Caye Abergris and Caye Caulker (Belize)

Trip Start May 31, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Belize  ,
Saturday, July 21, 2007

We crossed the Mexican border and into the country of Belize......

Wedged into the northeastern corner of Central America between Mexico's Yucatán peninsula and the Petén forests of Guatemala, Belize
offers some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in the Caribbean.
The country actually consists of marginally more sea than land, with
the dazzling turquoise shallows and cobalt depths of the longest barrier reef
in the Americas just offshore. Here, beneath the surface, a brilliant,
technicolour world of fish and corals awaits divers and snorkellers.
Scattered along the reef, a chain of islands - known as cayes -
protect the mainland from the ocean swell and offer more than a hint of
tropical paradise. Beyond the reef lie the real jewels in Belize's
natural crown - three of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean.
We arrive in a little town called Corozal. We stay in a lovely guest house run by an Asian couple. There is in fact a huge asian population here as we see about 10 chinese take away.

After relaxing for a day here we go to the Cayes for some scuba and partying.

Although i have never been to Jamaica ever, this place is exactly what i imagine it is like there although alot more friendly.
Belize has a very mixed cultural background, with the two largest ethnic groups, creoles, descendants of enslaved Africans and early British settlers, and mestizos, descended from Amerindians and Spanish colonial settlers, forming about 75 percent of the population.  The Garífuna, or Caribs, descended
from enslaved Africans shipwrecked on St Vincent who mingled with the
last Caribs there, settled in Belize in the nineteenth century, and now
form around 7 percent of the population.

We stay one night in the village of San Pedro on Caye Abergris and then left for Caye Caulker which is more for backpackers and it also has 'The blue hole' scuba diving site. A top 10 in the world.

We stay in an Indian Restaurant which we pay $2 more which included air conditioning. a real life saver as it is hot here. We arrange our scuba trips for the next day.

I do 3 dives today. 2 at 30 metres and another at 50metres. i have only gone down to 20metres before but the laws are a little less stringent here in Belize so they let people with lesser qualifications go down very deep.

The first dive is 'The Blue Hole"
A feature attraction of Diving
in Belize, Especially for divers with a appreciation of geographical
phenomena, is the opportunity to explore the famed Blue Hole. Part of
the Lighthouse Reef System, it lies approximately 60 miles off the
mainland out of Belize City.
It is one of the most astounding dive sites to be found anywhere on
earth, right in the center of Lighthouse Reef is a large, almost
perfectly circular hole approximately one quarter of a mile (.4 km)
across. Inside this hole the water is 480 feet (145 m) deep and it is
the depth of water which gives the deep blue color that causes such
structures throughout the world to be known as "blue holes."

Like a giant pupil in a sea of turquoise, The Blue Hole is a perfectly circular

limestone sinkhole more than 300 feet across and 412 feet deep. The array of bizarre stalactites and

limestone formations which mould its walls seem to become more intricate and intense the deeper

one dives. Near to The Blue Hole, one of Belize's largest protected areas, Half Moon Caye Natural

Monument, encompasses 10,000 acres of the atoll and 15 square miles of surrounding waters.
I am teamed up with Chad from (guess) America of course. I havent dove in 3 years and he is the same so the bright spark of a Dive master put us together. We struggled to put all our dive gear together as we had forgotten everything. The dive master then asked us 'What weights we needed', to which we replied 'Dunno'. He was a little agitated and asked ' You are diving the blue hole, one of the famous dive sites in the world and you dont know what weights you need' to which we replied 'Yep'He was considering on not allowing us to dive but we assured him we were fine.The dive was amazing. We travelled virtically down along the walls of the sinkhole until we reached the bottom of the sinkhole. There was so many reef sharks there is was amazing and a little scary. Myself and Chad went down to 50m which is 30 more than i have done before. When we ascended back to surface we could see 15 - 20 reef shark silhouettes against the surface. As we got near the surface they circled us. Add this is to the fact that i was a little narc-ed (Nitrogen Narcosis, lack of oxygen in the brain. Makes you feel drunk underwater) from the dept we went to. So i was a little drunk, scared and full of adrenaline. A truely amazing experience.
On the way back to Caye Caulker there was a barrel of Rum Punch for all the people on the trip and because it was mostly oldies myself and Chad polished off most of the barrel on our own. We were a right mess when we went down to The Split", a narrow (but widening) channel cut by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and a popular place to relax and swim.
There is a diving board and a beach bar there so we continued what we were doing on the boat...drinking.

Its strange how drink can give you unbelievable bravery and confidence. I decided to do a back flip off the 20ft diving board in front of i'd say 100 people. What happened next was one of the best back flops the people of Caye Caulker have ever seen. Just after i pounded into the water and whilst under the water i was dreading the ascent to the surface and to the inevitable jeers. I got what i was expecting and to make matters worse is that the local kids continued to tell me my back very red. I nicely told them to be quiet.

Chad then went up and did a 10/10 reverse back flip perfectly into the water with minimal splash.That was the nail in the coffin......We say goodbye to Sven here in Caye Caulker. It will be sad to say goodbye because although he is German (only joking), he is a great travel companion and a very funny guy.

Next stop Placencia....Just myself and Juliana
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

salemk
salemk on

Great Blog
I'll be following in somewhat the same direction.
from: Cancun, Mexico to:
Belize
Guatemala
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Costa Rica
Panama
Can you recommend any of the Hostels or cheap places you stayed in? If you can remember the names.
Thanks

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