Sunday, December 23, 2012

Traditional Maya Fire Ceremony

Enjoying a nice cup of tea!
December 21st 2012 was the end date of the oldest Mayan Calendar that was ever found and therefore led to many speculations as to what that meant and what would come next!  It was touted by some to be the end of the world, a complete annihilation of Planet Earth as we know it, with various versions of space ships, aliens or catastrophic events. To others, it represented a New Beginning, a New Era, or just a simple continuation of life.

All the Maya sites throughout Latin America were ready for the big celebrations, and here in the beautiful Cayo District of Belize, Caracol was the main event.  Tom and I, along with some friends attended the festivities.  It was fabulously organized and I wanted to recognize that, from the campsites where you set up your tent, to the activities, to the food, everything was perfect!

Dr. Jaime Awe, the Director of our Institute of Archeology, gave a power point presentation during a Traditional Maya dinner, and gave a special tour of Caracol to all present during the afternoon.

At 2.30am, a procession of Mayan drums and chanting went through the campsite and at 4am the traditional Maya Fire Ceremony was held in the plaza at the bottom of the pyramids.  It was beautiful.  The Shamans prayed and gave their blessings to those who requested it.  The sun rose and all was perfect with the world.

It was an unforgettable experience which will remain engraved in my mind forever.  Fantastic, surreal, mystical were some words used by guests who attended, and it truly was!

All of us at Mystic River Resort would like to wish all our guests, past, present and future a wonderful Holiday Season, and may New Beginnings be had for us all.

Don't forget to write a Trip Advisor Review for us please.  Your comments and suggestions are always greatly appreciated.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What's New at Mystic River Resort

Hello Everybody,

Staff Day:
We recently organized a Staff Day to take our staff where we take our guests so that they would be able to understand what makes what we do so special.  We gave them a choice and the overwhelming response was "Can we do Offering Cave and Sapodilla Waterfalls?".  So we did.....
I think it fair to say that everyone had an amazing time judging by the beaming faces on the photos!

The descent into Offering Cave....

Some of the artifacts in the Cave.
Going deeper into the Cave.....

A nice wood burning barbeque for those weary cavers1

Relaxing by Sapodilla Waterfalls!

New Member of the Family:
While in Toronto, I recently had the opportunity to get another Doberman puppy.  Cooper, the newest member of our ever expanding family, was born on July 4th, 2012 (how fitting!) and is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.  I thought that bringing him back to Belize, two planes and the waiting in between, would be a horrendous experience, but I was prepared for it because it was worth it to us!  Well, what I did not expect was that Cooper would sleep just about the entire time.  Yep, the entire time, so that would be through Customs in Canada, on the flight, in between the flights, and through customs in Belize!  I think he woke up when I took him out to be examined by the vet!  It was just too funny!  Here are a couple of photos of our new little guy.

Alanna and Cooper on the way home.

Tom with Cooper and Suki in the Dining Room.

Construction of Two New Units:
For those of you who noticed the slabs for the next five units, here are some great news!  We are actually working on two of those new units right now.  September being a very very slow month here in Belize, we decided to just close for a few days and got a fairly large crew to work on them.  We are all keeping our fingers crossed that those units will be ready for our next busy season.....We'll keep you posted for sure.

And please remember to write a review for us on Trip Advisor!  Your comments are greatly valued and they help us make decisions based on your experiences!  Don't forget!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yoga News.....

Hello Everybody,
From Tom and I and all our staff at Mystic River Resort, we hope that this will find you well.
Things have been busy here at Mystic River Resort for the last little while.  We have been receiving many wonderful guests and having lots of fun hosting them.  We also finally completed the roofing part of our brand new laundry room which will now allow us to landscape around the building and remove that ugly mud once and for all.  About time too!

Our brand new Yoga Deck is now also finished and what a fabulous Yoga Deck it is!  Overlooking the Majestic Macal River, listening to the soothing sounds of the flowing water and the chirping of the birds, I cannot think of a better way to let your body and mind go.  We celebrated our first Yoga Lesson on Friday July 20th with our guests Bobby and India.  It was Bobby's first Yoga experience and I think he had fun!  We will be starting with regular yoga workouts three times a week from 7am to 9am, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday but will also schedule other workouts depending on our guests' schedules of activities.  We look forward to using our Yoga Deck many many times and hope that our guests will join us too!

While on a visit to Mexico (it was actually our 2nd wedding anniversary) a few days ago, Tom and I decided to purchase some hammock chairs to use at the Yoga Deck and we ended up having cocktails there last night sitting in those chairs!  How fabulous that was!!  So comfortable and peaceful!  That was of course, followed by an amazing candlelight dinner served by our Chef David who never ceases to amaze us with the fabulous meals he serves.  Thank you David!

The pastures for the horses are now fully fenced so we can take them back there every day!  The grass we planted in those pastures has grown so tall that you can barely see the horses!  Tom had also decided to plant some corn at the same time and you should see the horses chomp on it!  They were really having a great time and left absolutely nothing behind!  Look how pretty Mystic looks!  Both him and River are now just over one year old.

We also have expanded our family of pets!  We now have around 20 ducks (one of the mums is also sitting on twelve new eggs!) in our new pond, another Red-Lored parrot (I named her Lola) to hopefully become friend with Pen....She is only two months old and requires hand feeding which is lots of fun for me but is learning to eat by herself.  Her favourite food?  Scrambled eggs, not hardboiled or fried, just scrambled please!
Next is Suki, our one year old Doberman who is sure giving all the other dogs a run for their money!  She can outrun and outdo anyone of them and when Tom takes the Polaris to the top, she is right there in front (running) and is always the first one back!!
And of course Fabulous Molly, our Currassow.  What do you think of her?  She looks pretty fierce with that big crown of hers but she is really quite sweet.  She loves bananas and corn!  Make sure you go visit all our new friends when you are staying with us.

We continue to expand and clean up our hiking trails and in the process discovered a motherlode of Mahogany trees of varying sizes (but nothing very big unfortunately!) some of which were actually producing seeds.  We collected those seeds and planted them in our nursery and are happy to report that all 82 of them germinated and are awaiting transplant, which is absolutely amazing.  We will be planting them all over Mystic River Resort and will watch them grow over the years.
What will we find next??

A cave, I hear Tom say.....

Again, to our past guests, thank you so much for visiting us at Mystic River Resort Jungle Lodge.  We sure hope you had a fabulous time while with us and we hope you come visit us again in the future.  Don't forget to send us some of your favourite photos so we can post them on our website or on our newsletter.  I would also be delighted to send you photos of ATM Cave at any time.
And for those of you who will be joining us soon, we look forward to meeting you and we look forward to making sure you have a wonderful experience here in Belize and a once in a lifetime vacation.

Don't forget to write a review for us on Trip Advisor please!  Your comments are very important to us.  They help us make sure we know what you want, what you expect and of course that we got it right!

Tom and Nadege

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fabulous News for Mystic River Resort

Mystic River Resort was recently recognized by Trip Advisor and won an award for 2012.  We were ranked #5 in Central America and #12 in the World!!  What an accomplishment!  However, this award was only received because of you, our wonderful guests, who took time out of your busy schedules to write about us and post your comments on Trip Advisor.  Tom and I are very grateful for this kindness and we wanted to thank everyone of our past guests from the bottom of our hearts for making this happen for us.  For 2012, the Year of the Maya, we have moved to #1 ranking.
We were truly honoured to have had you as our guests.
Our new Tour Company, BushDog Adventures is doing wonderfully! Eber, Ben and Lloyd have given our guests super service and we are getting rave comments about their knowledge, level of service and all around gentlemanliness! It truly is a pleasure to work with them and have them as part of our team. Our new day trip, which will take you to Offering Cave and Sapodilla Waterfalls at the Elijio Panti National Park has been a great success and more and more guests are asking for it and enjoying every minute of it. Having Ben as our main guide for ATM Cave has also made a huge difference in the level of service that we can now offer to our guests seeking the thrill of Belize's most renowned cave! We are also planning on purchasing another Polaris since we have now found that their new model is a Diesel vehicle!! We are also looking for an alternative route to Caracol so we can take our guests in this new Polaris.
Our trails have expanded again and will take you through beautiful Mahogany, Sapodilla and Palm groves. We have recently discovered an area where Mahogany trees were actually giving seed pods which means that they are happy there and are going to produce babies! Just to make sure we do not leave anything to chance though, we harvested some seeds and will be planting them in bags for now, ready for transplanting when the seedlings are bigger. How amazing is that!
On the construction side, Tom had kindly agreed to build us a larger laundry room and a larger drying room! Not as exciting as the Mahogany discovery but for our housekeeping team, there is no better news! The extra room in the drying room is very welcomed since we seem to be drying more items coming back from ATM Cave and other tours we are now doing!

And Finally.........

Welcome to Yoga at Mystic River Resort, Belize

Mystic River Resort is proud to announce that starting immediately we will be offering yoga classes about 3 times a week or on demand.  Opening up the spa is something that I have wanted to do since we opened up the resort, but unfortunately, since Tom and I still live in it, there is, as of yet, no spa but we have other areas where yoga will be tons of fun!  Establishing an ashram for teaching yoga at Mystic River Resort is very exciting and we hope that all our guests will take full advantage of the lessons being offered.
We have hired the services of Laine Hoogstraten a healer, artist, and yoga practitioner. She brings over 25 years of experience and a deep spiritual awareness to her healing work and the sharing of her yoga practice.
In her own words, “Yoga is not something you do; it is something that does you. To partake in this ancient metaphysical science through the portal of our physical bodies is an excellent opportunity presented to us in this lifetime. It is amazing that so many yoga traditions and new yoga are available all over the world to anyone who wants to give it a try. The awakening of yoga consciousness in Western society has really only occurred in my lifetime. I am so glad to be a part of a practice which not only heals and restores the physical body, but brings relief and joy to the mind and spirit as well.  I have never experienced such deep and connected yoga as I have in Belize. I think that the predominance of nature, so deeply rooted in the presence of jungle and river, and the proximity of the ancient sacred sites of the Maya, create a palpable energy. It seems easier to access the deep current of incredible connection that seems so close to the surface in Belize. I noticed it right away in my yoga practice after arriving. I could feel it powerfully restoring my health and peace of mind as I acclimatized to Belize.
Once again, thank you to all of our guests who took the time to write reviews for us and for those of you who have not yet.....well there is no time like the present!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 2012

Happy New Year 2012
to all our guests past, present and future,
And what a momentous
year 2012 is going to be…..

We have the end of
the Maya Calendar which promises to give us plenty to do and think about as we
count down the days to December 21st, 2012….

But right now, for us
at Mystic River Resort, 2012, The Year of the Maya, will be remembered as the
year we started our new Tour Company
BushDog Adventures.

With BushDog Adventures, we want to raise
the bar and continue to expand on all the fabulous tours we currently offer and
add some even more fantastic ones! Our
team of expert guides, Ben, Eber, Lloyd and Tom will be ready and willing to go
the extra mile to make your stay with us even more amazing!

Ben has been operating as a tour guide for 20 years. His background includes numerous work
sessions with National Geographic Explorer, History Channel and Programs for
Belize. He is a Field Naturalist who specializes in ATM Cave, Birding, Ruins and Archeology.
He is also a Law Enforcement Ranger!

Eber has been a tour guide for over 10 years, specializing in
Caving, Kayaking, Horseback Riding and Birding.

Lloyd has been a tour guide for over 10 years and his specialties
are Mayan Ruins, Birding and Nature Walks.

Tom has been in the tourist business starting back in the mid-80s
when he was involved in a major resort in San Pedro. He also operated as a tour guide in the 90s,
captaining a 52 foot sports fishing boat, then in early 2000 did tour guiding
in the Cayo District.

Being able to offer our guests complete packages,
including all transfers, room, meals and tours, will allow us to make sure that
our guests’ needs and wants are completely fulfilled and that nothing goes
amiss during their vacation! We will also be able to offer better prices
and more choices! We stand prepared to offer whatever is needed
to make sure that everyone goes home with only one desire….coming back to
Mystic River Resort and experience it all over again!

What this also means
is that effective immediately we will cease to offer room sales. We will, of course, honor room only bookings already made without any pressure to book activities
with BushDog Adventures. What you will see, is a wide range of pre-packaged
jungle adventures and culture rich experiences offering great savings and as
always we are thrilled to be able to custom fit any package according to your
exact needs.

We encourage you to
pass this to all your friends and relatives so they too can experience what
makes Mystic River Resort a one of a
kind place in the Jungle of Belize.
Have a fabulous New
And don't forget to write that review for us on Trip Advisor! Your comments and opinions have earned us the TRIP ADVISOR TRAVELLERS' CHOICE 2012 FOR SERVICE
Thank you to all of you for that.