Monday, March 27, 2000

March 11, 2000

The flight wasn't too bad but red eye's are always miserable. All the last minute rush really drained me and I thought I had plenty of time to do everything that I had left till the last minute. But as it happened it was a busy day at work and by the time I had got everything done, gone to the market, finished laundry and cleaned up the house it was time to go to Susan's.

My car fit perfectly in her garage and we loaded the rest of her stuff into this enormous bag of mine and headed out. No stops on the way and we made the ferry with a few minutes to spare.
We figured we probably wouldn't get much to eat on a flight that left at 11:45 so grabbed a bowl of clam chowder on the boat.

The hotel van dropped us at the terminal - hurry up and wait.
We both slept the first leg to Dallas. Susan slept the second - I didn't and then we had a delay in Miami. Apparently the plane we were supposed to get was "kaput" to use the reservations agents word, which wasn't exactly encouraging. But the wait wasn't too bad and we got off the ground about and hour and a half late.

Great flight down and coming into Belize the pilot brought us in low and slow so we could see the colors of the water and the reefs, and lagoons and jungles. I already knew that I was goner. We flew in right over the Belize River and the airstrip is pretty much cut out of the jungle. No cover walkways - just a roll up ramp and warm, moist tropical air. What a treat!

Immigration was no hassle - neither was customs - and we were out into the world, to see a very large Belizean gentleman named Kevin Lewis holding a board with my name on it. Yay - he had arranged to meet us with the rental car. He has a delicious, deep English accented voice. So courteous and pleasant. The only jarring note was the cell phone - it is the same as mine at home and even is programmed to the same ring - every time it rang I jumped and almost instinctively reached for it until I realized I had left my electronic leash behind.

Mr. Lewis drove us into Belize City and we picked up our Geo Tracker - bright red soft top. It has a couple of idiosyncrasies that we have to work with - a previous renter had had to have the starter fixed and the mechanic sort of hot-wired it! So you turn the key on and then press the starter button that is hanging by wires from under the steering column. Very well insulated so I won't fry myself!

Mr. Lewis is a musician and will be playing with his band in San Ignacio over the weekend. What a great excuse for our birthday parties! Our big decision was whether to go north or south out of Belize City and the south got the vote.

With only one wrong turn we were on the highway. Air temperature about 75 with a pleasant breeze and instructions to go past the Belize Zoo and turn left at the gas station. Driving can be a little hairy but there was very little traffic and we recognized out turn off onto a very bumpy, very dusty red dirt road. But beautiful! The vegetation in the area was pretty scrubby but lusher than the Yucatan. And lots and lots of rivers, overhung with vines and palm trees. The water in the streams is crystal clear and we were tempted to join a young Mayan man swimming but resisted as it was getting late and if were to reach Gales Point before nightfall we'd have to get a move on.


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