On the drive we kept seeing signs to "Visit Maruba Resort - just a shot way past the cut off to Altun Ha" so naturally we went there after sightseeing. We parked and found a trail lined with coconut palms and it was like being in a tunnel because it was so narrow and the palm fronds were closed in on the sides and the top. We walked and walked but could not find an office or any resort buildings and finally came out in a clearing with an open air bar built like a giant Tiki hut. Again we were the only ones there except the bartender and behind the bar were bottles of Tequila but, instead of the traditional worm in the bottle, these had snakes or big scorpions in them.
The bar tender explained that the snakes are Tamagas, which translates to 15 steps because that is about how far you make it if you get bitten, and they are the most poisonous snake in Belize. He must have liked the girl too because he invited us to take a seat and have a complementary shot of his fine Tequila. Of course we did and I immediately had a buzz like no other I have ever had. He must have liked her a lot because we stayed a couple hours and had several more complementary shots. She wound up buying almost $700 worth of Tequila with snakes and scorpions in the bottles. That night when we got back to the boat she shared one of the bottles with the crew. I have some pretty wild pictures of scary looking people with bright shinny eyes from that night.
I was there to install a low pressure compressed air drive system for filling SCUBA tanks with Nitrox so when the equipment was delivered later in the week I went to work. The ventilation fan in the engine room was broken and it was August so it was very hot. I had a point-and-shoot thermometer gun with me and the coolest spot I could find in the engine room was 142 degrees F. I was using 3/4" refrigeration copper tubing to connect the compressor and filters. It was so hot that, if I did not get a bend right the first time, I had to throw the piece of tubing away and start over because it was work hardened and would just crack if I tried to correct the bend.