Where's the GD Bird Chart?!

Trip Start Jul 19, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Belize  ,
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Our first stop in Belize was a city called San Ignacio, near the Guatemalan border, where we were kindly greeted by the "youngest San Ignacian mob-boss," Kenny G (that's right, just like the musician), who acted as our personal tour operator and best friend for the next two days. If anybody gave us trouble, we were supposed to report to Kenny G.

He helped us find a hotel room, and then pulled out some ancient-looking map of the area, and showed us all the options we had for tours to take the next day. And of course he gave us the good prices because he "loves the backpackers and understands they got to be savin' their money" and he "don't even mess with no doctors or lawyers" because they don't trust him or some other reason. I don't think he ever expected that he was saying this to a lawyer who had recently graduated from Northwestern Law School and passed the Illinois state BAR. Lucky for us we slid by with that one. We didn't want to make Kenny G mad and not be able to go on the tours.

Kenny G talked up a good tour, and we decided to go canoeing down the local river the next day. No worries, because Kenny G promised he was going to explain everything to us in the morning including minor details like when we would know that we've reached San Ignacio again and the spot to get out of the canoe. He couldn't tell us that night at the bar b/c we'd drink too much beer and forget it all by the morning anyway. Ok Kenny G, whatever you say. The next day, he sent us off into the "wild" with our canoes and without any promised instructions, but we did get a coveted Belizean bird chart that would help us name the four birds we ended up seeing along the river.

Luckily, the river was really calm and we had nothing but good times along the way. We could've really used a Belizean Iguana chart because we spotted huge orange iguanas crawling around and sleeping in the tree tops all along the river. We spent the day floating along and randomly doing pirate-robber drills where we'd paddle as fast as we could in case any pirates of the Caribbean river were trailing us. Sadly, we never encountered any the whole day so all our drills were for nothing.

Chris spotted a rope swing which I think later he regretted every mentioning. We all took turns swinging out and successfully dropping into the river. Everyone but Chris that is. His first attempt started out looking good. He crawled up the river bank, got the rope swing and held on to the stick, swung out and almost made it until he got to the water where his feet dropped, dragged the surface of the water and whip lashed him into the river. Now only because we love him dearly, and for the fact that he was ok, we all laughed the hardest I'm sure any of us had in a long time and almost peed our pants. And Chris was laughing too, which means we were laughing with him, and well, of course laughing at him as well. He couldn't let the swing get the best of him, so he went again. Second swing - BAM! back into the water the same way, this time breaking his flip flop. Now Chris isn't a quitter by any means, and not wanting to be 80 yrs old and always thinking the damn Belizean rope swing got the best of him, he tried again, broken flip-flop and long legs and all, until he finally got it (I think it only took maybe two more times). We're proud of you Chris for overcoming your height handicaps and conquering the swing.

I've just been informed that the pictures taken with the underwater camera documenting this spectacular canoeing and rope swing event, mysteriously did not come out. Funny how we left the job of developing them to the rope-swing genius himself. There might be a raid of your apartment when we get back - I think the pictures could be worth a lot of money to some people. So sorry, our faithful readers, you'll just have to be content using your imagination for this entry. If you know Chris, and you've ever experienced a rope swing, I hope the mental pictures will at least get a chuckle.

After the canoe trip, we treated ourselves to a night at a local bar (suggested by Kenny G of course) where we played darts, recounted the miraculous feats experienced that day, and playing Kenny G hangman with all the phrases being our favorite Kenny G quotes of the past two days. So our first stop in Belize was one filled with lots of memories and enough Kenny G stories to last us a life-time. We left San Ignacio with happy hearts and knowing that Kenny G will always be looking out for us wherever we go.
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