S: Bonner Reunion August 2011 - Belize
FC: "Welcome to Belize"
1: The world is meant to be explored. Leave no island untrod, mountain unclimbed, cave unexplored or fish undisturbed. T. Bonner | Belize was absolutely stunning - from the natural beauty of the jungles to the white-sand beaches and crystal-blue ocean waters of the Cayes. We stayed 3 days in the Jungle and 4 days on the Island, there was way more to do and see than time to do and see it in! Our days were filled to the brim with adventure, relaxation, excitement, and new wonders to explore. And sharing it all with family was an amazing way to go, we loved Bonner Family Reunion 2011!!
2: "Well, you're in the Jungle..." -Al | Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge | Inn The Bush | Spiders the size of your fist, mice running through the rafters, battling a variety of bugs... "Well, you're in the jungle - Welcome to Belize." - Al
3: Mud Hill, Can't believe we made it up. | Ron & Talula | Talula was Ron's rescued Coatimundi that would follow him around like a puppy and climb all over you like a tree. She was so adorable! (But those nails could sure use a good trim - ouch!) | We found out that our '4-wheel drive' vehicles weren't so '4-wheel drive' after all - it took a GOOD running start at 'mud hill' to make it up, and even then it was only 50/50. Pushing those beasts up the HILL made for some interesting... mud-covered... days!
4: Burke eating termintes... the last time we were in Belize we tasted some that were really minty - these guys just tasted grose
5: We had Excellent dinners at the Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge (Ron was a great chef!) with Al providing amusing commentary from his perch in the corner.
6: Exploring the grounds of our Jungle Lodge - it was beautiful with lots of walking trails, a river to float in & swim with the snakes, massive trees, & some FROGS for KB's enjoyment! | The river was really shallow - we kept scraping our bums on the '"rapids'"
7: "Marco Polo" | swimming with the snakes | at the "Inn the Bush" pool
8: The Great Mayan Civilization of CARACOL
9: Caracol was set deep in the jungle, the jungle was so thick it's easy to see how whole cities could be lost from each other! The ruins were amazing and we were able to climb on, in, and through to explore them with no roped off or 'do not touch' areas!
10: Beware of Sleeping Policemen!! (aka speed bumps) | BIG Banana Spider
12: Armed Escorts protect you from Guatemalan banditos, if you are on time to meet them...
13: Lots and lots of rain...... | ...makes steps very slippery.
14: Rio on Pools | It was the most incredible feeling to jump in and swim right at the base of the waterfall! The current was really strong and it was hard to swim all the way up, but we made it to the bottom of the falls and touched the cascading water, then took turns cliff jumping into the cool waters. It was amazing! | Big Rock Falls
15: The Belize ZOO | Taunting the Croc!! | Admission: Residents $3 Non-Residents $15 | They were within arm's reach of this croc, taunting him with a stick to get him to clamp his jaws shut - the pop sounded like a gun shot! Those are some powerful jaws! | Burke & KB happened to be at the jaguar's cage when a worker came to get it, so they got to play with him for a few minutes outside his cage!! That's a once-in-a-lifetime thing!
16: WELCOME to the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave)
17: The Hidden Entrance to the underground caves! | You literally swam through the river at the entrance and started trekking up the river underground!
18: Don your headlamp, brave the entrance, swim the rapids, | Undoubtedly one of the coolest things we've ever done - being underground trekking up a river so deep you had to swim in some places, the amazing Mayan pottery and skeletons, the awe of being completely underground, WOW, it was INCREDIBLE!
19: OUR OWN | Cave of the Crystal Maiden | climb boulders, squeeze through crevices, up the ladder, remove your shoes, don your socks, and don't touch the Mayan pottery
20: Nothing like a moonlit boat ride across the ocean, to an island you've never seen, with a man you've never met, to really get your heart pumping......
21: Tobacco Caye Paradise Lodge | Missy & Burke | Laura Ty | MomDad | AngieTodd | KB/Kelsi/Julena | WELCOME to your island paradise! | Tobacco Caye, Belize | We LOVED our sea-side cabanas with a deck hanging over the beautiful blue ocean!
22: Don't nap with the blinds open | Wish our cabana had a.c. | We love our hammock! | These places are SWEET!
23: Can life get any more relaxing? I submit that it can not!
24: Come enjoy the sting rays from our deck! They were all over at night and you could see their eyes glowing in the water like glow-worms | Island Life | We played games, read books, went snorkeling, fishing, and scuba-diving, read books, relaxed, timed the sunsets, went for boat rides, scouted for manatees, went 'lobstering', picked and ate fresh | coconuts, read books,... oh ya, and relaxed....
25: always time for fishing.... | Burke pretty much lived in the hammocks | always time for reading.... | this is paradise!
26: I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree! | Hack the coconut in half with a machete | Remove the shell and husks | VOILA!! Fresh coconuts! | Fresh coconut milk - mmm...
27: completely and totally
28: I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this - that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. Hilaire Belloc
29: Snorkeling | The snorkeling was literally almost as good as the scuba diving! Being on the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, on a Caye made from a coral reef, makes for some incredible underwater sight-seeing! It was amazing to be able to snorkel right off the back deck of our cabana! The island had huge coral ridges that we snorkeled over and there were some HUGE fish down in those ridges. The locals say there | Sting Rays, Baracuda, sea turtles, bat-fish, butterfly fish, even an octopus! So many amazing fish that we'd never seen before! | are often sharks gliding up and down the ridges, although we never saw one. We took a snorkeling 'self-guided tour' around the entire island one day, and were pretty wiped out by the time we got back!
30: Reef Fishing with A.C. for Barracuda....... & eels. | When we were trying to catch sardines for bait A.C. got ticked with his boat driver, a 15-year old local boy, so he told Todd to get up there and drive the boat!
31: Kelsi's eel... quite a creepy-looking catch! | Awww, what a cute widdle fishy... | Hold them side-ways like Tyler - they look bigger!!
32: Lobstering.... | We went out to search for the manatees (which we were actually able to see very briefly) and ran across this really old lobster trap filled with HUNDREDS of lobsters! The locals hauled it in and we had lobster for dinner! | Legally???
33: "They forgot about this trap years ago 'mon', it's ours now, - finders keepers."
34: Divemaster Eric | Getting ready for our first DIVE!! | The Dive Shop on Tobacco Caye
35: Scuba Diving at Tobacco Caye & Glover's Reef | Encounters with sea turtles, bat rays, lobsters, hundreds of different fish - it was beautiful! | We're divers - we dive!
36: one of the most | AMAZING | experiences ever!! | On our way back from Scuba Diving a pod of wild dolphins came and started swimming along-side our boat, jumping and playing in the waves - literally almost close enough to touch! I LOVE dolphins - to see them so close in the wild, playfully following us for about 5 minutes, was a once-in-a-lifetime thing!
38: Island Life...
39: The Mangrove trees grew straight out of the ocean from the coarl beds! | ewwww, | fish! | I was really proud that I tried the fish AND lobster, but nope - still tastes like fish... not good... (Beany agrees) | Good-night KB! He slept in the hammock for a comfy night's sleep | ...not half bad!
40: "Please hold the camera straight A.C.... oh, whatever" | Goodbye to Beautiful Belize!
41: At least Captain Buck didn't leave us hanging for the ride back to Dangriga. | Yep, THAT was our boat for all 10 of us for the 20 minute ride back to the mainland! Get cozy!
42: Erika & Steve enjoying San Pedro via golf carts | Many of the homes and buildings were built up on stilts so the actual structure is up completely off the ground. | The bridges were kind-of scary, nothing but a row of bricks separating you from the river, and they were very small and narrow - barely enough room for 1 car, much less 2! | They ended up going to San Pedro instead of our beach bungalos on Tobacco Caye - we missed them on the island!
43: Flying Maya Island Air Dangriga to Belize City | Can I fly please? | It was a tiny plane for our flight back to Belize city, our group took up all but 2 of the seats, and that was with Julena taking the co-pilot's seat up front (only in Belize)!