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Entries in beach (3)


Snorkeling at Caye Caulker - Belize

The previous post on the Belize trip is here..

On our second day, we got a wake up knock on our door (there is no phone in the rooms). The kids also realized that the Wifi works on and off with one bar in the room and gave up on it.  The cell coverage was also on and off. 

They asked the Spa manager for the Wifi and she said "The wifi works only near the pool area. This is supposed to be detox kids. Enjoy the nature!".. you should have seen the look on their faces! It was priceless. It also gave me a chance to launch into a monologue of "in those days we were born without wifi and we used to blah blah blah..". It was my version of my dads speech "in those days I had to carry 5 kg of wheat on my head for 10 kms to get it ground into flour when I was only 5 years old!" 

After gobbling up the breakfast and having more fresh coconut water, we were ready to go Snorkeling. We drove for about 20 minutes to a small village called Bomba, where apparently close to 80 people live. The Belieze Boutique resort spa is near a village called Maskall where close to a 1000 people live. 

The driver was nodding acknowledgements to everyone on the drive there. Everyone knew everyone on this road and that was something interesting. 

We took a boat from Bomba through the mangrove forests, which are protected by the Belize government. There were lot of birds which we normally don't see on the forests. There were crocodiles in the water that reminded me of Goa and Florida.. the two other places where we have seen similar flora and fauna.

After a long ride, we finally got to the island of Caye Caulker where Hurricane Hattie had split the island into two. Literally you can see the split. Then we stopped for a restroom/changing break and were off to the reef and channel to snorkel. 

This is my second snorkeling attempt. I did not do very well many years ago in Hawaii. This time, it was much better, but I stayed close to the boat. The kids went into open water a good distance with the other folks on our party and our guide. They got to see Baracuda and many different types of ray in the deep water..

Everytime I drifted more than 10 feet from the boat, would head closer, grab the ladder, wait for a few minutes and get out again. The reef was amazing in the channel! 

The sharks came to us! Probably because other tourists were feeding them..

Got to see large ray's, sharks, fishes of different colors.. it was a great experience. Then the boat moved to the shallow water in the reef and we actually got to swim with the sharks! 

Once we were done with the reef, the boat went back to the island and we had close to three hours on the island. We ate a really good vegetarian lunch at the Rainbow restaurant and walked the island's one main road, while drinking more coconut water.

Then we found a spot on the beach to put our towels and rest.

We took turns walking, first the kids, then us and before we realized it was time to head back to the boat. 

The return boat ride was breathtaking as the sun went down.

The birds were going back to their nests and we saw some Roseatte spoonbills and green herons as well as a lot of eagles, turkey vultures and falcons.

Missed my big lens for a few minutes. After the Europe trip, I started leaving the 70-200mm lens at home, as it is heavy and lugging it around makes my shoulder hurt. Just enjoyed taking in the sights instead for the first time and was okay with it.

Here are two slideshows of pictures..


We made it back through Bomba to the Resort by 6PM. At Bomba the families make wood carvings out of Teak and Mahogany and sell it to tourists.. we were more distracted by the puppy that was playing with everyone at the shops.. his name was fluffy. He made me forget the mosquitos that were going for us at the dock.

It was a day well spent.. 

The next day we were going to get another early wake up knock for another adventure!


Happy New Year 2018

2017 is done and we are moving on.  The last 8 days saw us visit local places with the BIL's family. My two nieces made photography fun again for me! 

They would randomly come ask me to take pictures in the studio and make funny face poses!

Our plan was to go to the Golden Gate Bridge vista point. However we were not allowed to enter. It was buses only. So we decided to see the bridge from the other side. There also parking was impossible. So we ended up getting flagged to go further and further away from the bridge and next thing we know, we are at a visitor center and there is a beautiful lagoon and a beach with was within eye sight. It said 0.8 miles one way and a mild hike, so off we went. There was a distinct possibility that the little ones might ask to be "lifted" and carried on the way back, but that did not happen. They walked the entire trail and back.

We spent a good 2 hours there and took pictures!

I should have dressed better though. Caught some virus. The rest of 30th and 31st has been spent drinking cough syrup and sleeping. Finally managed to edit the pictures now.. 

We also had the studio set up in the house.. that meant pictures and pictures and more pictures anytime the kids wanted..

we even switched to a black background to test out some shots..

2018 is going to be a busy year for us. My hope is that we all be in better health next year. 

I had the best year health wise for 2017 but managed to mess it up in the last two days! While it is easy to bias an entire year based on the last few days, I did thoroughly enjoy 2017. 

Thankful to my BIL and family for visiting us over the break. When you have little kids running around the house, it lights up the place! 


Ventura beach and Harbor Village

Stop four on our road trip was the Ventura beach and Harbor Village. The beach was very cold and given I like heat more than cold, we decided to walk along the beach facing the sun to see if that would help. 

It did to a limited extent.. Hope that my Vitamin D blood test due next week will pass with flying colors after all the sun we got last week.

The waves were tall and rough and there were not that many people around at noon.

we saw these baby Plowers on the beach.. they were moving so fast and well camouflaged in the sands and shadows.. it took me a lot of clicks to get this little guy. 

Then from nowhere this eagle comes down and takes some of these birds! Amazing how nature works!

 The kids had fun running around and climbing the little dunes. 

Then we went to the Channel Island visitor center. We have always wanted to go to Channel Islands park, but they require a lot of planning as the boat tours get booked months in advance. This time we stayed within walking distance of the starting point, but again, same result. No tours available. 

The visitor center is much hyped in the Ventura city website, but it did not live up to that hype. Compared to other visitor centers we have seen in National parks, this one is "okay". 

We proceeded to go to the Harbor Village. This was the real deal! Had lunch at a nice Italian place called Milano's. The food was great! After lunch we walked around the Harbor and took pictures.. the kids went on a paddle boat ride for an hour and that gave us a nice break for a high tea!

This family portrait was taken outside Milano's. 

They had the entire walkway nicely decorated with these lamps. We watched two guys patiently change the decoration for each lamp from Christmas greeting to New Year greeting. 

The paddle boat ride was starting to be a disaster. We watched another family struggle to even get out of the narrow path. The kids somehow managed to navigate through, and once they were out, they had a great time. 

They were very tired after the one hour paddling in the sun. 

 We stopped by for some last minute pictures in front of the murals on the way out. 

and it was time to say bye to Ventura and head towards Anaheim, as we had a date with Mickey the next morning! 

All of us loved the Harbor Village. It is a quieter less cluttered version of Sausalito and the people were sooo nice! Maybe it was the holiday spirit. Maybe the people in the Ventura harbor village are nice by default. Either way, we loved it!

They say it is 5 PM somewhere, for me it is 9 AM somewhere! So the blog takes a break! 

We pick up at stop 5.. later!