Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Elephant walk

The day the circus train came to town, we met down by the train station and watched them walk the elephants from the train to the arena. Then we walked through the park and had a picnic dinner. Such a fun night!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Belize City

Belize City was our least favorite port, but definitely an eye opener.  We had planned on doing an excursion at this port because I read that it wasn't very safe or family friendly and we were going to Cozumel next which we've been to and knew had nice beaches to play on, but when we got to Belize and the ship dropped anchor, the intense winds kept dragging the anchors causing the captain to have to reset the ship and drop anchor again.  This went on for THREE HOURS before he could position the ship where the anchors would hold against the wind.  Because of the delay, they cancelled our excursion.  we had scheduled a bus ride through Belize to the Guatemalan border where we could hike to Mayan ruins, but instead we were left with a day to explore and nothing planned.  I am the ultimate planner, but this journey had something else in mind for us, so I calmly went with the flow and hopped on the tender toward the mainland.  The oceans where the ship was anchored were that gorgeous pale green almost like Jamaica and crystal clear, but as the tender got us closer to the mainland, they turned a murky brownish color.  So my backup plan of finding a nice little beach was looking rather bleak.  We walked through the port area being constantly bombarded and haggled by taxi drivers and salesmen and headed for the customs gate.  The customs gate was topped by barbwire, but we didn't really have another option at this point, so we slid through the guard shack and past the fence and into the city of Belize.  As soon as we stepped onto the street, we were surrounded by taxi drivers aggressively trying to get us to pay them ridiculous amounts of money to take us places.  We kept walking hoping to get away from them and find a more reputable taxi service once we got further into the city, but the conditions just got worse and worse.  The city was so dirty, the smell was indescribable.... like sweaty armpits and month old urine.  The people were dirty, the streets were dirty, the walls were dirty.  It was mid morning and there were hundreds of people just standing around in alleyways and shadows of buildings.  The buildings were crumbling around us; it was unbearably hot, and the level of poverty was just overwhelming.  There were markets selling rotten fruit on their store fronts, every one looked miserable, and the whole place just gave my an uneasy feeling.  We walked around for a short while and then headed back toward the port.  We were hassled by taxi drivers again who wanted to take us to the beach, but said we'd have to pay thugs to get onto the beach once we got there, and we didn't feel like we could trust the taxi drivers to bring us back once they dropped us off, so we decided to call it a day and head back to the ship to swim and play on the waterslides.  We did a little shopping at the port before getting back on the ship and found a place that sold expensive purses for super cheap prices and another store that sold any prescription medication that you wanted without a prescription or doctors referral.  With that, we headed back to the ship to have some safe fun.