So long and thanks for all the fish
Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
124Trip End Aug 18, 2006
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Several busses cruised by at about 5:30, and for several minutes we were convinced that we had been forgotten or that the tickets we purchased in Antigua were actually just very expensive bits of paper. Fortunately, through our blurry eyes, we spotted a bus with the words Belize City across the top. We climbed aboard and crammed our gear above the seats we had selected. By this time we were now fully conditioned to drill of telling the driver that our bags would fit on board and that it would not be necessary for him to take them for us
Later that day we crossed yet another boarder and soon found ourselves in Belize. For several days we had been looking forward to some proper R&R in a nice resort by the beach, but while on the bus we were shocked by the prices of hotels listed in our guidebook. Our only real objective for our time in Belize was to do some diving, so we eventually talked ourselves into setting our sights on the cheaper, more backpacker oriented Caye: Caye Caulker.
So with our objectives clearly defined, we hit Belize City on a mission. We found our way to a bank to extract Belizean Dollars, to a ferry terminal to purchase tickets to Caye Caulker, and to Dits, a small hole in the wall we read about that was renowned for its coconut pie
With full stomachs and high expectations, we found our way back to the ferry terminal. Thirty minutes later we pilled onto a small water-craft with about 25 other passengers (and their absurd amount of luggage) and were on our way. After a short 45 minute boat ride across what has to be the calmest ocean-water in the world, we arrived at Caye Caulker.
Our guidebook indicated that Caye Caulker was a no shirt, no shoes, no problem kind of place, so give the fact that our shirts and shoes were riper than the bananas used at Dits, we figured this was a bit of good fortune for the island and both of its future residents
When we got off the boat we were approached by the expected band of touts who wanted to help us with our bags and also wanted to help us find a place to stay. But these hawkers were about as aggressive as the greeters at Wal-Mart, because as soon as we said no, gracias, they backed down. There was either a lot of burning herbs on this island, or we had truly arrived in the Caribbean. Who knows, perhaps the two go hand and hand. In either case, the guidebooks are to be believed when they say this place is laid back. A decent number of the shopkeepers we encountered were fast asleep and several signs on the island prompted visitors to slow down. This type of signage makes sense near a school zone, or in heavily trafficked areas, but this little island doesn't even allow cars, so their commands were truly intended to impact not only our velocity, but our states of mind. We must have been moving too fast to even read the signs the first time through, because over the course of the next hour we had stopped in to negotiate a room rate with every single hotel vendor on the island.
There were only three items on our agenda that night: we wanted to book a dive for the next day, we were interested in sampling the lobster sold by every restaurant in town, and we simply had to find a way to cool down
We rose early the next day and made our way back to the dive shop that was kind enough to accept our credit card the night before and were treated to complimentary coffee and cinnamon rolls. Our dive boat was slated to depart at 6 AM or as soon as the 14 other passengers arrived and had consumed their fill of free breakfast....