Our visit to Caye Caulker has been lovely, and today made sure it's something we'll never forget. With the rain gone, we decided it was time to take a tour to see the reef that makes Belize a draw for so many. Taking Anu into account, we decided against a full day boat trip, opting instead to join a half day snorkel tour, and I'd elected to stay on board with Anu. We'd checked out a few operators but hadn't booked anything, when Maurice, the owner of Wish Willy's, the restaurant here on the site where we are staying, came and said he's a boat and a friend of his, a local guide named Charlie, would take us out if we wanted. For the same price we'd pay to go with a big group. What an offer!
And what an experience! First stop was Shark and Ray Alley and as the photos show, you didn't need to get into the water to see all the action. Dan and Charlie jumped in while we watched from the safety of the boat. It was incredible to see these creatures swarming around. The other two stops were at various points at the edge of the reef, and the other two swam through channels to get right in to see countless fish, coral and, according to Daniel, 'huge' barracudas. Meanwhile, with the boat to ourselves, Anu could crawl around and have her own adventure, while I took in the beautiful surroundings and soaked up the sun. Charlie answered all our questions, played with Anu and made sure the trip was a real highlight. Having the boat and guide to ourselves made it so relaxing and enjoyable, as I think being part of a large group would have meant trying to keep Anu by my side. Not half as much fun as our special 'chartered' trip!
Just another example of how accommodating and chilled out people here are.
Yesterday's example was when we went out front to eat again at Wish Willy's, we went quite late thinking Anu would snooze in the stroller, by the time our food came. Mama Star, the cook, came when we'd got our food and said 'I'll take her for a walk while you have your meal' and off they went, up and down the road, leaving us to enjoy our feast of lobster, snapper and BBQ chicken in a rare baby-free moment!
We even ordered a second round of Maurice's famous rum punch!
What's more, when it came to paying, he wouldn't take any money, saying it was his treat.
Really! Why would we want to leave! This place is amazing!
Maurice and his Dutch wife Monique have been so friendly and welcoming, they have made the trip for us! Though Anu would say it's her buddies, Pujo, Punch and Scruffy, their incredibly patient three dogs, who are the real stars!
This all just means that once Anu is a bit older, we'll have to come back!