Belize – Cave Tubing – March 23, 2011
When Lori and I were perusing possible excursions, we came across one in Belize that looked a bit different. River tubing through caves. I don’t believe there are to many places in the world that this combination would exist, so, we had to try it. We book excursions for 1 main reason, not missing the ship’s s departure. Apparently they will wait for late returning excursions if booked through them, but will not for people who book independently. The reason being they have no idea where you are on a private excursion, but know when you book their system. Basically cheap insurance.
We arrived in Belize City and were surprised to learn that the cruise ships cannot dock there. Not a problem in any way, just interesting. Shuttle boats took us to shore, about a 5 mile run.
Safely ashore, we found our group and headed for the buses. I would like to thank Lori for her stalwart job of protecting us from the unsecured spare tire rolling along behind our seats. Just a bit annoying, but comforting to know that there was at least a spare tire included in the bus’ safety equipment. Anyways, we were off travelling through what looked suspiciously like Saskatchewan again towards the caves. They were about 45 minutes away. If I didn’t know that the giant taxi couldn’t dock in Martensville, I’d be wondering. The Saskatchewan feel did serve a purpose as we were with Gord and Cheryl and we could describe Martensville at the same time as we were heading for the caves.
The roads were, shall I say, very Saskatchewan like as well as these picture will attest.
I can see why they needed the spare tire to be easily accessible.
We arrived at our destination, after several good bumps. We gathered in a herd while the guides looked us over to decide who would get who. Kind of like a draft, but I am sure they have a pecking order where the top guy gets first pick of what they believe will be the biggest tippers. I had to fight to get Lori in my group as I guess the guide figured she looked like a lousy tipper. (Not true, but it could have happened that way) I settled the dispute by tipping him (neither is this), and we were off to get our intense 90 second training session on the equipment and how to be safe. Receiving our equipment we set out on the hike, through the first jungle I had seen in what I assumed would be an area of the world full of jungle. A nice walk with 3 portages over rivers. Sounds impressive, but actually the water was calf high at most. we arrived at the entrance to the caves and into the water we went. The experience was worth the trip. A cave system once used by the Mayans, very large and the river was fairly slow-moving. The guide was excellent and kept the group together and moving.
Finished up the tubing, returned the gear and headed for lunch. This time the food was free but we had to pay for beer. I liked it better the other way. Lunch over, we headed back to the bus, found the right one, surprisingly parked exactly where we left it and headed back. The trip was a bit different as we were hitting the same potholes, but from a different angle. Took a mile or so to adjust to the change in the rocking, but had it re-mastered. Very important to do this in order to avoid the spare tire.
Arriving back at the dock area, we once again ran the gauntlet of shops and found the bar. I love sampling the local beer, and the one I had here was especially good. Belikin beer, I need to remember that. I guess I just did. I put a link to the brewery in here as, for some reason, you need ID to enter the site. Strange.
The bar was good as well, very much what people think of with a bar in the Caribbean.
And that was our day in Belize. Back to the Spirit for aperitifs, supper, more aperitifs, listening to Pablo and bed to dream of Roatan Island, our next stop.