The past few days just flew by.
After our slightly disappointing encounter with Mahahual, we went further south, to Bacalar, and later Chetumal. In Chetumal we hopped on the ferry to San Pedro. Of course we had la Isla Bonita high on our list of things to do in Central America.
Nope, just kidding. We only stamped our passports to enter Belize there and continued our ferry ride to Caye Caulker.
On Caye Caulker they all say go slow and now that it is slow season, they probably want you to go even slower. It is an interesting place. The white beaches are dotted with palm trees and simple shacks where various vendors sell their products. The population is about 1500, but I get the idea you only actively see about 50 or so people. About 25 of those are crazy Rastafarian folk that clearly smoked and drank themselves to Korsakoff syndrome. They speak to each other in riddles and to others in rhymes that make snoop dogg seem like nothing. On the day we arrived, we saw the beginning of what a day later turned into hurricane Michael, which hit Florida this week.
In Caye Caulker, our main aim was to scuba the blue hole and the meso-american barrier reef. Spoiler alert. We didn’t. It being slow season, most of the diving companies were closed or only went for local dives. The only place that handled longer distance dive sites have us a pretty unfriendly vibe and overall poor impression. The type of people that dive to make big bucks with minimal input. I don’t support that sort of shit. I want my dives to be an experience from start to end and for me the company (business and people) is a part of that. Maybe we’re just spoiled shits and had excellent experience in various places before. So be it.
We saved ourselves some money and went for a snorkeling trip instead. We hung out with a local kid named JR for a while and his uncle ran a snorkeling company. The next day we went out on the water and saw Loggerhead the Hawksbill sea turtles (sea turtles are awesome). Other than that we saw a bunch of fish and heaps of beautiful corals. Yay.
After 4 days of going slow, we were pretty much standing still, so it took us some effort to drag our asses to the ferry terminal (well… terminal, more of a wooden mini pier, really). Off to Belize city!
Belize city, from what we hear everywhere is more or less the capital city of gang violence and shootings (don’t worry mom, we took the bus straight out). We took a dirt cheap old school bus-like vehicle to San Ignacio, which took us about 3 hours. Here we will live for a few days, and San Ignacio’s is a friendly town and the center of many adventure tours. Today we made a trip to the ATM cave, which surprisingly only took money instead of dispensing it. Totally worth it though. This cave is one of the most spectacular caves in the world apparently. I’m no expert and our guide was, so I’ll take his word for it. An awesome cave system full of shiny crystalline structures and Mayan artefacts, including human sacrifices. The cave is a strict no photo zone because some respectless piece of shit (or plenty of them actually) dropped cameras on human sacrifices, breaking skulls and bones. This sort of stuff makes me feel bad for being part of the ‘tourist’ category. I wanted to respect these rules, so use Google for an impression of ATM cave. I was pretty overwhelmed by it all. Luis, our guide was also a cool guy with knowledge of botany and anthropology so talking to him about the country was very nice.
This is probably the best thing about traveling in Belize. Apart from it being pretty, English is the main language, along with Creole, which is pretty much broken English (as the locals say). This gives us a pretty good chance for interactions with locals. We have tried in the past with all means available, but Arabic, Thai, Bahasa or Khmer aren’t exactly my strongest, so this is usually hard. Traveling Spanish speaking countries is easier, but still, we’re not fluent, but we get around. I think this is what makes Belize a great experience. The locals are such a great source of insight into the country. And apart from some gang violence they are all so respectful when talking to and about each other.
I can’t help but think. What beautiful people :).