Tag Archives: the things you gotta do!

Belize #3

We went to Belize – another of those 90-day exit thingies – ah, the things ya gotta do. *sigh*

This is LAW’s from facebook page:

Connie Monsees

16 hours ago

How was Belize? 

Lowell Anthony White

Getting there was a bit rough but once there it was nice. We missed the boat in Puerto Cortes and had to travel to Puerto Barrios (4 hours in buses) in Guatemala. The small boat over was rough riding but it was cheaper and we missed a storm by not getting to Placencia til the next day. Had three nice days and then the boat back was on the biggest rolling waves I’ve seen. Fortunately, it was a bigger boat (45 passengers) so it was kinda cool. Got back home worn out. Thanks for asking. Sorry we missed saying goodbye to you all.

16 hours ago

May I say, this is abbreviated in the extreme… so…

here – still in summation – is the rest of the story:

We left the house a little after 6 a.m. … ended up waiting for the 7 a.m. bus … well, we missed the boat because we were on the slowest Sultana Bus EVER! It was jammed packed – even though we got on together, Lowell was in the 3rd or seat, I was kind pushed with the crowd and ended up in the back of the bus in front of the rear bench seat and finally, rather than stand, I got to sit on a little 4-legged plastic stool with my backpack on floor in front of me. It was the first of my ‘wild’ rides – keeping balance while dodging pot holes was a challenge.

After unloading we took a taxi instead of a rapidito (small transit van) to Puerto Cortes – try as he did (a truly valiant effort) our taxi driver just missed the boat. So, after a potty break at a nice restaurant, we got some friendly advice from a waiter and walked 2 blocks over to catch a rapidito to the Guatemalan frontier. Hot is an understatement but, we were on our way albeit in the midst of  ‘Plan B’. Thankfully, through the years, Lowell and I (and our company of kids) have always dealt relatively well with ‘plan b, c, f or k’ … this world is an un-dependable place at times and you just gotta roll with the punches.

So, 2 rapiditos to get us to the border, (stopped at immigration, got our stamps) and one more rapidito once we crossed — this one was loaded! we had 20 or so people in a 15 seater van and stopped and picked up 7 men who just got off work – the door was open and they stood in and almost out, just holding on for several miles til we dropped them in their little village up the road. Amazing. So, this guy was really very, very nice and for 15 more queztales took us all the way to the dock at the ocean – which was excellent because Nemo was just about ready to head out – had we walked the 5 blocks as planned we would have missed him. (Lowell was able to do immigration a block away)  As it was, we bought our tickets right where we could also get baleadas and Gator Aid to go and we ate on the boat.

Nemo’s boat – man! it was a very, very rough and wild ride – it was so windy and the ocean was choppy as all get out. Besides Nemo and us, there was one of his sons, and a little Belizian family. Their little guy was very offended at the ocean spraying him every whip-stitch. Our boat would raise up and you would just steady yourself to be ready of the loud clap – like a gunshot and then the crash down. Oh, our backs and bottoms were so sore after this ride. However, it was lovely – silver sky and sea and the wind felt marvelous after the heat of the day.

Finally, we arrived about 5 or so in Punto Gordo (means ‘fat point’ – what a name) –  did what we needed to do at immigration, we talked about staying in someplace new but, call us old fogeys or whatever, we were content to go back where we had stayed with Jake and Daniel on our 1st trip – so, we had the room next to where we’d been and had a good rest. It stormed so big in the night and I commenced to praying hard that we’d travel fine in the Hokey Pokey water taxi the next morning. And we did – the rains stopped by morning, we loaded on our very nice bus with bookoos of others and we made it to Independence in the nick of time. As we got off the boat a taxi driver asked us if we needed a ride, we said we’d just walk to the Hokey Pokey and it’s a good thing because he ended up calling them and they had just pulled out and came back to wait for us. Thank You, God! Otherwise, it’d been a several hour wait til the next. We ended up settling in to Miss Julia’s cabana before 8 that morning! Finally!! and because they had a storm the night before, they had some leaks in the room we were supposed to stay in and we got to stay in a cabana for the same price.

We felt blessed.

We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 full days of sand, sea and sky – spent time swimming, sitting on the beach, reading, walking the shore, tooling about Placencia, praying, and meditating. Every day the sky was marvelous! The seashore is one of my favorite places in the world – I feel so close to God and can see, hear and sense his greatness and majesty.

We headed back to Honduras on Friday, 9:30 a.m. aboard the D-Express exited Belize – got in to Puerto Cortes traveling over some high seas (yikes!), did our thing at immigration – an additional 90-days! and by 2:30 or so, got on board a rapidito … a long, fun ride to San Pedro’s terminal, by 6:30 rode Hedman Alas back home to Santa Rosa and walked in the door a little before 10 p.m. – whew!

We went to Belize – another of those 90-day exit thingies – it’s a week later and it hardly seems  like it happened at all.

Feel free to view pictures here.  Belize #3

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We Went to Belize …

Here are Lowell’s 1st postings on Facebook and then his ‘thank you’ post to Amber about our trip there…

Traveled in 3 buses, crossed a river in a boat, road in another bus, laid on mattresses to hold them down while we crossed the ocean, spent the night in Punta Gorda, Belize. Rode another bus and one more boat to get to a place to stay in Palencia, Belize just to renew our passport so we can stay in Honduras for 4 more months. The positive – we are on the beach.

Lowell Anthony White–Amber Foster: Amber, thanks for the directions to Belize. We made it to the border, found out the bridge was out so had to cross on a boat. Got to Barrios and went across w/Memo, a Belizean. Spent the night in Punta Gorda and stayed a couple days in Placencia but at Lawrence and Julia’s right next to the Sea Breeze (cheaper but no AC). Went snorkeling out on the reef. And took the D-Express boat back to Cortes. Then 8 hours in a bus from San Pedro because of three wrecks. What an adventure.

and here are some details …

Traveled in 3 buses” … We left the house Tuesday, at 5:00 a.m. to walk to our Santa Rosa bus terminal … these bus rides were long, tedious but we enjoyed the landscape and watching people. After these 3 bus rides (which means we were not just on buses but either in terminals or at bus stops in cities and towns we’d never been to before … a little daunting to say the least) … we arrived in Guatemala where we walked to the immigration office on the border and got our stamps, then took a little mini-bus ride to where we had to cross a river in a boat – the bridge was out, looked like it just fell into the river! – this little boat was precarious and the banks of the river were steep and sandy = slick!

After a long wait in the bright sunshine, (yay!) some wicked heat, and some stiff negotiations we road in another mini bus to Barrios – then walked 4 or 5 blocks to pay our dues at immigration … and then some more blocks to the landing where we ate beef baleadas at a little diner on the ocean front – YUMMY (especially since we hadn’t eaten all day)!! By now it was almost 3 in the afternoon. After working out our fares and checking passports with Memo (mee-mo) – a Belizian, we rode across the ocean to Belize! We laid on some mattresses while we crossed the ocean on this water ‘taxi’ … these mattresses were in the boat being shipped over to Belize so Robin, Lowell and the captain’s son laid on them to hold them down – otherwise, man, they would have blown off! The boat was a bit bigger than a bass boat but not much. Far, far away in the distance one could barely see the outline of Belize. The ride was absolutely exhilarating!

We arrived at Punta Gorda, went through immigration, walked around for awhile, and spent the night in a little hotel that was nice enough and the food was good – that evening we were starving … this is a very small town with nothing to write home about – but it did have a very ‘Belizian air’ to it… laid back and easy and one great thing – they were speaking English!! Hooray! My brain needed a rest from Spanish! At 5:45 the next morning – which is now Wednesday – we headed out to meet another bus … this time we joined about 7 or more Peace Corps workers who were headed up to northern Belize for their annual health exams…and it was fun talking with one of them. We got off at Monkey River/Independence stop – and then walked about 6 blocks to where we would catch the Hokey Pokey water taxi (isn’t that cute?) And this was to get us over to Placencia … finally! We got to this shore about 8:30 a. m.  – the whole wonderful day before us!

We stayed at Lawrence and Julia’s Guest House/Cabanas on the ocean front. They are Belizian and have owned this property for over 34 years, have 8 grown kids, lots of grands and were really nice to visit with. Wow, the ocean was so calm and beautiful – relaxation at its best! Our first morning’s swim was wonderful (Lowell found a humongous starfish)  followed by a fun day of exploration and ease. Daniel rented a kayak for the day for him and Jake and they had a great time out on the ocean. Lowell and I enjoyed it right around dusk and it was a lovely time out on the water. Early on in the day we had rented snorkel and fins for each of us for the 2 days, had lunch at Omar’s Creol Grub, and supper at the Barefoot Grill … both yummy! Also, enjoyed ice cream after lunch … this guy had like 25 flavors (including sweet corn) and had us trying 4 or 5 before we all bought what we wanted – delicious!

The next day, Thursday, we went out to a private caye with a local, Shane, who owns a dive shop – he had someone else take a group out to the big cayes for a real diving gig, but took us to his uncle’s private caye and reef for several hours of amazing snorkeling! Talk about spectacular underwater scenery – this was some of the finest in the world I am sure! The colors were unbelievable – not just the fish and animal life but the sea grass, weeds, coral … so very fabulous! I talked with God the whole time … laughing and praising Him for His amazing design and gifts of the morning! I tried to count how many types of fish I was seeing but lost count early on. Jacob and I saw some of the cutest little cuttlefish and then Lowell and I followed a group of them and after a good little while, they got mad at us and shot up an incredible amount of black ink and swam away in a hurry! Amazing! Shane was able to do some spear fishing – got himself a couple of good size lobsters, a big crab and a pretty large fish for his freezer. The boat ride out and back was refreshing and fun and Shane was just a blast to be with – full of information and stories. It was a great few hours.

We came back to our little guest rooms to some sad news … we got a couple of messages from Donna, back home in Santa Rosa. Here is Lowell’s 2nd post from Belize …

Izzy, our Chinese Sharpei/Golden Retriever dog, passed away while we were in Belize. She lived with us since Jacob and I went to pick her out from a litter of puppies some 11 years ago. She was a product of an ‘illicit affair’ according to the owner of her parents. She was a great dog for a great son. She’ll be missed!

This was too sad for words … it definitely put a damper on the trip. I tried to put it out of my mind til we got back and could deal with some emotions… we still had an evening and morning to get the most out of. And also, the trip back… yikes, remember the trip here? Oh, no!

So, we went out to eat at Rum Fish that night – owned by Americans who came here on their honeymoon four years ago and decided then to buy this restaurant and stay! We ate beer-battered fried fish, caught fresh that morning – wonderful.

Friday was our last morning in Placencia … Lowell, Jake and I watched the sunrise and thoroughly enjoyed an early morning swim. The water is so clear you can see your toes as you walk around up to your neck! Jake found a gorgeous starfish to match the one Lowell found our first morning. Checked out by 8 and all 4 of us headed to a little outdoor diner down near the ocean and feasted on some great breakfast burritos with coffee – perfect way to start the day!

And took the D-Express boat back to Cortes” this is a little bigger than a bass boat … has a inside seating area and we were with a group of about 13 or 14 others … mostly tourists, but another couple (missionaries in Le Ceiba from Mississippi) and a young woman (exchange student from Colorado) were doing what we were – getting out of Honduras to renew passports. We had a totally enjoyable time visiting with these three and the ‘tourists’ – one couple was from England, another from California, a man from Ireland – all with neat stories. There were a few people who came on at another stop … where we were checked out of Belize by an immigration officer who came onto the boat. Conversation was impossible after the engines started up so, Lowell and I sat outside for most of this ocean trip and loved seeing what we could see – not a lot but enough to make me happy – we got back into Honduras right around 1 in the afternoon … good timing!

Port Cortes meant getting off at the docks in Honduras, negotiating for a taxi to get us to immigration, getting our much deserved stamp and extension, then after that, walking to the bus terminal – 4 very long blocks, getting an express bus to the terminal in San Pedro Sula – got there by about 3 and then got tickets for the bus back to Santa Rosa … we thought it was to leave out at 4 but we didn’t leave until 5 (which meant we had time for much deserved pizza lunch/supper from Pizza Hut) and then …

What should have been a 2 ½ hour bus trip took 8 hours – we were not even an hour out of the city before the 1st wreck held us up and then there were 2 more (probably due to the 1st one) Wow, talk about hot and crowded … there were people standing in the aisles the whole time and, at least, we had seats! Lowell handed out cookies to crying babies and kiddos and that helped them and the rest of us. We got to Santa Rosa about 1 a.m. Thank the Lord there were taxis waiting because I sure was dreading the long walk back home … but, because the roads in our neighborhood are so bad, they dropped us 2 blocks away … we walked into the house around 1:30 … exhausted to say the least. It is now very early Saturday morning.

We went to Belize! Hooray!!

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