Bye eck it´s Belize!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2009
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14
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Trip End Aug 30, 2010


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Flag of Belize  , Belize,
Saturday, January 30, 2010


Belize is a small country in Central America south of Mexico, northwest of Honduras and north east of Guatemala. It is famous for its coastline and its great diving and snorkeling due to a long barrier reef which runs along side its coast. This place is great! Or, you might say, unbelizeable!

So today the real traveling began from Mexico over the boarder into Belize and onto the Caye Caulker (pron: Key Caulker). We set off at 5.30 am on a local bus which was absolutely freezing (I am beginning to realize that they severely over air con their buses, must remember to pack warm clothes!). The journey was a long one, our first of many to come and took most of the day. The boarder crossing is notoriously dodgy, as it involves the Mexicans trying to rip off all the tourists who don´t speak Spanish for $20 to leave the country. Demien our tour guide sorted us out and told them to ´do one!´ in Spanish, allowing us to arrive in one piece in Belize City. The city is more like a shanty town. We got some really dodgy taxis to the ferry port and boarded the tourist boat for the 45 ride to the Cayes. Started to feel like I was in paradise and best of all they are an English speaking nation, no more por favor for me for a bit (my Spanish shocking as it is, was in need of a rest) ! Amazing views over to Caye Caulker, which is one of many island off the mainland, but the cheapest in Belize (as Belize is far more expensive than Mexico) and friendliest place so far. The island itself is only 5 miles long and 1 mile wide at its widest with only 1,300 inhabitants.
By the time we arrived after 12 long hours of traveling all we wanted was a beer, shower and some food in our bellies (but not necessarily in that order!). So we docked up and got some golf carts (as there are no cars allowed on the island only bikes and golf carts) to cart our backpacks to our hotel while we walked there in all of 5 minutes!!
The people here are so different to the Mexicans. For a start they're all about 2 foot taller. The population here was made from British pirates and African slaves and they are proud of their mixed heritage.There's a very strong Creole influence, and everything here is more like the Caribbean people, rastas.. so friendly and loving love and peace. Very good looking people with massive, wide white smiles. We went straight to the Split (as its known) which is the only ´beach´area on the whole island which houses the best bar around! We arrived there as the sun was setting and grabbed a few cocktails and Belikin beers (Belize´s favorite beer, or mine anyway!). I sat and made friends with an 80 year old American who holidays here for 8 months of the year! We sat and sang reggae songs with the locals, then nipped off to some Canadian bar for some food, then home james.
 
The next day we went on a snorkeling trip with Ragamuffins sail boats which was the hightlight of my trip so far! The reef off Caye Caylker is the second largest reef in the world, after the great barrier of course and I have realised that I actually have snorkled that reef years ago on a trip to Cuba! It was an amazing day, we first motored out to the Ho Chan marine reserve where we saw loads of fish including parrot fish. Next we stopped at a place called coral garden which is a coral reef which is really close to the top of the ocean and is filled with manta rays, sting rays, all kinds of fish and we even found  ourselves a local friendly turtle! Shark alley was our last stop and as the name entails, it was filled with sharks, but not the deadly kind, nurse sharks which are pretty cute looking! It was a fab day the crew were really friendly and even made us rum cocktails (leathal) and cerviche which is a mixture of raw prawns mixed in lime juice and chopped tomotoes, red onion and loads of corriander, yum, yum! By the time we sailed back and docked we were all suitably drunk and ready for some good food!
Demeien´s mate on the island, jolley Rodger is the biggest guy there and has a little shack on the shorefront selling lobster dinners which are out of this world! For about $8, we got a whole barbequed lobster in a garlic sauce, with yummy mash potato, garlic bread and rice, the nicest meal so far! The night eneded with a few beers in I &I reggae bar, sitting on the swings taking in the atmosphere.

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