Pam’s birthday cruise, part 5 – Belize

The wind gods are still in charge. We woke up early today and I immediately turned on the Ship Map Channel. On the water, still blowing 30 with gusts to 40 knots. Betcha we’re not going snorkeling today. And a couple of hours later we, and everyone else who had water sports planned – all that stuff was canceled because of the wind and waves. At least Dave was starting to feel a bit better, but he was still quarantined to his cabin until the doctors could check him out around 10 AM. They were going to hang on the boat for the day.

So Pam and I dashed downstairs and decided to go horseback riding. We took a splashy tender boat to shore and climbed aboard a bus that took us on a 25 mile adventure. We were startled at the number of simple looking houses that had fences. That wasn’t the startling part, though. It was the razor wire at the top of the fences. Odd. The part of the country we drove through was quite poor looking immediately outside the protected tourist area.

On the bus the young woman guide announced that it was her very first day on the bus. She was obviously nervous; she said a couple of things then clamed up. Oops. She handed the mike to the driver who gave us a pretty humorous and entertaining ride. We talked to the gal after we got off the bus, and discovered she is 37 years old. She looked 17. And she has 5 children. She had been working as a waitress at the hacienda part of the horse center; she was supposed to start on the bus next week. They surprised her – she was also supposed to get a script to study. She was so nervous. She smiled, we smiled, she laughed and we laughed with her and said she did fine. She was very sweet.

We had to wait a while before the horses were ready, so Pam and I lounged in some hammocks near the pool. OK. Just let me stay here for the afternoon and I’ll be good. Man, gotta get a couple of these for home.

The horseback ride took us through some of the jungle. We were protected from the strong winds – where we were there was just a slight breeze with overcast skies. There were cool looking Tarzan vines hanging down and enormous ferns that grew over 20 feet tall. It was beautiful and very peaceful.

Pam had a spirited horse that was willing to trot along at the most subtle urging. Mine? A real slowpoke named Guinness. He must have had a few before we started, because no matter what I did he stayed in one gear. Plod. By the end of the ride I was glad to have a plodder. I was getting saddle sore; who knows what kind of blisters I’d have had if Guinness had any speed. Pam had a great time and she looked like a total natural in the saddle.

When we got back to the ship we had dinner with Cindy and Dave (who only ate some simple soup, poor guy). Tomorrow morning is Roatan Island, Honduras. Our last shore day before heading back. Our last chance to go snorkeling. Before heading up for the night I checked with the purser for the weather forecast for tomorrow. 20-25 knot winds are predicted. It’s going to be iffy.

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