25 February, 2008

back in force

Well, now that we're back - again, let's get started, ok?

There's just a bunch of photos to share, so, I've organized them (for the most part) by activity, not necessarily chronologically. I'm going to just add a real brief sentence or two for each activity to begin with, then I'll come back later and add more detail till I think it's done.

When Owen and Sandy, from Olympia, Washington, came to visit, one of the things we wanted to do, since Dianna and I had never been to it, was to visit the Lamanai Mayan ruins. Our journey actually started when we took the bus from Corozal to Orange Walk (no pictures yet of that bit). That was fun. We definitely plan to use the bus for future trips around the country.

Once we got to Orange Walk, we had to find Jungle River Tours (no Web site). We did and the tour got underway shortly thereafter. There were about 16 of us in the tour group. Be sure to call their office to schedule a tour when the cruise ships won't be sending people to Lamanai.
Jungle River Tours On The Square
Mr. Novello Giving the Intro
Edwardo Bringing Our Tour Boat In
Along the way, we passed a semi-exclusive resort just outside of Orange Walk, with their own zoo (poor monkeys). and we passed the sugar cane crushing plant (one of two in the country). Major source of sugar and unfortunately, pollution as well.
Resort and Restaurant
Billboard Touting New River Rejuvenation
Sugar Cane Mill
To move the sugar, they use barges down the New River. At this same location, the rather odd looking building is the distillery for rum is produced.
New River Sugar Barges
New River Sugar Barges
Distillery
From the river tour, we got a back-door glimpse of Franz's house (the Mennonite who built our house). Of course, we also had some engine troubles. Edwardo, our excellent boat cox'n, and tour guide speedily took matters in hand. Using a paper clip conveniently latched to the side of the binnacle, he fixed whatever the problem was and we were once again on our way.

Sandy and Owen were raptly paying attention to Edwardo's knowledgeable discourse on local flora and fauna during our hour or so tour up the New River to Lamanai.
Franz's Farm
Edwardo Fixing Things
Owen and Sandy Almost Taking Notes
Another View of the Distillery
Snake Cactus in a Tree
Young Croc Sunning
Honest-to-God Dugout Canoe
Bird at Work
Beardo Enjoying the Tour
Dianna Grooving on the Tour
Arriving at Lamanai
Lamanai Museum
The Lamanai tour through Jungle River Tours cost $80 BZ per person - pretty reasonable, considering they include lunch and soft drinks for the day. The Museum costs $10 BZ per person. It also helps fund ongoing preservation and archaeological research.
One of 700+ Sites at Lamanai
Stela 9 Sign
Edwardo Talking About Mayan Housing
Reproduction of one of the Carvings
Climbing One of the Ruins
Reaching the Top
Rules of the Park
Original Stone Monolith
On Top of the World
Still On Top
Mask Temple Sign
Mask of the Mask Temple
Owen actually made it to the top of every site we visited. The tallest ruin was a bit more than 70 feet high.
Owen Making the Downward Trek
Excavation Edge
Stone Mask Plaster Worn Away
Beautiful View Through the Trees
Major Effort Required
Happy Couple
Well Maintained Grounds
Not An Easy Climb
Lots of Opportunities
At the end of our tour of Lamanai, we got to see the Howler Monkeys. Big apes and with a roar more like a lion than a monkey, they were very impressive. Waiting for the boat to depart Lamanai, I shot this boat. Perhaps a failed tour? When we arrived back in Orange Walk, we were surprised and delayed by a massive political rally for the United Democratic Party (UDP). Surrounded by revelers shouting "UDP - All the Way", it was an exciting end to the day. UDP eventually won the election (the other shouted slogan - "PUP - L o s e"). Of course we still had to take the bus back to Corozal. Once there, we stopped at Tony's Inn for supper and then an enjoyable walk home.
Howler Monkeys in the Trees
Failed Tour Boat?
UDP - All The Way
So, after the Lamanai tour, we spent a couple of days at the ol' homestead. We had only been moved in for two days when Owen and Sandy arrived. They were really gracious about putting up with our mess of boxes and junk. Nothing, literally nothing, was organized. We didn't even have kitchen counters. We washed dishes in the bathroom sink!
Elsie came over to visit
Some of the Move-in Debris
We did get our reverse osmosis water filter to work, so good drinking water all day every day.

Did you know? We also got a new family member. She showed up on Tuesday (Owen and Sandy showed up on Monday). She's actually become a pretty good watch dog in short order too.
Our Reverse Osmosis System
Dave Walking Cindy
Around that time, our front gate showed up. It's simply beautiful. Young Isaiel has done a great job with it. We're almost ready to hook up the motor (not detectable here, however).
The Gate
Isaiel (right) and Helper Showing the Gate
Another View
Along with the gate came our burglar bar screen doors, again by Isaiel. Here's Isaiel (white hat) installing them and his helper touching up the paint.
Installing Burglar Bar Screen Doors
Working on the Screen Doors
The Girls Gettin in the Groove
Our New Futon
The Dining Room
Looking Toward the Living Room
Dianna Looking For Something
Dining Room Cleaned Up
Like I said, the bathroom was central to this visit of Owen and Sandy. We had gotten the counter a few days earlier, and I had installed our fancy kitty terlet - a Cat Genie. I wouldn't spend that much on a toilet for ourselves. What's with that?!
The Bathroom
Kitty Central
Sandy wanted to get some stamps and post cards, so on one of our shopping forays, she got cards at the A&R Store, and stamps at the Corozal Post Office.
A Successful Purchase
Enjoying San Pedro
San Pedro Kitty
We took Sandy and Owen to San Pedro for the last couple of days of their vacation - so they wouldn't have to fly back to Corozal only to have to fly back again to get to Belize International. Besides, we wanted to show them San Pedro. It's a nice place to visit.
Dianna and Sandy Working Hard in San Pedro
Sandy Admiring A Flower
Owen Also Working Hard in San Pedro
Much big ups and respect to Owen for all his hard work helping get our plumbing under control and functioning. Hard work and the rewards? Well be made him and Sandy watch sunrises like this one day after day.
Owen Enjoying a Laugh
Taping the Plumbing
One Sunrise After Another
Even with all the work, we did find time to relax and enjoy ourselves.
Owen Relaxing
Dianna Too
Dining At Cerros Beach Resort
Owen and Sandy at Al's Cafe
Again at Cerros
Monique On Our Deck
4 Girls In The Yard
Owen in San Pedro
Franz's Golf Cart San Pedro
Sandy Enjoying San Pedro
Dianna Admiring An Arrangement
At San Pedro Enjoying Life
With Elsie On Our Deck
Wild and Crazy Folks
Cindy Our New Girl
Cindy Eating Chow
Cody and Monique
Owen and Sandy Departing San Pedro
After Owen and Sandy left (naturally) we got our kitchen cabinets. Here there being installed. We still don't have the tile counter tops done.
Genuine Custom Mahogany Cabinets
More Genuine Mahogany Cabinets
Drawers and Doors Awaiting Installation
Jose Installing Cabinets
Setting Up Sink Drains
This is what has allowed us to begin to update the blog once again. Hughesnet! Actually, it was the Computer Ranch in Spanish Lookout. Spanish Lookout is a Mennonite community. The company is run by Mennonites. Seemingly unusual, but excellent service. Two days for installation after my initial phone call. Third world, hmpph!
Abe, of Computer Ranch Assembling,
And Installing,
and Testing Our Satellite System
Don and Brenda arriving here from Olympia also... But, that's another story yet to come.
Don and Brenda Arriving at Corozal

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5/3/08 19:23

    Looking good! Glad to see you're back online. I was missing your adventures!

    Ramona

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