Saturday, April 19, 2008

Changa! Fun Saver.

Now I have always been kinda leery of any type of water sport. Not sure why. Maybe it's the fear of really deep water, drowning, or maybe the creepy crawlers under my feet. Shoot I get kinda nervous swimming at the YMCA. But we were in Belize, the country with the 2nd largest barrier reef! (Australia is the first) I had to do it. I don't even think we planned on this. We were winging our entire trip.

We had stopped by a dive shop the day before and were told to come back at 9 am. We did exactly that and there was no one there! We had to talk to a guy working on the dock gas station for information. The whole thing was shady. But the gas station boy said "just go next door, they are alot better." So we hopped one dock south to Amigos del Mar. They were perfectly fine with us not having a reservation. We paid about $40 each and were fitted with fins. Right away we were boating off into the bright blue and green waters of Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley.

We boated out to our location and were told that the Coast Guard was out counting people on boats and guess what, we had too many people on our boat. Thank goodness I volunteered us to go to another boat. Turns out there were some British chicks on our 1st boat that were dissing on Americans and how rude they are. Ha well then. And on top of that, our new boat had the coolest tour guide - Changa Paz.

Compared to the other tour guide, this guy had tons of personality and seemed to absolutely love his job. Who wouldn't love swimming in the Caribbean everyday and showing off your country? As I slowly put my hair up, stripped down to
my swimsuit, strapped on my camera, waddled over to the edge of the boat and looked down into the water - I decided to throw out any fear and jump in. My sister and I were always the ones in the group to do everything first. We were with a group of a few ladies that were more pansies than us.

We were warned to not touch any coral or even flick our flippers near any. Now thats hard to do when your have to adjust things like your MacGyver rigged face gear and hair thats always in your face. The first half of the tour was rough. I constantly had others fins and goosebumpped butts in my face. That and I hadn't gottin used to things, I was hyperventilating and my back was spazzing out and I thought "dang, I'm not going to last till the end." Then Changa came up to me and asked "you ok?" And I said "dude, my backs tired!" He replied "ohhh....just chill. Lay flat, keep your head in the water, and chill man." Andrea agreed b/c she was apparently chillin already.

I finally got the hang of it and it was awesome. Once you got into deeper waters it was much easier and you didn't have to worry about hitting precious coral. From that point on Changa decided to keep a close eye on Andrea and I and always made sure we were having fun. As we got closer to the barrier reef we swam into the deep deep canal. It was relaxing and you just floated and viewed the amazing activities underneath. Including fish bitting some chicks and them freaking out and Changa almost getting his fingers bit off by an eel. Then the large waves started to hit and I was then swallowing tons of water and Andrea was feeling the hardcore rip tide.

After that we headed off to Shark Rey Alley. It was too early in the morning so the sharks weren't there. Sharks? No thank you! Changa knew of a cooler spot that had a ton of Stingrays and a large Sea Turtle. That rocked.

Changa then started talking to us wanting to know what we had planned for tomorrow and that he would love to take us on another trip and we could all hang and not have to drag along pansies. As he put it, "I can't handle those crazy girls." Sounded like a great deal till he also wanted to show us around all the clubs that night. Andrea wasn't listening so I didn't have her to help me think of a reply. I think he even asked us to meet him at the dock that night at 6:30. His accent was too strong so I wasn't for sure what he said. I just said "we'll see" and did the thumps up thing.

He then dropped us back off at our first boat with the mean British girls and as he sped away he yelled "6:30! Be there!" Later Andrea and I were wishing we took him up on his deal. We were wanting to snorkel again so bad and he seemed
like a cool cat. But you never know with two girls traveling alone, didn't want to chance it.

Changa, next time we're callin ya up!