When the bus finally arrived in Belize City, a Garafaun man with long dread locks jumped on the bus and starts telling us he could take us wherever we wanted to go because he was "the mon"
. Slightly intimidating, yet again, exciting. So, myself and 2 others (from Switzerland) decided we would take his taxi and do our thing. The Swiss couple were dropped off at a hostel that the man recommended, but was not where they told him to go. According to him, it was "the best in town mon". However, before they got out of the taxi, our driver began to scream obscenities, in his thick Carribean accent, and practically threatening the life out of someone in the back of his taxi who had apparently driven the wrong way and got into his path. He actually turned off the car, took off his t-shirt, walked up to the man's truck and began tapping on the window asking him to step out and to "be a mon". At that point I turned to the Swiss couple and began laughing that it had been the Guatemalans that people told me to watch out for! It all turned out well though and the Swiss couple and I said our goodbyes, and me and my new taxi driver friend drove around Belize City. I told him I wanted to buy Cashew Wine and he took me to a store and went inside with me. When the person behind the counter told me it was $11 Belize dollars, my taxi guy went nuts and told them to "$*^& off". I couldn't help but laugh and, in all honesty, felt incredibly safe with this guy. We then went to another store where I was able to get my wine for $6. Locals are the best.
On my new friends advice, I bought a ticket to Caye Caulker, which is also the same boat that goes to San Pedro. I was on the boat taxi along with about 1 dozen girls who were in a beauty pageant, riding down the Carribean Sea a little over an hour to our destination. However, instead of Caye Caulker, I ended up getting off at San Pedro with the girls in the pageant because it had a good vibe to it. The joys of not having a schedule.
Since I had no reservations anywhere, I decided to go to the bar on the beach wherein I met a local man who has been living here for 10 years, Bill Nelson (from Canada). He was such a great help. Long story short, Bill made a phone call for me and I ended up with a suite on the top floor of an absolutely magnificent hotel, full kitchen, ocean view, outside covered balcony, you name it, and for the local's price of $40 Belize dollars ($20/night/USD). I was so excited. I've been living in hostels and dorms for so long (it feels that way anyway) to actually feel spoiled here in Belize with such an awesome deal is too good to be true. Later that night Mr. Bill and his wife, Georgia, came over and we made chicken and shrimp ceaser salad. After they left, I met up with some locals on the street and we danced all night to reggae music for the country's independence day celebrations.
Today started out a bit nerve racking, but it didn't last long. As a matter of fact, it turned out to be fabulous! Basically, I missed my 5am shuttle to Belize City, however, I was able to make the 7:30am shuttle, which was the last shuttle to Belize that day. It was surreal how there was almost an immediate change in scenery, language and people, even though we were (at that time) still close to the Guatemalan border. Phone numbers switched to 7 digits instead of 8, signs were written in English, even though there were Spanish speaking people all about there were more Garafaun people everywhere, who are of creole decent with a very heavy Rasta type accent, houses were constructed differently, etc.