Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vacation Cruise part 2: Belize, South America

 Today, I shall take you on an Adventure with me! Whether in my GEORGIA GARDENS, or Vacationing, one cannot control Mother Nature. Money was paid and we go Rain or Shine on our shore excursion to Belize. Click HERE to learn more about Belize.
 Only Crazy Americans would sport classy thin plastic weather gear and put themselves under a Tarp in an open boat while in the ocean. Ha, I told you we were off on an Adventure. 
 Our Captain took us to a river in the jungle. I believe this to be the Macal River but am not sure. Survivor Belize 2009 was filmed near the river. So you Survivor fans may recall the name of this river if I am incorrect.
 The rain stopped so we could see the beautiful scenes. See the white bird in flight? 
 We spotted iguana's high in the trees! Did you know these things can grow up to 6 feet long? Click HERE to learn more. 
 At the end of our river cruise, we loaded into this classy Range Rover. Remember, the word of the day is Adventure!
 The Saint and I started off in the back of the Rover while our partners in crime drove and co-pilot the rig.
 I must say, that was one bumpy ride from...well, you know.
At the half way point, we switched positions with our partners and took the helm. Did I mention these Range Rovers were from the UK where the drivers are on the right side of the automobile. And did I mention they were stick shift as well? I told you, we are on an Adventure! I must say, the front seats were much more comfy then the back seats and they stayed in place.
The cushions fell out of their place with us on top of them more then once! Seat belts, we don't need no stinking seat belts. People, we were out for an Adventure! Remember the TV show MASH? That is what I compare this ride to, a jeep from the Korean War.
 After a bathroom break, we headed deeper into the jungle via this swinging bridge.
 The Bridge was a challenge for some but the Saint and I did just fine crossing it. I just could not look down while crossing while the Saint could.
 Our hike through the jungle was awesome to say the least.

 It was a great experience to walk through a real wild all natural jungle!
   A bit muddy in spots that made for a more exciting Adventure.
 Our tour guide pointed out certain things to us such as these papayas. He also showed us wild cilantro and allspice plants along the trail. He said they have lots of natural herbs which grow wild on the land. 
 Do you see anything strange about this tree? Look where it starts to fork out.
 The zoom lens gives us a better view of the Termite home.
 He explained how termites stay above the ground in the wet jungle. Here you see the trail leading to the home above.
 After climbing a soggy hill with slippery steps, we entered a cave. We were all soggy from the wet boat ride thus the Saints wet bottom Ha. We were all soggy from the humidity as well so looking forward to the coolness of the cave.
We had plenty of visitors greet us in the cave and several flying about to keep us on our toes. Thank goodness we are not scared of little ole bats. We heard many squeals from the group behind us. Wimps, ha. 
Our guide pointed out this interesting formation in the cave. Can you see it?
How about now that I turned the photo 1/4 turn? A dog which I believe to be a dachshund.  
 Near the end of the tour is a slope which was slick as ice. Since the Saint and I were at the beginning of the tour, we found this out the hard way. Upon the incline, my feet started to slip out from under me! Yikes, My toes flipped over and I started going down on my shins and knees. I was sliding backwards then caught myself with my forearms and elbows and continued to slide a bit before the stop. I was one muddy mess but laughing all the way. Adventure people! As you can see the Saint was soggy as well. I was the butt to many jokes after that but all in good fun.
This cave was not cool at all. Unlike most caves, this cave is high in the mountain side verses being underground. Where you see that tree in the center of the photo above, it drops off. Yep, we were inside a mountain.
 We made our way back down the mountain, through the jungle and back across the swinging bridge.

We had local Fruit, Water, Soda and Punch for a snack. The grounds surrounding the pavilion and bathrooms were really nicely landscaped.
 And had some blooms to enjoy.
Some type of Canna I recall.
  I dreaded getting on this old school bus as I knew it was going to be so hot inside. 
Time to load but the bus would not start. I was rooting for the return trip on the Range Rovers but no such luck. This Chevy S-10 had to jump start the bus. Adventure, remember! And it was totally air conditioned and a nice ride back to the pier.
 The ride back to the pier is ever so humbling.
 How about a drink from the shop down the road? 
Homes were an eye opener for sure. 
 This is a local Pharmacy.
 Then this house may be right next door to the shack. Lack on codes in these parts.
 Another part of this adventure, a Tender ride. The water is too shallow to dock on a pier. So we had to take Tenders from the ship anchored out a bit. Can you see the doors open to the bottom of the Carnival Dream ship?
 This was all new to me as I had never heard the term Tender before this day. Click HERE for more.
 Tenders ran regularly taking us back and forth to land.
 It was strange as we could not tell we were going from the small boat to the ship. Really smooth transition.
 Well, we wanted an Adventure and that day we had a great adventure! I had the battle scars to prove it!

But nothing a nice cold fruity drink and beautiful sunset could not cure! What a day, In the Garden...
**Stay tuned for part 3, Costa Maya:
Swimming with the dolphins and geocaching!

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vacation Cruise Part 1: Cozumel, Mexico

 Hello Bloggers, I'm back! I have been one busy gal since my last posting. We travel a lot during the Fall and Winter months and boy have we been busy. Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Mexico, Belize and Honduras were on the agenda. Now we have moved on to Winter and wow, this is the coldest Winter we have had in my GEORGIA GARDENS since moving here in 2001.
Once back home after the holidays, I twisted my ankle really bad so I have been pretty much laid up trying to recoup. Laid up does not include sitting at the computer so most of my computer time has been spent on my tablet, which has none of my photos attached, thus no blogging for me. Now, the ankle is healing and I am back to the computer and sorting through vacation photos in hopes of them warming me up a bit.
Our Winter Cruise is always a great adventure and the one we took in December was no exception! Our first shore Excursion was in Cozumel, Mexico. We have been to Cozumel once before so we knew what to expect with the city. Our tour took us to an all-inclusive day at Chankanaab National Park. Click HERE for more on the park...
 Since our first Cruise, I have wanted to snorkel but did not know how. The Saint has since worked with me in our pool but the past few cruises, the weather was not warm enough for such fun. This year was the perfect time to try out my snorkel techniques. Here I am waving at ya.
 The Saint and I were so sure we would be snorkeling this year, that we purchased an Underwater Camera. Seeing the views in crystal clear water on a sunny day was spectacular to say the least! There is my Saint swimming with the fishes!  
 It was such a wonder to have beautiful fish swim up to us.
 A large school of fish were hanging out by the reef.
 The Coral was damaged by recent Hurricanes but as you see, they are making a comeback.
 I felt like a fish myself under the water and was so happy I became brave enough to give it a try.
 Under water is a different world.
 We were not sure how the camera would be with snapping pictures as this was our first time playing with it. I must say, we captured some pretty nice colored fish that day.
 After snorkeling, we had lunch then took our fruity drinks and strolled the garden grounds.  
 Such lush jungle type gardens which we enjoyed.
The Waterfall was soothing to our souls and the Saint had to drag me away from it. I just love waterfalls.
 Mayan type beauties were scattered throughout the gardens.
 We liked this hanging planter.
 Some of the Mayan reproduced pieces were very large!
 We spotted a young iguana in the gardens. With our many lizards, I felt right at home with this little guy.
 There was not a lot of color within this garden so this red really popped.
 There was more activities for us to enjoy such as a manatee exhibit, seal show, dolphin viewing, etc. but we opt for more swimming in the ocean. Yep, that is a large fish in front of us. And yep, no people on the beach behind us! December is the perfect time for a cruise. 
 We plan to return to this island again some day as this was a wonderful place to explore. 
Back to my favorite spot on the back of the Carnival Dream to sit an relax until our next Excursion, In the Garden...
**Stay tuned for part 2 in Belize.
River Ride, 4-wheeling and Caving.

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden