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Published: April 15th 2008
I woke up to snow this morning, and I laughed. I laughed because it was 4am, and I was getting ready to go to the airport to fly to Belize. The friends I'm traveling with picked me up at 4:45am. I had to navigate past a drunk homeless guy in a wheelchair who was taking shelter in the front entry of my apartment, and through the snow (in my sandals, because I was determined not to take socks and shoes to Belize).
We made it to the airport in plenty of time after picking up two more friends, but the security line-up was the busiest one I've ever been through. We got through just in time to board the plane, then we sat on it for about 45 minutes waiting for them to de-ice the plane. The delay meant we had about 15 minutes in Houston to grab a bite to eat and get on the next flight. I couldn't see out the windows on the first flight, thanks to the de-icing chemicals on the windows, but on the second flight, I had a fantastic view of a garden of clouds over the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula.
In Belize City, there was time for a Belikan beer at the airport before boarding a cessna for the 40 minute flight to Placencia with Tropic Air. We flew between the coast and the Mayan Mountains, over shrimp farms, banana plantations, mangrove swamps and jungle. Part way through the flight, we landed at a practically abandoned airstrip in the middle of nowhere to pick up a black suitcase from a Mayan guy driving a shiny black van. Many of the airstrips in Belize have actually been shut down, with posts driven into them, to slow down the drug trade. We were soon back in the air and back en route to Placencia.
We boarded our catamaran, the Omaha Sunrise, in time to watch the sunset and the stars coming out. We'd arranged to have drinks and snacks on board waiting for us, so it was a great chance to unwind and cool down a bit before going for dinner on shore.
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