‘Travel | Cayo District’ Posts

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

Wedding: The Abridged Belize

Saturday, 27 October 2007

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IMG_0356, Snorkeling off the Caye, Laughing Bird Caye, Placencia, Belize
IMG_0356, originally uploaded by [ecpark].

Now, there are always people who *say* they want to see pictures from the honeymoon, but aren’t prepared for the full 526 photo onslaught. For those, we have prepared something special: the 72 picture abridged Belize.

If you are looking for the full annotated story (the hard core wedding enthusiasts, I presume) check out our more expansive “honeymoon” posts for a walk through our 10 amazing days in Belize.

Explore the Photo Set:
Honeymoon: The Abridged Belize

married for:

0y, 0m, 21d

Travel: Actun Tunichil Muknak, Belize

Thursday, 18 October 2007

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IMG_0695, Entrance to the Cave, Actun Tunichil Muknak, Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Belize
IMG_0695, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Our last excursion in Belize was to a cave system about an two-hours outside of Chaa Creek. Called Actun Tunichil Muknak (or A.T.M. for short), the caves were used by the Mayans as a place of worship.

After driving out towards the A.T.M., we parked the van and hiked 45 minutes to the mouth of the caves. Once there, we hopped into the river flowing out of the cave, and swam inside. After about 100 yards, the water was shallow enough to stand up. After hiking through the water for about half a kilometer, we climbed out of the river and spent an hour walking through the formations which 2,000 years earlier were a Mayan burial ground.

The whole day was spectacular, not just the journey, but the formations and especially the Mayan artifacts left untouched for over two millennia.

Explore the Photo Set:
Actun Tunichil Muknak, Belize

Travel: Last Free Day, Chaa Creek, Belize

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

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IMG_7791, Butterfly Farm, Chaa Creek Natural Reserve, San Ignacio, Belize
IMG_7791, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Tomorrow we are going on our last excursion, so today we did … well, pretty much everything left on our list in Chaa Creek.

We got up early and spent the morning birding with a local naturalist. After breakfast, we went mountain biking through the nature reserve next door. After lunch, we got a tour of the reserve’s butterfly farm. Finally, after dinner, we hiked the resort’s River Trail (which, up to this point, had been closed due to high water levels caused by the wet season).

Explore the Photo Set:
Last Free Day, Chaa Creek, Belize

Travel: Caracol Archaeological Reserve, Belize

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

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IMG_7693, "Caana" or Sky Palace (Group B), Caracol Archaeological Reserve, Caracol, Belize
IMG_7693, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Our first major excursion in the Cayo District of Belize was to Caracol, which is the largest known Mayan site in Belize. The reserve contains the largest building in Belize (the 2,000 year old “Sky Palace”) and dozens upon dozens of excavated ruins from the Mayan Classic period.

One monument here records a military victory over the army of Tikal — a larger Mayan city across the border in Guatemala — in 562CE, where Caracol’s Lord Water is shown to have captured and sacrificed Tikal’s Double Bird.

Part of the excitement was having AK-47 toting members of the Belize Defence Forces escort us from the Mountain Pine Ridge ranger station to the ruins. Apparently, about two years ago, a group of Guatemalan bandits (angry about the aforementioned defeat of Tikal, I’m sure…) crossed the border and held up a couple of tour buses. While the bandits were caught long ago (and presumably taken out back and shot) the Belizean authorities aren’t taking any chances with their tourist revenue.

The ruins themselves were just amazing, and we were two of 30 people in the park that day, so had the place largely to ourselves. Simply amazing.

Travel: Chaa Creek Natural Reserve, Belize

Monday, 15 October 2007

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IMG_7504, Agricultural Fields, Chaa Creek Natural Reserve, San Ignacio, Belize
IMG_7504, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
As with the first day in Placencia, we spent the first day in Chaa Creek wandering around the area. The place we are staying is surrounded by a 350-acre nature preserve, and we spent the morning hiking around the resort’s seven miles of trails.

Travel: Transfer to Chaa Creek, Belize

Sunday, 14 October 2007

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IMG_0424, Road to San Ignacio, San Ignacio, Belize
IMG_0424, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
The morning of day six saw a surprisingly easy three-hour transfer from Placencia southern Belize to just outside of San Ignacio in northwestern part of the country. Outside of the 27km of dirt roads to get from the Turtle Inn to the main highway, the trip was remarkably easy.

Once in Chaa Creek, we spent the afternoon walking around the grounds of The Lodge at Chaa Creek which is where we will be spending the last half of our honeymoon.

Wedding: Honeymoon

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

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let the tropical drinks begin…

I’m not “supposed” to be online, but I negotiated and got that sentence reduced to just a ban on email.

With my new found interweb freedom, we have been uploading pictures from the honeymoon to Flickr. If you want to see what we have been up to, take a peak at our Flickr slideshow of the honeymoon so far.

We’ll keep posting so long as we have access to free WiFi at the bar (the drinks make uploading go MUCH faster).

UPDATE: Well, Flickr was fun while it lasted. Everything is great at Chaa Creek, but WOW! is the internet slow. It takes so long to upload one picture that if we keep going we won’t have any time to *take* pictures. Anyway, we have (sadly) posted our last pictures until we get home this upcoming weekend.

UPDATE: We’re back, and everything is uploaded. We will post an abridged version later, but if you want to see everything from beginning to end you can look here.

married for:

0y, 0m, 3d

Wedding: Honeymoon in Belize?

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

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Courtesy Google Maps

Courtesy Perry-Castañeda Library

Well, we have been bouncing all over the place, but we may finally have a honeymoon.

We went into the wedding with three thoughts on the honeymoon: (1) international — or someplace we can’t go with 5 kids in tow; (2) someplace neither of us had been too before; (3) someplace were we would NOT felt like we had an agenda, or had to get up early every mourning to “tour.”

We started out thinking about Costa Rica, but The Lady Sparkler had already been. We then toyed with St. John’s and the US & British Virgin Islands, but that fell through at the last minute. We think we have now settled on Belize, a small, Central American country once known as British Hondouras.

A friend of a friend of a co-worker thrice removed (or something like that) recommended we talk with Timothy Burke of Burke Travel out of Kansas City, Missouri. Always suckers for recommendations, we called him up and have had great luck. Very helpful with ideas.

I mentioned earlier that the only “remorse” of our married friends was not spending enough on photography, and that is mostly true. The “other” remorse seems to be (a) leaving for the honeymoon too quick, and (b) not taking enough time off for the wedding and honeymoon. So, it looks like we aren’t going to leave until three days after the wedding, and will be gone for a little under 10 days.

For those in the Belize “know,” we haven’t finalized anything yet, but we are looking at the Turtle Inn in Placentia, and Chaa Creek Lodge outside of San Ignacio.

wedding in: