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Chaa Creek Rainforest Reserve – Wildly Civilized

You can say that again.  Ah, Belize, the name sounds exotic, doesn’t it? More exotic than its former name, British Honduras. Cold, clinical, matter-of-fact. No, make mine Belize. Better yet, make mine Chaa Creek Rainforest Reserve in Belize. A tropical Nirvana to ease our February blues and warm our snow-capped hearts. I was looking for a civilized jungle to chill out in, not just another hotel on a beach. To be specific, I wanted adventure travel. An adventure travel vacation is an active one and you’re not as likely to put on weight when you’re active.  Nobody wants to come home fat.  Furthermore, you have more fun and gather more memories when you’re doing things.

A little history here for those who care – from 250 to 900 A.D., the Maya built temples, carved fantastic artwork from stone and jade, made astonishing discoveries in mathematics and astronomy, and devised the most sophisticated writing systems in the Americas. Like ancient Egypt and Greece, they morphed into something completely different. Where they once lived in large urban centres, today you will find them living mostly in small villages scattered around Belize. Times change. But I digress.

We were up to our eyeballs in sleet and snow, one weekend last February. I decided to grab my husband and whisk him off to Chaa Creek for a week in this Garden of Eden. What an experience. The week flew by. We could have stayed a month. We were so relaxed and happy there – just like we had been on our honeymoon, so many years ago. The accommodations are beyond beautiful. The food is gourmet all the way and, although not the cheapest place you’ll ever stay, it is excellent value for money. We took advantage of some of what the resort had to offer. To experience everything, you need a lot more time than a week. I guess we’ll just have to come back.

We stayed in the treetop suite. It was quite large with a queen bed, a sunken living-room area, and a wraparound deck fitted with a sunken Jacuzzi. We overlooked acres and acres of jungle as far as the eye could see, while sipping our morning coffees. The mornings were clear and cool. The air so fresh and clean. I never sneezed. Not even once.  Evenings, we enjoyed the Jacuzzi, enjoying the freedom of getting naked and splashing in our very own pool.

I accompanied my husband to the Mayan ruins. We spent hours there, walking, exploring.  It was exhausting but something we had to do while we were there.  The next day we went horseback riding. (We had quite the time getting him on his horse. He’d never ridden before.) It had been several years since I’d been on horseback so you can imagine that when we finally dismounted after a couple of hours of being bounced around on spirited steeds and enjoying the spectacular scenery, it took us quite some time to get our legs together. The attendants laughed. We laughed too while walking with bowed legs. Not to worry, a cocktail or two later, the stiffness dissipated.

At the end of each day, we traded stories with fellow guests while sipping wonderful concoctions created by our bartender, Raphael. We met some wonderful people. They came from around the world. A couple from Germany, another couple from China, still another from Oakville, which is like twenty minutes from us. Small world. Not only did we trade stories of our adventures du jour but we also learned a lot from each other’s lives. It was an experience of the body and the soul.

I am an avid photographer so I thought I’d died and gone to digital heaven.  At least there was no fear of running out of film.  I took thousands of shots.  I wanted to preserve this adventure as much as possible.  

I’m glad we did this although it wasn’t cheap.  I think I said that before, didn’t I? After all, we work hard all year; it is our duty to reap the rewards and enjoy the fruits of our labour. Life is not a dress rehearsal. 

October 9th, 2007 Posted by | Adventures, Affiliate Advertising | no comments