Poronui, Taupo NZ. 11/17/2015 T

Today it is supposed to be sunny and 69 F! Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere, that means we are in late spring!

I wonder what’s for breakfast.

The beautiful spread of fresh juices, coffee and granola.

The sandwiches for the guides and fly fishers!

Delicious banana apple muffins.

Cantaloupe with raspberries.

Omelette for Steve.

Fried eggs for me.

After breakfast we met Duncan, Steve’s guide, and I checked out where the helicopter would land.

Steve with Duncan his guide.

Flyagra for flies that sink instead of float.

Steve’s gear ready to go.

Waiting for the helicopter to arrive.

The helicopter lands outside the lodge. Helicopter flights are an extra charge. A very expensive extra charge, but if you don’t fly out, you won’t find fish!

Loading up and they are off!

After I saw the anglers and the guides off I decided to take a walk to find someplace comfortable to read (besides our cozy cabin with comfortable chairs, a coffee table for my feet, a kettle to make tea and a drink stocked refrigerator. Remind me again why I wanted a walk?)

Over the stream that ran behind our cabin I wandered. If it hadn’t have rained so much in the past few days Steve might have been able to fish here.

I found an outdoor pavilion where barbecues were probably held.

Then I wave Hi to the horses, I was planning on riding the next day.

I thought I finally found my perfect spot. Sofas, lots of natural light and a beautiful trophy specimen on the wall. I think that it was a 16 pointer! Although the room was pretty, the chairs all faced inside and not toward the view. Plus there were so many flies buzzing in the room I couldn’t stand it any longer!

So I trudged back to the lodge but by mistake took the upper pasture because I saw the lodge in the distance. Unfortunately I was supposed to take the lower pasture!

So after walking back and forth I finally figured out my mistake and made it back in time for lunch.

A lovely garden salad.

A cheese plate and fresh grated beets.

While I was reading today and exploring Steve was off fishing. Here are some pictures Steve took from the helicopter, some of the places that he fished, and the fish that he caught!

After Steve was done clambering in the streams Steve had to hike to a meadow to wait for the helicopter to pick him up. Steve told me that I would have divorced him if I would have gone along. He is right. I stroll, I don’t do whatever he was doing!

Steve fished theUpper Mangamarie above tree line. He described it as follows: It was super clear, about 200 cubic feet per second. It was tough going due to gorge sections that require scrambling “up and over” cliffs and deep pools. I caught 3 rainbows. Steve has told me since that it was one of the most difficult days fishing that he ever had. Not only were there cliffs, but he had to climb them wearing waders and his fishing boots!

Two of the fish weighed 4.5 pounds, one was 5.5 pounds.

Later in the afternoon the helicopter returned Steve, Duncan, and the rest of the anglers and guides. Then after showering and changing it was time for dinner.

For appetizers we had bacon wrapped figs, they looked too rare for me to eat!

Curry chicken wings.

Green lipped mussels, which are a Kiwi (New Zealander) favorite! Mine too!

Cheese straws.

Meat with vegetables.

Chocolate lava cake (lava was set and not oozing.)

Can you believe how white Steve’s beard was?

Would I have physically been able to clamber all those rocks like Steve did?

Weren’t those bacon wrapped figs disgusting?

Poronui, Taupo NZ. 11/16/2015 M

You are probably wondering what happened to Sunday as we left Poughkeepsie on Saturday. New Zealand is 20 hours ahead of New York time, so it is very confusing! We totally lost Sunday but will get to relive two Sundays on the way back home!

After landing in Auckland, we transferred to a little plane to take us to Taupo which is located on the North Island of New Zealand.

New Zealand is composed of two large islands, North and South. We would be staying one week on the North Island in Taupo at Poronui Lodge and then take a flight to the South Island where we would rent a car. As Steve is not good with his left and right, clockwise and counter clockwise I have some trepidation with him driving here. (Like the United Kingdom, driving is on the left side of the road.)

The plane was very small. There were less than 15 people on our flight including the pilot and copilot!

But still big enough to fit Steve’s big beard! He did get it trimmed after our trip West during the month of September!

Outside the airport you can see the large Norfolk Island Pines. When I was in college I had a small Norfolk Island Pine in my dorm room. They grow quite large here.

Poronui is a large hunting and fishing lodge. They also have large Manuka bushes and many hives for bees that produce Manuka honey. Manuka honey is said to have many healthful properties. Here are some dairy cows for that beautiful New Zealand butter.

There are also red stags that are raised here, the Chinese use the horns for medicinal purposes. Think aphrodisiacs!

It is spring here and very rainy. The landscape is so lush!

Steve is outside our cabin. Come on inside! The outside is nondescript, but the inside is really great!

The living room, with a gas fireplace.

Looking toward the bedroom.

The bedroom. Steve says howdy! I did not make Steve sleep on that little bed. I kept my suitcase on it!

The bathroom with a heated towel rack.

From the bedroom looking toward the deck. What a beautiful place to read or just relax and enjoy the view!

This was the view outside our room.

I may need to put this on a loop for a relaxation tape!

We had a little fridge with complimentary drinks. Alas, no Champagne!

Lunch was quiche and a lovely salad.

Sunflower seed bread with gorgeous New Zealand butter.

Chocolate cake and chocolate truffles for dessert.

There were also fresh humongous chocolate chip cookies that need more chips!

Steve did not fish today as it was the first day. He will go off tomorrow. Not sure what the fishing will be like as there has been a lot of rain lately. Fingers crossed he will catch some monster fish. That is why we came here! Our package included fishing for me also, but the fishing is supposed to be technically difficult, and the terrain difficult also. So I will likely not go out with him. What else is new? Ha Ha!

We gathered in the main lodge for dinner. Here I am checking my messages.

Chicken mousse that Steve and I did not try as we don’t care for innards.

Mushroom soup.

Fried pork bellies.

Deep fried venison chorizo in a fry basket.

Dinner was roast New Zealand Lamb with vegetables.

We also had tomatoes with peppers, and a gorgeous salad of fresh spinach with shelled peas. You have to look pretty hard to see the peas, but they are there!

Dessert was a lemon tart with strawberries, garnished with whipped cream and rhubarb sauce.

At this lodge wine and alcohol is included in your rate. Sometimes it can make for some very drunken guests. The guests here are all acting appropriately so no chance at any great stories tonight. Perhaps tomorrow? Dinner conversation ranged from books we were reading to the lack of snakes in New Zealand vs the plethora of snakes in Australia to bar code readers and how bar codes are everywhere.

At most of the lodges that we have been to the guides do not eat with the guests. At Poronui the guides eat next to their angler and also serve and bus the tables. I don’t like it so much, as that means that Steve has even less chance of talking to me. I would rather be the center of his attention. Alas, that will not be the case here!

Yesterday there were showers on and off. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be sunny with a high of 69! Steve will be off flying in a helicopter to catch some wily trout. Or so we hope!

Should Steve drive on the South Island?

Do you like him better with or without the beard?

Did you know that 1/3 of adults have ophidiophobia?

Did you know that is the fear of snakes? It is the most common phobia.

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. 9/15/2015 Tu

Good morning!

Tuesday started with a great breakfast.

At Lunch we had a great salad with a vegetarian stir fry that was so-so.

The cookies with hazelnut filling were spectacular, so I had a happy tummy! I didn’t particularly care for the peach cream pie.

We had a dip in the bath house, and then in the outside spring until we heard thunder. Then it was time to vacate the outside hot spring!

Steve fished most of the rest of the day on the Dolores River and I did some reading. As the elevation here was a little bit higher than Brush Creek I didn’t want to exert myself too much. Our cabin was also the closest to the dining hall in case I had problems breathing. Elevation here is 8600 feet. The elevation at Brush Creek was around 7400 feet. We were gradually increasing our elevation. Our next stop will be at an elevation over 9000 feet. We shall see how I will do in a few days at that higher elevation!

Dinner was most entertaining. (Not because of the food, but the people we met!) We started off with a great garden salad.

Our entree was Trout en papillote, chanterelles, wild leeks, and pine nuts. Served with manoomin roasted carrots and pine cone syrup. The twist was that the trout was baked in a corn husk! What a clever twist on the traditional paper papillotte.

I was not crazy for the rustic apple tart served for dessert. No chocolate!

So today’s crazy story is that there were two guests from Denver who owned many Mercedes-Benz cars. They were having a photo essay done on them for Mercedes- Benz magazine. The couple are avid MB classic car collectors. They own seven cars. ( I think they own three homes and are selling one-but I am digressing here, so back to the story!) One of the cars that they own is a green 1956 300 SL Gull-wing.

The doors open up just like the wings of a gull! The wife even had matching luggage! (Which I didn’t see, but I don’t think she would lie about that! )They stayed for a few days in Telluride and had pictures taken of them in the car tooling around. As the roads to Dunton were too bad the car was kept in an air plane hanger in Telluride so it wouldn’t get dusty until the couple was done with the photo shoot in Dunton!

They traveled with a young photographer. (I wasn’t sure at first what was going on, they appeared to be a threesome, but I couldn’t figure out who was with whom!) The couple were to be photographed in Dunton relaxing in the hot springs and fishing. I know not if they caught any fish! At meal time, the photographer, who always had his eyes looking out the window, would exclaim “The light, the light!” The couple would then dash out of the dining hall for pictures!

They were to leave at AIS 8 a.m. the next morning. This was a new expression to me, and it is something that Steve and I now use. AIS means Ass In Seat (of the car you are going to be driving in!). Now this lady spent a lot of time on hair and makeup, so I am sure that she required a lot of lead time to be AIS at 8! They were going to drive to Gateway Canyons (where I had wanted to stay near Grand Junction-but it was too far out of the way for us) for a continuation of their photo shoot. The photographer wanted to have a helicopter in the photo shoot but the management at Gateway nixed that idea! After that they were going to go to Aspen for more pictures. I was not quite sure how the car was going to get to Gateway, were they going to have someone else meet them or would they have to go back to Telluride and pick up the car?

Now for my curious readers, the car was worth $1.75 to 2 million dollars! I looked it up. There are certain questions that even I don’t ask! I did ask their life story, and here it is. The gentleman started out as an enlisted guy in the Army as a dog handler. After that he started an investment counseling business. Forty years later he owns many homes and vintage automobiles. His wife, who happens to be the original wife(!) was dripping in diamonds. Now ordinarily you always think that someone else’s diamonds are too big, but these were not. As far as I am concerned you can never have too many or diamonds that are too big! The couple were the most down to earth people that you could meet! Only in America, can you go from dog handler to vintage Mercedes-Benz owner!

Steve caught nine fish yesterday including three 17 inch trout! Today Steve caught 8 fish and an 18 inch trout!

Do you own a Mercedes-Benz?

Did you ever have a photo spread done on you or your significant other?

Are you dripping in diamonds?

To Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. 9/14/2015 M

No breakfast pictures today! Not when there is interesting scenery to see!

We hit the road for our five hour drive to out next Excellent Adventure. Seeing wild mustangs and dinosaur bones didn’t really count as an adventure. Just a side trip!

You can just bet that Steve was itching to fish here! However, there was no time to stop today, as we were on our way to Dunton Hot Springs. Steve was going to be able to get his Colorado fish at Dunton. At least we hoped he would!

\We drove through the San Juan Mountains. The highest elevation was 10,100 feet. The Aspens had just started to turn golden.

You can see evidence of a rock slide here.

This is part of Telluride ski area.

This business in Rico, Colorado had seen better days. After 30 minutes of driving on a dirt road we saw a car with flashing lights. What was ahead?

A cowboy and his cattle.

After an hour on a dirt road we came to the gate that would separate Dunton Hot Springs Resort from the rest of the world! Steve is talking to staff asking them to open the gate for us. This was a former mining town from 1885 that turned into a ghost town. In 1994 it was bought and then restored by the Christopher Henkel, a German born London based investor. If you use Persil laundry detergent you keep his family and this place going! The place looks like a dump on the outside, but it is decorated in a five star way! Our cabin is the little one to the right of the main building. The main building is also where the dining area is located.

This building is where the main hot spring is located.There are several springs here. One of the springs is located in a cabin that you can stay at. That would not be our cabin.You can see the spa in the bath house being refilled. There had been a wedding the previous weekend and all the spas were drained, cleaned and then refilled. The spring looks yucky , that is because of all the minerals in the water. This is one of the outside springs behind one of the cabins.

This was another hot spring, you had to climb down stairs to get in.

Here is more of our tour of the town. The library with the bear skin rug that I tripped on. At least I didn’t go boom!

The library’s bottle of whisky. What proper library doesn’t have a bottle of whisky in it? Here is the waterfall. What proper lodge doesn’t have a waterfall?

Our African themed room. The shower was in a little closet on the right of the door.

The toilet and sink were to the left of the door. The Cabin was tiny!Lunch was great.

Lentil soup.

Then fish.

Dessert was brownies and a peppery blond brownie.

We got to meet the bride and groom from the past weekend’s wedding. (Not the couple in the picture above.) She was in a television series that was being filmed in Atlanta (Not the Housewives!) The groom was in the band of a very famous singer. No names for you!

Of course it was time for Steve to gear up and test the waters!

Here is a picture of Steve catching a fish on the West Branch of the Dolores River. Unfortunately I can’t figure out how to post a copy of an old video for you. This was just behind our cabin!

Did you not believe me? Of course he caught a fish!

Lucky, lucky you! I figured out how to insert videos again!

Here are some pictures of the prep work for dinner. Gorgeous potatoes for roasting.

Also many different colored carrots.

We started with a beautiful grilled escarole salad with fruit to start our dinner.

Followed by grilled lamb chops. Our wine was from Sutcliffe Vineyards. Sutcliffe is located in Cortez, Colorado; the nearest large town .I think there was some kind of relationship between Sutcliffe and Dunton.

Our delicious dessert. Sweet Potato Pie with chocolate chile sauce and maple whipped cream.

Would you come here on your honeymoon?

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Bonus question: Have you ever had sex in a hot spring? Scratch that, I don’t want to know!

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga WY. 9/12/2015 Sa

I’m back! Did you miss me? I am continuing our road trip west.

Today would be our last day at Brush Creek Ranch. As usual I had breakfast by myself. Steve would be off fishing. I would do some riding. Buffets always yield unattractive plating!

Here is Steve’s guide checking out the water. You can tell that he is the guide as he has the net. Also if the guide were taking the picture he would either have the sport centered in the picture or on the left of the frame looking toward the river. I should stop complaining, and just be thankful that I have a picture of the beautiful stream!

While Steve fished I rode. I bought two shirts and one pair of jeans to wear while I rode. This shirt is a white buffalo plaid. Buffalo plaids are usually red and black. A new fun fact for you!

Below us you see the Artist Colony and some of the creek side cabins. We stayed in one of the Creekside cabins on one of our stays. Brush Creek invites artists (musicians, composers, photographers, painters) to stay for the season and create.

Now would be a great time to talk about the couple from last night, S and R. They live in the Denver area. She had an absolutely magic voice. Very cultured, with a very interesting accent. While we were waiting to start our ride I told her to keep her eyes out for one of the other guests as she had a three carat diamond. I was very impressed with the ring. I love diamonds. Even larger diamonds on someone else’s hand. There is a joke that a diamond can only be too big if it is on some else’s hand!

She smiled and told me that the ring was nice, but that the ring from her first husband was a 6 carat flawless stone. At that, I shut up but of course the wheels in my head started to spin. How would I be able so get the background story out of her? What was the backstory? Why would she dump him? Did he cheat on her? Did she find out he liked to play with the members of the other team? Was he dead?

I pondered this all afternoon on my next ride. I did lots of pondering as you can imagine!

Here is a beautiful fish from Steve’s fishing.

This is a rainbow trout. I think that it is a close up of the same fish, but who knows? Only Steve and his guide know! Steve caught 46 fish that day!

On my afternoon ride I found this beautiful deer shed. I am happy that we were going to drive back home as I don’t think that I would have been able to fit it in my suitcase!

Steve and I met back for dinner. This was my entree. It looks like it was polenta with elk tenderloin. It could be something else entirely also!

Dessert was a berry crumble.

So we met my new friends from my ride at the saloon before dinner. I asked them to join us for dinner. I have scrambled their faces to preserve their privacy. We met a new couple also. The couple at the far end of the table run a travel agency that specializes in hunting trips. Brush Creek has much to offer for those that like to shoot and hunt. The ranch used to have bison that were available to hunt , but the bison kept escaping and got in the neighbor’s fields. The neighbors were not very happy at that as the fences were ruined and the cattle were bothered. Bothered cattle do not bring happy cattle prices. So that very pricey hunting option had to be scrapped. The couple on the right, S are the couple that we met last night and I went on the ride with today. S is the owner of the six carat diamond.

Now for the tale of S and R. (Which I found out about during cocktail hour at the saloon, this was not something that was discussed at dinner. Who discusses their ex-husband during dinner?) R, the husband, was a senior Vice President for a very large mining, gas and oil development company. They live in the Denver area. He has traveled all around the world managing projects. S was studying to get her degree in social work. She was not in her twenties so this must have been a second career for her.

Now for the story. You will notice that I kind of jump right into my questions. That’s me! Some might think I am brusque, but I prefer to call it an efficient strategy.

“So how did you get a 6 carat flawless engagement ring? Was it a family heirloom?”

“My first husband was a Saudi Prince.”

“Oh.”

Yes, even I can be rendered speechless.

No, I did not ask if she was wife number 1, 2, or 3. Remember I do not ask every question I might want to know the answer to! Nor did I ask which Saudi Prince she had been married to. There happen to be 15,000!

Somehow the answers to some of my divorce questions came out (I did not ask what caused the divorce! It appears that not all of the Arab sheikh style of Harlequin romances have a happy ending in real life!) S lived in Switzerland for two years while the divorce was finalized. That is where her accent came from. It was a combination of upper crust English and a European component. I don’t know why it took two years, but the divorce did. As someone who has been happily married for over 40 years I don’t know nothing about divorces!

S kept all of the jewelry, and keeps it in the vault. She takes it out when she goes to black tie events. As the jewels are not from her current husband she is uncomfortable wearing them on her normal activities. I remarked that S might have been married to a prince, but now she is married to the Real Prince in her life! Isn’t that a romantic phrase? Perhaps I should write romance novels afterall!

Thus endeth our stay at Brush Creek Ranch. Remember how I mentioned previously that I stay in touch with some of the people we meet on our trips? On a trip years later, Steve and I did meet up with R and S!

Do you have any buffalo plaid shirts in your house?

Are you married to a Saudi Prince?

Instead of a third question I thought I would show you what a six carat diamond looks like! This was not her ring, I found it on the internet. You might be wondering what the price point for a 6 carat, D colored internally flawless diamond is…about $550,000. Now I don’t know if her diamond was internally flawless or not. That is still some hunk of change for a ring.

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga WY. 9/11/2015 F

Today would be a special day for me as Steve was going to spend the whole day with me! After breakfast we were going to the gun range and then we were going to go to Robber’s Roost on a trail ride.

This was the set up for the rifle shooting. The rifle was placed on the little bean bag for stability.

Here is Steve getting instructions on how to shoot at the fake prairie dogs.

Next it was my turn.

Steve is getting instructions on the shot gun.

Here is Steve shooting at the targets with the shot gun. As my shoulders couldn’t lift the shot gun, only Steve did this.

My turn with the long guns. We didn’t shoot at the closer targets with these long guns. The closer targets were used with the pistols.

Next is was Steve’s turn to shoot the long range rifle.

Here is a better view of the targets. I think they got painted every night.

These are the types of guns that were available, and the corresponding ammunition.

I enjoyed using the pistol. It is much lighter than the other weapons! Our first year the instructor let my use his personal pistol. It had a laser which made it a lot easier for me to aim at the target. I still did very well with the pistol.

Here we are all done with our shooting lessons.

It was nice having lunch with Steve. Usually I am on my own.

Cookies for dessert!

Here I am all saddled up and ready to ride with Steve. Of course you wouldn’t know if this picture was taken after our ride and I was using the fence to hold my self up!

Here is our guide retelling the story of how this lookout got it’s name. I think any high point gets the name of Robber’s Roost out in the west!

The view from the top of Robber’s Roost is tremendous!

Trying to get the horses to poses for a picture can be difficult!

Here are some nice pictures of Steve and I coming down the mountain.

Dinner tonight was Creekside. There was a big barbecue. It was much different than previous nights as the weekend crowd included a lot of families. We had been spoiled with the ranch being mostly adults only the previous days.

Nevertheless we had a fun time. We met a couple from Denver. They had very exotic accents. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow where they are from!

Do you think Steve should grow his beard back?

Do you think I will find out more about the couple we had dinner with?

Do you have a normal accent or an exotic accent?

What do you think makes an accent exotic?

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga WY. 9/9/2015 W

More from our 6500 cross country road trip in 2015. Enjoy!

Breakfast with a view. The main lodge at the ranch has music going through their sound system every morning. This is my favorite set!

Breakfast. A little of this, and a little of that.

Breakfast is served on the patio outside. The heat lamps are nice in case it gets cold.

I went for fishing lessons with Trey. Steve had fished several times with Trey before and found him to be a great guide. Steve and I agreed that it would be good that instead of his trying to teach me someone else should try to help me with my casting. After I got the hang of it Trey went to another part of the pond to try and catch some fish himself. After noticing that he was getting no action whatsoever I told him that we should go back to the lodge. I figured that if he was not catching anything, then surely I would not also! Nil for the morning. I am hoping that shooting will be easier. Just aim at the target and fire!

Back at the lodge I had lunch by myself.

Meanwhile Steve was out with his guide. He caught one beautiful fish.

He had lunch here.

There are tee-pees for kids to play in when there are group dinners.

It is a pretty spot to visit.

Here is another large fish that he caught after lunch. Steve ended up catching 18 fish for the day. The two largest fish were 17 inches.

After lunch I went riding.

Later we had cocktails at Falcon Peak. This duo plays at many Brush Creek evenings. They are married and have great voices. Singing together a long time they harmonize well.

Don’t we make a cute couple? The answer is “Yes!”

There were lots of shrimp and crab legs to eat.

A sundown picture.

This one is a little better.

Back at the lodge we had a lovely dinner. Dinner included fried polenta and smoked prime rib. It was served buffet style.

The good-watermelon, the bad-fried bananas, with caramel sauce and whipped cream which looked a little bit ugly.

I scraped my plate clean.

Then it was to the campfire for some s’mores.

If I worked outside the house I could have this picture on my desk!

Perhaps Steve would want this picture on his desk.

Did you recognize the song in the video?

How do you like shrimp, boiled or fried?

Do you think my breasts look deformed?

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga WY. 9/8/2015 T

Steve went down to breakfast and it seemed that my email was received after all! Everything was “How are you Steve? I have your fishing all set up!”

Steve had originally arranged all his fishing before we had arrived at Brush Creek. When we were at the activities barn yesterday all his requests were missing, and we were not sure that he was going to be able to fish the water that he had wanted to fish. I had mentioned this in the email yesterday to the VP also, complaining that Steve was having problems with scheduling the week’s fishing. Well, today it was all a different story! The fishing schedule was all rearranged, and Steve was going to be able to fish when and where he wanted to.

In fact, although we were not going to be moved into a cabin, a king size bed was going to be moved across the hall and we would be moved there and have quiet Mountain views. I don’t often complain, Steve and I have a tendency to vote with our feet. However in this case, I was pretty riled up and did complain. I thought that if we were moved across the hall I would be happier.

If I don’t see that an accommodation can be made, I decide to vote with my feet and also warn others about the type of service that they might get. I don’t feel that I owe any business my review. I only let businesses that I like hear about how they might make changes. I think the perfect job for me would be a paid luxury hotel consultant who is a secret stayer. Instead I am a luxury hotel consultant who pays to stay at hotels and gives the hotels my free advice!

This is one of the reasons we keep coming back. A 20 inch brown on the Encampment.

This is Cheyenne the horse that I rode today. There is so much to remember! Shoulders back, chest open, seat firm, hold reins like an ice cream cone, let the horse know who is boss, don’t let him eat grass, lean forward going up hills, lean back going down hills, when you post go up and down faster. If you are hitting the saddle hard it is because you are too slow for the beat, look ahead, not down, sit up like a girl, not slumping like a guy-they are protecting their equipment! Too much too remember but having fun anyway.

This was where I hung out before lunch. Can you believe I got a little sun burn? It’s the high elevation and poorly applied sunscreen!

Dessert from lunch today. I forgot to take pictures of the buffet. Oh well.

Steve came back from fishing on the Encampment to spend lunch with me. He caught three rainbow trout and a 20 inch brown trout. A good morning for him.

After lunch he spent the rest of the afternoon on Brush Creek fishing. He caught 16 brown trout ranging from seven to sixteen inches. All in all a good day.

Once again, I forgot to take dinner pictures.

Dessert. Bread pudding with coffee ice cream and some other stuff. I showed restraint.

Was today’s post too short?

Do you like to ride?

Do you ride Western or English? Are there more differences than shinier boots when you ride English?

Copal Tree Lodge, BZ to home. 1/10/2020 F

Good morning!

Today is going to be a long day of much sitting in planes, airports and then cars. We will not be home until very early Saturday morning. Enjoy our last few moments in paradise and our long trip home!

First is my morning coffee with lots of foam!

I had two eggs over medium with bacon and toast. Steve had scrambled eggs and since he forgot to order bacon I was sweet and shared mine. I am such a sweetheart!

A small plate of fruit with my last breakfast.

I wanted to use the video that Bunny took of her shower as she did such a good job holding the phone steady but she didn’t bring her phone to dinner last night. So here is my video. When I showed you the shower the other day, it was only a picture. You couldn’t really see how magnificent it was!

Our bags were all packed and ready to go.

I made sure to return the room key. There was a $100 charge if you didn’t bring it back. We never even used it to lock the room. I should have just left it at the front desk the first day!

These are the only Jaguars we saw all trip.

Goodbye front desk manager!

Today we got to take the van. All our other trips had been in the Land Rover. The van was air conditioned and I didn’t have to worry about getting dust in my eyes. That was nice, but I enjoyed bouncing around in the Land Rover also.

Steve doesn’t look to happy to be leaving. I was looking forward going home and to hang out on the couch in our house!

It was a short drive to the airport. Town was very busy as it was market day. A day trip to Punta Gorda is offered twice a week for market day. I think I might do that next year, but not when it is so hot and muggy. I think it would be very interesting to see all the products that some of the Mennonites have for sale.

Inside the Tropic Air terminal. It also doubled as the post office!

This is an activity I chose not to do.

Hiking, swimming, more hiking, all in a dark cave that required head lamps. No thank you!

Permission granted to board the plane.

Although the man is wearing a plaid shirt, he is not Steve. This man manages Copal Tree from New Hampshire. He comes every few weeks to make sure that all is running smoothly. The staff at CTL is incredibly personable and seemed to be very happy. Many of the team remembered us from last year. It was a pleasure to stay there.

The plane was given a good hose down to get rid of all the dirt and schmutz.

Good bye Punta Gorda! See you next time.

Here you can see the reef around the islands. the deep water is a much darker color.

It was very cloudy at times. Good thing we were flying via the computers!

The rivers were very sinuous! The roads are straight though.

Agriculture and lots of islands from the air!

This is Harvest Caye an island that Norwegian cruise ships land at. Last year there was a cruise ship parked here. Look how long the walkway is to get to the island!

Here is a short video of what you can do on the island. It looks incredible. Imagine how much fun it would be if the ship just parked here all week and you just hung out on the island all week!

At Dangriga, our last stop before Belize City we had a lot of passengers get on the flight. The copilot left the plane so another passenger could board the plane. Steve was instructed to move from behind the copilot to the copilot seat!This is where Steve was supposed to sit.

As Steve couldn’t figure out how to get out of his seat and into the crew seat (not because Steve is stupid, but because he is big and the space was really small), the manager of Copal Tree Lodge sat there. Even he had trouble getting from his seat to the front!

He was very interesting to talk to. Too bad I only got to meet him on the way to the airport today. Lucky for him I only met him today! He manages Copal Tree Lodge and a private shooting lodge in South Africa. As it is very private I will never go there. The owner only lets his friends stay there. I will have to research this so I can get invited there. Wish me luck!

Well remember my post the first day about how much wealthier I thought the town of Placencia was based on the airport? Well, I was slightly wrong. I do think that there are many more expensive houses there. But it is Maya Aviation that has the more expensive terminal. Tropic has the non fancy buildings. Dangriga and Placencia have both Tropic Air and Maya terminals. In Punta Gorda, there is only a Tropic Air terminal.

This is Dangriga airport. The Tropic Air terminal is on the left and Maya Air is on the right. An interesting fact is that we saw many more flights for Tropic Air than Maya Air departing the terminal at the Belize City Airport! Perhaps all the money went to build the terminals and they didn’t have any money left to buy planes!

At the terminal in Belize City this man was waiting for luggage with us. I still have not quite figured out what the t-shirt meant. I know the phrase, but the rose and what looks like a noose has got me flummoxed. I think I will never find out this puzzle. Oh well. There will always be other crazy people for me to look at!