Sunday, January 29, 2012

And so it begins. . . .

Normally Diane and I ease into our holidays - but not this time. She had expressed an interest in learning how to dive and when I asked her yesterday if she still wanted to, she wasn't sure. There is a dive shop located at our resort (White Sands Dive Shop) so we popped in there yesterday and they said that they could do an intro to scuba course in the pool today and then we could go out to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve for a dive. I figured while she was doing that I could get in a dive as well. So needless to say, we were both up before 8am this morning - which you have to admit is an early start for the first day of a holiday :-)

The diving at Hol Chan was really good and I saw a few things that I hadn't seen before. Before I came down I went and bought a torch for underwater as I learned in Hawaii that there are many different little critters that lurk in the nooks and crannies of the corals and today I found this mini eel - probably only 10cm long and about 1cm wide - really cool! We also saw a couple of nurse sharks, a green sea turtle, some tarpon, a baraccuda, a lion fish, lots of two jacks and also sorts of other little fishes that I don't know what they are called. This was Diane's first time diving and I think that she enjoyed it and may contine with her full certification (I hope so as there are lots of dive trips I want to take!) After our dive we went to a different zone in the marine park and snorkelled. Here we saw quite a few rays and a bunch of sharks. Overall, the water is very shallow and our deepest depth on our dive was only 28 feet.

So back to the beginning of our trip. Our flight to Belize City was uneventful although I did get a talking to at customs as I took a picture of the "Welcome to Belize" sign and I wasn't supposed to. Yep - bad me. After collecting our bags and we had to go back into the airport and re-check-in for our flight to San Pedro which was on a small airline called Maya Air.
Not the most high tech boarding pass

While waiting for our flight we were both hungry so got a hot dog and a rum punch (lunch of champions) at Jets Bar - a local institution at the Belize City Airport. I nearly fell off my rocker however when he said $28. Now everyone had warned me that Belize was a little pricy but $28 for 2 hot dogs and 2 rum punches?! It turned out it was $28 Belize dollars or $14 USD - much better.
Now back to Maya Air. They flight little single engine Cessna Caravans with one pilot. Not exactly up to my safety standards but I figured if we went down, I could swim :-) A couple things I noticed on the flight was that there was no safety talk at all - no pointing out of the exits, fire extinguisher or anything - good thing I fly a lot b/c I know all of these things off by heart! Secondly, the co-pilot seat was an actual seat for a passenger. I thinking that when we fly back to Belize City that I am going to try and sit there. Now having had the career that I have had, I am very used to flying in tiny planes and landing on small airstrips but this one has to take the cake! The San Pedro air strip kinda runs up the length of part of the town with homes in close proximity on each side and then the paved strip ends and you hit this little gravel path and yes it is a path and all of a sudden you are at the end and that is that. If you don't like flying, then this was not the place for you to land! LOL!
Coming into San Pedro

Okay - I have more to write but I am getting tired, so until tomorrow. . . oh just so you know, I did have a hard day with diving, reading my book and napping outside in a nice round chair :-)

1 comment:

Ron and Thelma said...

What a hard life you live