You Better Belize It!

I wish I had more to help me document our time in Belize.  At the time, I wasn’t obsessive enough about taking photos.  I also didn’t blog and obviously did not realize that it would be a great place to write about!  On the other hand, I definitely did not trust myself with taking my camera cave tubing in a river down a mountain.  It just didn’t sound like something I would be particularly good at.  Luckily, my uncle was crazy enough to think that that was a good idea and got some great shots! (Thanks, Uncle Kevin!)
Belize was the third stop on our Connolly Cruise. Talk about a breathtaking country.  I was desperate to spend more time there—that’s one downfall of cruises… I find them to be such a tease since typically only a few hours are spent in each place.
We started off by taking a good hour and a half bus ride from Belize City up to the lush mountain.  
The drive was so picturesque, as the culture was just lingering alongside the road. 
They have to build their graves above ground because of the high water levels and flooding.  An interesting concept I would have never considered… We actually found the same thing in New Orleans.
So, once we arrived at the mountains, the real fun began.  We picked up our tubes, put on our musty, vogue-esque helmets (seriously, ew.) and began the long, long, LONG trek to the river.  Sure, those tubes look nice, light, and inflatable, but I think someone snuck some small boulders into my tube when he or she blew it up… By the end of the hike, I was practically dragging my tube behind me, hoping itwould, err, wouldn’t catch on a thorn and, well, pop.
Although slightly miserable, muggy, and lengthy, the hike was not all that awful.  We stopped to eat termites (No, I did not try one… I hardly eat food… I sure as hell was not about to eat an insect), became enlightened on some interesting trees and critters, and reveled in some spectacular scenery .  
Once we reached the river, it became very evident that all of our efforts would soon become worthwhile.   
I am aware that the above translucent, untainted water looks very inviting…  I thought so too.  That was until I sunk my tube into it and finally fully understood the expression, “I froze my ass off”.  But hey, it’s all a part of the adventure, right?  So, between shivers, we formed an arm and leg train and drifted into the dark abyss.
This is where those charming little lights on our helmets came in handy.  Not only did they light the way, they also protected our heads from the bats and their feces as they rustled around above us.  Unfortunately, the bats weren’t the only thing to be cautious of.  I needed a helmet for my other end too, as the river was a bit low and we were scrapping our frozen butts against some high-quality rocks along the way.
Every now and then we would get a pleasant break from the darkness.  (The below picture does the scenery absolutely NO justice.  Just trust me when I say it was lovely.)
So, many miles later, we made it in and out of the caves and safely back down the mountain.  Numb and with bruised bums, we found ourselves back on the ship wishing for more time to dissect the unbelizeable Belize.
(Don’t worry, that wasn’t our cruise ship… but that IS my favorite picture I have ever taken!)

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