Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Gaudy

Ailsa’s travel theme this week, is ‘Gaudy’,Β  and looking up the definition I found this info in Dictionary.com

Brilliantly or excessively showy: gaudy plumage.
Cheaply showy in a tasteless way; flashy.
Ostentatiously ornamented; garish.

Immediately into my mind popped my Belizean lady’s nails, so I thought as it was so appropriate, I would post the pic again for those of you who didn’t see it the first time around. Even if you did, it’s surely worth a second look. You don’t get much more gaudy than this. πŸ™‚

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In Belize, most of the buildings are painted in very garish colours. It seems as though they are all trying to outdo one another.

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At Christmas at one of the stores in New York, I came upon this guy in a gaudy, befeathered chapeau. He was thrilled that I should want to take his photo, and I had to promise to e-mail him the pic.

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Talking of feathers, this little chap is hard to beat when it comes to showy colours. I can just imagine hubby’s reaction, if I bought him a shirt as bright as this. πŸ™‚

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Of course the theatre is well known for its extravagantly gaudy costumes, like these I saw on a visit to Costume World here in Florida.

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Here’s Dolly’s costume from the musical, ‘Hello Dolly’.

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Lastly, here are examples of fascinating and gaudily decorated temples in Bangkok.

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Well, there you have my pics for the theme. If you would like to see Ailsa’s amazingly gaudy images, just click here.

Cee’s FF Challenge: As wet as it gets

Hubby loves to scuba dive, and Belize has the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, after Australia. Today was the first day since we arrived that the weather was suitable for going out, so I thought I’d tag along for the ride. This is the boat I thought we were going on. I knew that I would be sitting waiting for about forty minutes whilst the dive was in progress. The boat hubby pointed out to me yesterday, looked really civilised and quite comfy, so I packed my kindle, a magazine, and my iPhone in my beach bag, and off we went to the dive office to sign in.

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As it turned out, we weren’t going on the nice, comfy, big boat, but on the little one. Now this was a ‘different kettle of fish’ altogether, and something I hadn’t even considered.

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The first thing I was asked was, “Do you get sea-sick?” “Well no, I’ve never been sea-sick,” I replied. One of the divers, a young girl, looked at me somewhat sceptically, and I could tell she was thinking “Ha, you’ve never been out through the waves in a boat like this before.” She made hectic undulating hand motions to show me what I was in for, and I almost lost my nerve and chickened out. However, I’m not one to show cowardice in the face of adversity, so I did a bit of positive thinking and told myself that NO WAY was I going to be sick in front of half a dozen strangers, and I stepped into the boat. I was surprised to note that I wasn’t made to wear a life jacket, as even when I did a bit of relatively safe kayaking in Thailand, I was made to wear one.

As we set off, the skipper warned me that I was in for a wet ride, and that it was also going to rain, a lot. The sky did look rather ominous, and that big black cloud promised lots of water. Well it was too late for regrets, so I settled back to enjoy the ride.

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It turned out to be the ‘ride of my life’, asΒ going out through the reef to the open sea, we hit wave after wave, at great speed, sending masses of sea spray cascading into the boat. All thoughts of decorum were thrown out of the window, or would have been if there were any windows. I’ve never entered a ‘Wet T-shirt’ competition, but I would have been an excellent contestant. My clothes were drenched and sticking to my body, and my hair was plastered to my head, whilst the salt water was running down my sunglasses. My scary river boat cruise of two days ago, seemed very tame in comparison to this wild and frenzied dash through the waves. At last we reached our destination, marked by a single white buoy, and the divers backward-somersaulted out of the boat, and disappeared from view.

Just the skipper and I were left on board, bobbing up and down in the crazy waves, occasionally getting showered by heavy rains. Funnily enough, and I would never in my wildest dreams have believed it possible, I was having such a great time. We chatted about family, jobs, and life in Belize, and the time just flew by. Soon it was time for the novice diver to be picked up, and I retrieved my iPhone from the safety of my bag, to take a few shots.

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I took the chance when the rain stopped, to have my photo taken with ‘Jack Sparrow’. πŸ™‚ I could tell that he liked being called that, and we were in the Caribbean, after all. πŸ™‚

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After another twenty minutes, hubby, the girl, and Patrick the dive master, popped their heads out of the water, and it was time to head back again

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Do you see my ‘Mean Season’ hat I’m wearing in the photo? Well just after we took off again, the wind whipped it right off my head, and there it was, way back, riding the waves, but all was not lost; Captain Jack, gallantly turned the boat around and rescued it for me. I was so relieved and grateful. I’ve had that hat for about ten years. It’s been all over the world with me, through many adventures, and I would so hate to lose it.

After a snack and a short break, they all went back out for a second dive, but I headed for the shower, and to wash the salt water out of my clothes. I may go along for the ride again, if hubby decides to go diving tomorrow. I didn’t feel in the least bit sea-sick……….must be my sailor’s genes, after all, my dad was in the Royal Navy during the 2nd World War. πŸ™‚

To see more entries for Cee’s challenge, just click here.

Frizz’s Tag ‘C’ challenge: Coconuts and Cocktails

Good morning everyone from San Pedro. I see that FrizzText has a challenge to post something beginning with the letter ‘C’, so here is my contribution.

Here in Belize, where I’m staying for a week’s vacation, there are many Coconut Palms. This tree has been called, “the most versatile tree in the world, as it has many uses. Apart from the edible parts, the rest can used for a multitude of purposes, some of which you can read about here.

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Last night at dinner, I had the most delicious appetiser; Coconut encrusted shrimp sticks in black bean sauce. They were so delicious, and I ate every morsel, apart from the small piece I gave to hubby to try. πŸ™‚

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I also had a very tasty cocktail called ‘Naked Iguana’, which is made up of coconut rum, Caribbean rum, pineapple juice and a dash of blue.

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I still have to do my Lamanai Mayan Temple post later today, but this morning hubby is going scuba diving, and I’m going out on the boat with them, just for the ride. Have a great day, everyone.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Today, we had a wonderful trip to Lamanai, one of the oldest sites in Belize, and I have so many photos to sort through, so I thought I would take part in this challenge, with a couple of pics from our flight there and back.

We travelled part of the way in a single engine, Cessna Caravan propeller plane.

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I don’t like flying in small planes, as they get so easily blown around by the wind, and the take-offs are a bit ‘hairy’ to say the least. I opted to sit right at the back of the plane on the way there, because I thought it was the safest place to be in the event of a nose-dive. πŸ™‚ I had a pretty boring view, looking straight forward.

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On the way back, it was quite a different story. The pilot said that because of the weight distribution, only one young girl was allowed to sit on the back seat. I sat across the aisle from a local woman, and just couldn’t stop myself from staring at her hands. I’d never seen anything quite so fancy in my life. They seemed to illuminate the whole cabin as the sun shone through the window, making the gold glint and the jewels sparkle. I tried to sneak a couple of photos with my iPhone, but the angle was all wrong, so there was only one thing to do; I struck up a conversation with her, during the course of which, I remarked on her nails and asked if I could take a photo. She was really friendly, and so delighted that I admired them so much, that she happily posed her hands for my camera.

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She told me that the ones on her little fingers were solidΒ  gold, hence the safety chains. She was on the way to San Pedro for a family birthday party for her pretty little seven-year-old daughter, and assured me that it was being fully catered, so she wouldn’t have a thing to do. I wouldn’t imagine that one could actually do anything with nails like these, especially the washing up, would you? πŸ˜†

To see more entries for this challenge, just click here.

Sun, sand, and Mojitos.

So here I am, at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, sitting in the bar and sipping a Mojito, as suggested by Tom at The Palladium Traveler. There is so much ice in my drink that I would say it’s almost non alcoholic, but it is very refreshing after our couple of hours’ walk around the town this morning.

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San Pedro is not a smart resort by any stretch of the imagination, but it is quite fascinating nevertheless. The roads in the town are sort of paved, but when you start to get past the main shopping area into the local residential area, they become just dirt and sand. Sidewalks are few and far between, and you really have to watch out for flying golf carts and bicycles. I thought you might enjoy a free guided tour, and did this slide show, so that you can wander around without enduring the heat of the sun, or getting your feet dirty, although I’m sure that some of you are now going to comment that you would give your right arm for a bit of sand, heat and sunshine.

Tomorrow we are going on a tour to Lamanai, which means, ‘submerged crocodile’. After our flight to Tower Hill, there will be a boat trip down the river and through the mangroves, and I’m sure we’ll get some great photos. We are promised exotic birds, monkeys, iguanas and bats. We then go to the ancient Mayan ruins at Xunantunich and will be able to climb to the top of the largest pyramid, El Castillo.Β  Sounds really exciting, and I can hardly wait.

Thursday’s Windows from up in the clouds.

Well , here we are in Belize. The flight from Miami was on time, and I had a window seat, so sneaked a few pics with my iPhone. Here is what I saw through the cabin windows of our two planes.

Tomorrow we will go out exploring. There are so many golf carts racing around the streets. Maybe we’ll also hire one and see where it takes us. It’s awfully windy at the moment, which does nor bode well for my hair, but everyone else also looks like the ‘Wreck of the Hesperus’, so do I care? πŸ˜€

Chat again when I have something to report. Thanks for all your ‘Bon Voyage’ wishes. You’re all so very kind. Mwah!

For more ‘Thursday’s Windows’ you can visit Sandra Conner’s blog.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

In 30 minutes we leave for Miami airport on our way to Belize.

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I’m looking forward to sun, sea and relaxation,

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but will have internet, so I can keep in touch. In the brochure, it looks a lot like this photo taken in Punta Cana.

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So I’ll probably be doing a lot of this. πŸ™‚

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Before I fly away, I would like to wish my blog friend The Asian, a very happy birthday today, and here’s your cake that you asked for. πŸ™‚

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Chat to you you all soon.