Growth

01.22.14

Eleventh Day – Things I’ve Learned So Far

  • I can, upon occasion, enjoy eggs with onions & peppers… small(ish) ones
  • This country girl loves her some speed-boat action!
  • Visiting ruins sites is a ‘must-do’
  • I am mutha-f’in SHE-RA, bitches
  • Alone time can be very healthy
  • … on the other hand – the thing about staying in a really small community is that wherever you go, inevitably you’ll run into someone you know

Lamanai & New River Boat Tour…

The New River, Belize

The New River, Belize

In a word: AMAZING. I shot over 300 images today, and I really think I’m going to have a tough time narrowing them down.

The 3 of us got picked up at about 8 this morning after having a brilliant breakfast of eggs & homemade tortillas here at Liberty. Only a few more days of instant coffee… I’m gonna attack my Keurig like it stole somethin’!!

Headed down the River

Headed down the River

The shuttle ride to the boat dock on the New River was pleasant & relatively uneventful. It was proving to be a bright, warm morning with fluffy clouds in a very blue sky. We got to the river and were hustled onto our boat (the 3 of us were the last of our group to arrive), but not before I (of course) spotted & loved-on two absolutely adorable puppies who came right up to me & started licking. I love puppy-kisses!

Sweet Puppy & Mommy

Sweet Puppy & Mommy – The other baby got kisses & ran off

The ‘speed-boat’ (not really a speed-boat, but whatever) ride down the New River was fantastic! I’d forgotten just how much I love being on the water. It took me back to summers on the lake when I was little. I’ve always loved the feel of the wind, the lapping of the water, the precarious tilt of the boat as it corners… and all were present today, along with amazing scenery and fascinating plants and animals that were pointed out to us along the way. Some of the group were disappointed that we didn’t see any crocs (apparently the water is too high right now), but meh – I’ve seen plenty. Guess it’s a Southern thing.

Abandoned Rehab Facility

Abandoned Rehab Facility on the River

We had to let some boats go ahead of us because they were filled with cruise-excursion people & they have to get there and back in enough time to get back to their boats or they’ll get left. O.O !! It was fine, our tour guide said that meant we could spend longer on-site after most people had gone.

We decided to have lunch after we did the tour, which turned out to be a really good idea. Our on-site guide (different from our river guy) took us through at our own pace – we had a great group of only 9! – and he explained history and stories and even told us about really interesting trees.

Old Soul

Old Soul

The first spot we came to was the Mask Temple, and after waiting just a bit we were the only ones there. Everywhere we went was just pulsing with history and energy… even with all the random people around, I couldn’t help but feel it. I could have easily sat at some of the temples, completely alone, for hours.

Ancient Faces

Ancient Faces

When we got to the High Temple, there was a stream of people going up & down. It was imposing, no doubt about that, but I was determined… no way was I coming all that way and NOT going to the top. I was soaked in sweat & very out of breath by the time I reached the summit, but I did it and it was stunning. Absolutely breath-taking views that even my pictures don’t really capture. Maybe if I’d had a panoramic, but even then I don’t really think it would.

Made it!!!

Made it!!! (That’s me rockin’ the safari hat)

That's a loooooong way down!

That’s a loooooong way down!

That temple was pretty busy, but we were essentially alone for the rest of our tour, which was perfection. There was one bit where some living areas had been excavated and you could see another temple across a huge, green field of grass – I would have loved to have been able to just sit there and “breathed in” the space.

Across the Courtyard

Across the Courtyard

By the time we got back to the picnic tables, everyone was starving (it was WORK!). We had rice & beans, fresh coleslaw, chicken, grilled plantains, and papaya. It was SO good – completely delicious. I finished off my time there with a quick bit of shopping. Couldn’t get much, as I’m almost out of BZ$, but I did manage to snag an adorable little magnet and some earrings made from the Ziricote tree. They’re adorable & I can’t wait to wear them back home. I asked the lady who sold them to me to write down the name of the tree, because I definitely would have forgotten.

Amazing 'Picnic' Lunch

Amazing ‘Picnic’ Lunch

We were the last boat to leave, and it was so peaceful as the day wound down. Our boat-guy flew us on the boat back, taking a few short-cuts that were really cool. It was wonderful.

So Detailed

So Detailed

When we arrived back at Liberty, the place had been invaded! There were 20 or more college students from Canada who’d apparently just shown up to hang out with the kids for a couple hours and bring some goodies. I didn’t get any more details, because I went straight to my room to write about the trip – honestly it was a bit chaotic out there. I didn’t have dinner at Liberty, and when the rest of the volunteers headed out to go find somewhere to get a drink… I skipped that too. Instead, I decided I needed some alone time (the day had been really moving for me & I was still trying to process & ‘readjust’ to normal), so I grabbed my kindle with every intention of walking down to Big Mamma’s Kitchen, having a sandwich, and reading – alone. Wouldn’t you know it, just as I’m about to round the corner to BMK, I get flagged down by Pam & Dasia on their way back from the bus stop. They’d had a meeting in town and were headed to dinner at BMK. So… my alone time was not so alone. Ah well, it happens – and I enjoyed the evening. 🙂

Beauty in the Trees

Beauty in the Trees

Amazingly, I didn’t burn today. I got a bit of pink, and I’ll need to be careful in the sun tomorrow, but I’m really proud of myself.

Right now, thinking of all it’s going to take to get up to San Pedro tomorrow, I’m actually considering staying in my room and in bed all day. But I know if I totally blow my last day off in Belize like that, I’ll never forgive myself. I’ll be fine – I know I just need some sleep. Today wore me out physically & spiritually!

Working to keep the Ruins Moss-free

Working to keep the Ruins Moss-free

Note: My days off afforded me the opportunity to do some more extensive photography than what my regular posts encompass. To see more pictures of my time at the Mayan Ruins at Lamanai, please check out my photography blog HERE. Thanks!

View from Above

View from Above

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