A Travellerspoint blog

Mexico/Yucatan and Belize with Rob

Rob came over for two weeks for a holiday in Mexico and Belize. We decided to quickly skip Mexico (see title) and discover Belize. Chris Zeger told us about the Caribbean atmosphere jungle and great snorkeling over there...Our first night was in Corozal, a nice retreat the LP said, but we thought it was a ghost town, with as highlight some Amish, all looking very angry.
IMG_0462.jpgThese Amish live very simple and in a closed community without modern comforts, they say. However, we saw them using cars and mobile phones...mmmm. I hope they do not use internet and read blogs too...Following our instincts the next day we already went to the first island: Ambergris Caye. Unfortunately this is still a little bit too close to US state 51, so we ended up in very loud crowds of fat drinking game fishing Americans with sleeveless shirts saying "shut up, just fish". But the snorkeling of a boat trip was great, not so much coral, but nurse sharks and sting rays everywhere. IMG_0419.jpgHowever, a critical note, they came because they were being fed, a very controversial method. It can lead to dangerous situations and their natural behaviour (looking for food) is being disturbed. But now I also know how Steve Irwin died. These rays were so gentle that I could lift them out of the water and they did everything to avoid using their sting. Irwin was good for animals, but he must have annoyed his fatal stingray really badly. Anyway, it was a great gameviewing day, because afterwards we went to the lagoon behind the beach. We took a bike and had to cross the airstrip, looking left-right and again left).There we found a bunch of crocodiles!!! Unfortunately, again they were being fed. So mixed feelings again! Anyway, here are some great pictures and a video from up close.
IMG_0444.jpgThey say salt water crocs are the most dangerous animals in the water alive, but again my theory was proven that animals do not attack people unless they can not do anything else. I came up to a few meters and the 2-3 meter sweeties just jumped/swam off, looking scared!! Big bird watched the whole scene.IMG_0453.jpg So next stop Caye Caulker, more relaxed and again nurse sharks, rays and one crocodile. But in the split (stupid looking bit of sandy water) we found a long nose bat fish (Rob looked up on the web), that looked like a frog that was chemically treated and smashed by a car) and an eagle ray in 2 meters deep water (normally deep water animals).Ogcocephal..rons_sm.jpg

Then off to Placencia, a beach resort with finally some local night life. We also looked for Manatees here with a kayak, but could not find any. We did not find the time to visit the jungle and inland anymore. To summarize Belize (well the coast part of it), great nature, but the reef is far away and trips are expensive (expec. in low season when they are now other travellers joining). Also, the people are often very very very relaxed and slow, slow slow, a little bit too. Some prefer not doing anything for you, unless the get a lot of money.

So, back in Mexico we spent some days in Tulum and Playa del Carmen (like Benidorm but nice after quiet Belize).
Sander en ..n Tulum.jpgWe even met two different people from Den Haag, we knew. Then I said goodbye to Rob and went off for a few days of Cozumel, the diving and cruiseship capital of Mexico. Diving was very good: increadible visibility and 5 turtles, 3 black tip reef sharks and 3 nurse sharks! So now have to run to fly from Cancun to Los Angeles (skating along venice beach?) and then the day after to Fiji...yours, Sander

Posted by Sander938 07:59 Archived in Belize Comments (1)

San Francisco and Sunshine state

Off to a good start

First on the program was of course the obligatory look-around-the city and see all the tourist attractions. Not bad at all, San Francisco is much like Cape Town.
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But after a few hours, I could not resist myself. Even on my first day I had to find some animals. And wow, I did. Sea lions frolicked in the harbor.
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And the next days proved to be even better; Great landscape around SF! Look at these elks!
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And more sea lions and even elephant sea lions (huge creatures)! I could not resist the temptation and jumped into the ice cold water and snorkeled with the sea lions. So after one day I can already reveal the mission statement of my trip: "Jump into the water with as many as creatures possible" with the ultimate goal "Be the new Steve Irwin".
And it became even better with Risso´s dolphins (2nd largest dolphins) and two humpback whales on a boat trip (no snorkeling unfortunately).

So, then off to Tallahassee to meet a friend. And again I was very lucky. We rented kayaks to paddle down the Wakulla river and bumped into a herd of see cows (manatees).
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So I jumped in and could count "in the water with creature number two". This was one of the most amazing experiences ever. The adults were indifferent to my presence. But two very cute (some people say ugly, but they did not see their smile) small babies (only 1.5 meter) came to me to play. They enjoyed being rubbed on their bellies and to be rolled over.
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Out of fashion: Swimming with dolphins, in: swimming with manatees. And if it wasn´t enough, the next day we saw alligators from a boat.
IMG_0314.jpg One was like 100 meters away from the spring beach were we swam. But unfortunately I could not add amazing creature number three to my "swimming with creatures" list and may be better so. ... Oh in between in Ginnie springs I snorkeled a river and saw strange long fish (alligator rods) and turtles. But more interesting, the alligator story continued in a little bit more dramatic way. On my way from Tallahassee to Miami (for flight to Cancun to meet Rob) by rental car I took another small kayak trip. I ended up being lost with as great feature a lot of alligators in dead end rivers too close to my boat (one actually hit my boat). That was not so funny anymore: completely alone, complete lost and completely surrounded by sometimes ten 3 meter allogators. I ended up parking my kayak on a small beach, hiking through a small swamp (also not so funny)and walking on the road back to the kayak rental people. So fooks, I think that is enough for the first two weeks. If my trip continues like this...

Posted by Sander938 19:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The South Pacific awaits...

Sri Lanka ..gezicht.JPG In a few days I will be off for eight months of South Pacific and more. My plan (which will change for sure) is to do a week of USA (I have to stop there anyhow) searching for sea life, a small way back east for two weeks to visit Mexico and Belize with Rob, then six weeks looking for fish between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, followed by a one month boot camp for Katja and friend before maybe licensing them for diving on the (well known?) Cook Islands, then six weeks with Katja in a buy-a-wreck through New Zealand. And this brings us in 2007, from which I will take it further...
moorea_pictures_9.jpg. Maybe back to the South Pacific to play dive instructor, to New Zealand to ski, to the less visited western part of Australia or to Papua to find this recenty discovered vacuum cleaning shark. Ideas enough. I will keep you posted...
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Posted by Sander938 03:12 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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