Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Belize trip: day 3

[click on pictures to see larger images]

On the morning of Day 3 we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast at the Paradise Resort on Tobacco Caye before setting out to Water Caye.

The idea was to sail from Tobacco Caye to Water Caye, with little sails that fit onto the kayaks.

However the wind was low and we mostly paddled. I got a sunburn.

We arrived on a gorgeous sandy beach at the south end of Water Caye in time for lunch.

Omar setup a table in the water on the beach, and we had tuna salad and some kind of foccaccio bread for lunch.

Daisy and Matt remained on the beach lounging in the water, while the rest of us explored and ended up at the bar of the International Zoological Expeditions lodge (IZE).

Very pretty, very cool.

We went snorkelling off the beach and once again I had mask problems, Sam switched masks with me.

Later we got ourselves installed at the IZE.


The accommodations were awesome.

We had one building with three bedrooms, each with its own en suite bathroom, a common lounge and a common deck overlooking the water.

Very airy and beautiful, and it was nice to have the building to ourselves and the shared deck and lounge, with a wonderful breeze coming in from the ocean.

Unfortunately Sam once again got sequestered in a dorm next door. Way better than the horrible room at Paradise Lodge, but still not great.

We loved our deck, we sat out there and read or talked, enjoying the wonderful wind coming in off the ocean, and the view through the mangroves on either side of our little lodge.

Omar led us on a tour of the Caye. A large part of it used to belong to some nuns, they sold it to the Bowmans, an American family involved in fruit plantations in Belize (first bananas and later citrus). They use it for private vacation property.

There is another lodge with luxury accommodations (glass windows and air conditioning) that is empty except for the caretaker staff.

The IZE is used by Island Expeditions and groups of sport fisherman who stay the night and fish all day from their yachts. It has a classroom with lots of books on coral reef life and culture, and a lovely airy dining room and great food.

Again I was starving though, I was not doing well with the scheduled meals. My previous trip to Lighthouse Reef in 2006 got me used to unlimited access to food and I just wasn't prepared for scheduled mealtimes.

The IZE bar was casual and on the honour system, you made your own drinks and marked down what you consumed to settle up later.

Sam and I saw Atlantic flying fish while kayaking to our snorkelling spot. They are small but it was very cool to see them. Sam was a great kayaking partner, we paddled well together I thought.

After dinner we congregated in our lounge and had a great conversation. What a wonderful group, that was at least half of what was great about the whole experience.

Back to trip summary
Back to Day 2
On to Day 4...

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