Belize

Trip Start Aug 01, 2003
1
5
16
Trip End Jan 27, 2004


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Friday, October 10, 2003

Cay Caulker, San Ignacio

So, back to the travels. We made the border crossing from Mexico to Belize on the 10th of October. And the same day we took a water taxi to a Caribbean island in Belize called Caye Caulker. You might remember that this was where I did the snorkeling with the sharks and sting rays. Sorry about that, I was really excited but after sending my email thought that maybe it was a bit too much when you guys are all sitting at home in rainy England. Anyway, there are two sides to Belize. One is the rasta island life. English speaking, creole cooking (oh my goodness donīt get me started on the food), very laid back, just what you would expect from a Caribbean island. We spent three nights here and just enjoyed the ocean, sat under palm trees and read books...

The other side of Belize is Spanish speaking, more of an Indian streak in the people. A blend of Mexican, Indian and Spanish. Goodness, it is so difficult to describe. The roads are bumpy and the people live in shacks dotted along the side of the road. Vegetation is lush and wet, houses are one room shacks with beds and hammocks in, no electricity by the looks of things and mud surrounds the house. Pigs, dogs and mules roam alongside the children that play in the dirt. A lot of the buildings have coca cola signs painted on the side of them and some are what you would call a shop, although they only have a couple of shelves of produce. Maybe some bags of crisps and a few bottles of cola. Others have a TV in and you will find big groups of people all leaning in through the window trying to watch a game of football on the set.

We whizzed through Belize only stopping at one other place for a couple of nights. San Ignacio, a small town on the mainland where we decided to take a canoeing tour. We pilled onto the back of a truck and held on for dear life as we drove through a Yarmish community (these people live in the past and look like they are living in little house on the prairie, strange to see in a modern day world), past orange and grapefruit groves and deep down into the jungle where we took three canoes into a cave. We held on to each others canoes to keep them together and by flashlight we drifted about 1km into the cave, stunned by the stalactites and strange formations in the rock and ceiling. We saw scorpion spiders (very long legs) and footprints and bridges that had been worn down by the Mayan people hundreds of years before. Once in the cave the flashlights were turned off for a few minutes whilst we sat in the silent darkness of the cave. Then..... we all jumped into tyre inner tubes and paddled back out to the cave mouth. Quite a spooky feeling being in the dark, in the water, with bats flying around and a little light from the canoe up ahead. Finally, exhausted from paddling with our arms for a km, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. What a great day.
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