Arrright! Just soaking up some sun on the palm fringed caye caulker in belize... learning to tek it seeeriously easy!!!
I missed some stuff out about Belize. We started in Orange Walk because we wanted to take a jungle river boat to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai. The boat ride was amazing we saw so much wildlife... crocs, birds, bats... the ruins were also really interesting, some of the best I´ve seen. At the top of the tallest pyramid you can see high up over the jungle for miles. It was too hot to handle though! Some of the stickiest weather I´d experienced so far. In the jungle around the ruins we saw troups of howler monkeys. This was the first time I´d actually seen them. They´d kept me awake endless times but I´d not caught sight of one before now! It was quite a treat. They´re small considering the racket they make!
Orange Walk isn´t the most exciting place so we made our way the following day to Belize City to catch a boat across to Caye Caulker, a small Belizian island on the Caribbean coast. I loved Belize immediately. It was really interesting how the moment you crossed the boarder from Mexico you could sense how different the culture was. It´s such a small place too yet it seems to have a very strong identity. They seem to care more about the environment in Belize than in Mexico too which was good to see.
Anyway, back to Caye Caulker! The two prevailing motos of this island seem to be ´go slow´and ´no shoes, no shirt, no problem´!!! We heard these expressions a number of times during our stay! The moment we stepped off the boat we were approached by a sketchy garifuna rasta, eyes red from weed smoke. He said his name was Gilbert and was trying to get our business for a hotel he worked for. Being the experienced discerning travellers we thought we were we declined, not wanting to be touted the moment we got off the boat. So we spent an hour trapsing up and down the island in the scorching midday heat looking in over priced dump after over priced roach den and finally ended up at Gilbert´s place! It turned out to be pleasant clean and not too expensive. He laughed at us and we laughed with him! We had no choice. Otherwise we´d have kicked ourselves that we didn´t take him up on it to begin with!
Gilbert went off on his bike, telling pedestrians to ´go slow´as he passed! We settled in and got straight into the laid back Garifuna culture!
The next day we took a Raggamuffin snorkeling tour. We spent the day on a sail boat and stopped at 3 points along the coral reef. We saw sharks, rays and beautiful fish. It took me a little time to get over my shark fears even though I knew they were the non bitey Nurse Shark variety! But still, it took some courage to take the plunge when they were circling the boat!!! The water was beautiful... clear and warm like a bath. The day definitely ranks as one of my best on the trip so far.
So after 2 days on Caye Caulker we made our way to Guatemala. I would love to spend more time in Belize one day. It´s a beautiful place with friendly people and endless oportunities for spotting wildlife. It´s not the cheapest stop for a backpacker but I would love to come here on holiday one day and spend some more time traveling around.