really traveling light. I have three! bathing suits - that was a surprise. Better to have too many, I guess.

We arrive in Belize City on a Sunday which means that the boats aren't running to the cayes so we might have to stay one night in the city. We have decided to go to Caye Caulker for three or four days to just relax and unwind before we head out to the boonies to explore the country. We've been reading the books and studying the map and looks like we will go north first to Chetumal which is just across the border in Mexico. Then through Orange Walk to San Ignacio and stay in jungle lodges on the rivers. Maybe even do a canoe trip through the jungle. Then down south to Dangriga, Hopkins and Placentia. This is the area that intrigues me with the Garifuna who are a mix of African and Caribbean descendants. These are very small towns, very local, and they sound like just my style.

After that we go down to Punta Gorda at the southern end of the country where we will most likely take a ferry to Livingston in Guatemala. Then, depending on our timing, and how we liked them, go back to the cayes for a day or two before heading home.

Despite the fact that Belize is only 174 miles long and 65 miles wide, it has so much to offer - ocean, mountains, lowlands, ruins, animals and birds, flowers - and the list goes on. I don't expect we will be able to do all that we want to. But that just gives us an excuse to go back again.

Susan M --2 weeks and counting.

Here I am in analysis paralysis again! What if I take dresses and get that awful warm-weather-chafing? (Link to powder at self-care or How about shorts? No, I just look too weird in shorts and never mind tanning - freckling, that's what I do.So I am taking Autobronzant Lumiereicon icon Khakis are comfy and so they don't mistake me for a guy -just cut my hair really short- I will take some yummy girl stuff. Susan has most of the essentials covered, God bless her.Several cameras, the laptop to stay in touch, all kinds of itinerary and accommodation ideas.

The novel, John Grisham's The Brethren that I have decided to bring on the trip looks pretty exciting. And Susan C will enjoy reading it too.

Seems I am in the habit of assigning "redeeming values" to everything - even just relaxing. Example: while I am hanging out in the hammock I have also decided to read up on the prospect of teaching English as a Second Language in Mexico and also the idea has sprouted to live with a family in Guadalajara while attending the 5 week intensive language courses offered at the University there.

Travel tip: hot weather really zaps your strength so, in the Yucatan, Susan and I brought spray bottles and took turns spraying each other as we zoomed along the highway in the little VW bug with the windows down. Works great. Better than a/c. I will have to be careful this time because Susan has new sunglasses and might get miffed if I get them all spotty. Friendship does have its limits...

Susan C:Looking at the stuff Susan is bringing reminded me that we need to take a small first aid kit with us -- cuts and scrapes and bites in the tropics can get nasty quickly. We will take bug repellent that is also a sunscreen called Sun & Bug Stuff, plus antibiotic cream and bandaids etc. We'll get stuff we can both use so we don't double our weight and baggage.

Before we know it, we'll be on our way, and I keep thinking of Jimmy Buffett's songs -- "I want to go where it's warm" and "Holiday" I am not cut out for this Pacific Northwest weather!


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