Our last full day in Belize – we couldn’t say goodbye without a little bit of beach time. So, what better than a day at the beach and going snorkeling?
Bright and early, Runa and I woke up before 6am to grab a makeshift breakfast and shuttle out south towards the water.
Our driver dropped us off and directed us towards the resort. We were settled into a tour lodge of sorts, where we sleepily stumbled into a chair and awaited our turn.
Runa, myself, and our two friends from Caves Branch, each got fitted with fins, wetsuit and snorkel gear. We stuffed the gear into a mesh sack and went out by the beach to await our adventure.
Luckily, our Caves Branch buddies knew what to expect and gave us a bit of instruction since we received no directions at all. After getting dropped off at the resort, we were put into the hands of Hamanasi. They would take us out on our snorkel trips (two sections in total with a break in-between). When our entire snorkel group was set, we loaded up on the speed boats.
We stuffed our shoes onto the shelf at the dock, grabbed our mesh sacks, and claimed a spot on the boat. We were off!
Sorry, the photo is a bit rough around the middle – the boat was bumpy. Anyway, we sped off into the ocean about 30-45 minutes. We passed by an island that would be our break point and kept heading towards the reef. Apparently, Belize has the second largest reef in the world, right after Australia. Mario, our snorkel guide, gave us quick instructions and rules then we jumped in.
The water was wondrously clear and buoyant. Wear long sleeves to protect from sun… wear that water resistant sunscreen too.
In case you didn’t feel so buoyant, Mario had a floatie to grab in case we got tired.
We saw some rays – bat rays and eagle rays from afar (which is apparently somewhat rare). Lots of coral and small fishies.
Floating about, we were soo anti-social. We mainly kept our heads in the water and every now and then, I’d poke up to find Runa or Nick, our Branch buddy. Snapping away with Lisa’s water camera, Mario asked me if I wanted to see a cool trick. Uh, yes.
It was pretty neat, for sure. He told me that normally he can get the bubble ring to stay intact all the way to he surface.
After about an hour in the water, we headed back onto the boat and went back to the island we had past for snacks and juice.
Fresh fruits, sweet juices and sunshine surrounded by white sand beaches. You can’t beat that….
Poor crab shell, I found it while eating fruit on the beach. Well, after a break, we headed back onto the boat to snorkel another section of the reef.
More fishes, more coral, more incredible sealife and more silent snorkeling. A little less than an hour later, back into the boat.
When we arrived back to shore, we hit up the pool to rinse off all the salt water. The Hamanasi pool was unheated! After warming up to it, it felt great though.
Well, okay, we tried to smack open one of those coconuts on these abundant coconut trees first. Hey, there were so many laying on the sand and so many coconut trees!
Needless to say, we couldn’t get it open and a guy from Hamanasi who passed by us poor saps, took pity and told us it was useless to keep pounding at the coconut. He had some of his guys slice two open for us and brought them over to the pool. So nice!
When we had enough of the pool, we got hungry and headed over to the restaurant for lunch.
Runa: chicken burrito. Me: Mayan tacos and the rest of the delicious fresh coconut from the beach.
So…. we finished lunch. And, now we had to wait for our ride.
We fell asleep for most of the time. It was a few hours before our ride came… but when he finally did, it was nearing five or six o’clock. Back to Caves Branch! Sunburns, sunstroke, salt water hair and all.