3/18 to 3/25 starting Sunday- Visiting Key West, Cozumel, Belize City, Costa Maya
KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Since we’ve been to Key West a couple other times, we decided to walk about 15 blocks down Duval St. to the Butterfly Conservatory, my favorite place. I bought my 4th butterfly, encased in clear acrylic. Each time we’ve been to Key West since the first, I’ve bought at least 1 butterfly, displaying them in our kitchen. We also walked through their butterfly room, meeting a sweet Flamingo who, someone near me said, was “cribbing”, out of boredom. We even saw a female there but it didn’t seem like she wanted to have anything to do with him. On our way back to the ship we stopped at “The Key West Key Lime Company”. We watch “The Profit” on CNBC and this is one of his small companies. The pie was to die for-ice cold straight out of the refrigerator on a really hot day.
COZUMEL, MEXICO We had signed up for a tour of “Secret River” where you go into a cave via a river . Because we’d learned that the water was very cold and we’d need to swim much of the way. We decided to cancel that trip. We also didn’t leave the ship since we’ve been there before.
BELIZE CITY, BELIZE
On 3/22/18 we snorkeled off a tropical island near Belize City. Since we didn’t bring any camera, I have no photos to share. This place has been on our bucket list, to snorkel on the 2nd longest coral reef (after the Great Barrier Reef off Australia). The water was crystal clear, affording us views of the most diverse and largest coral I’ve ever seen. There were all sorts of fish as well, though not as colorful as those in Hawaii. Still, our guides were wonderful, even diving down to bring up a live conch (Kahnk). We stayed out so long the backs of our legs got sun burnt.
COSTA MAYA, MEXICO
On 3/23/18 we took a tour of Mayan ruins, a good 2.5 hour bus ride from the port. It was good to see the land and homes that lay along that route. Lots of poverty, places with old rusted things lying about. As we traveled our guide explained much about the Mayan people. She was extremely knowledgeable about the Mayan civilization but her accent made it a struggle to understand her. The civilization began around 2000 BC, spreading through Guatemala into Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. Their rulers were considered divine and had temples built to the sky so they were close to the gods. Their elite were also literate, using the only hieroglyphic system of this early time. Our guide tried to explain that they used inscriptions (epigraphy) and symbols (iconography) in their writings. Below are the ruins we saw at two different sites.
DZIBANCHE RUINS – Building 6 – a pyramidal platform with a temple with two vaulted galleries at the top 600-900 AD).
Note that one must go down sideways because of the limited width of the steps. This was deliberate – so the people would not turn their back on the gods (or rulers who were seen with divine rights).
Some other Buildings and Spider Monkeys we spotted on our way back to the bus.
KOHUNLICH RUINS This is a National Park yet still owned by a private party who live there with the responsibility of caring for the grounds.
Figureheads. These are looking towards the setting sun, revealing members of the ruling Kohun lineage, represented in the form of the sun face.