Waking up from a sound sleep of only a few hours at 3 AM as a result of barking dogs I sit there, playing Dr. Mario and staring at the wall, only leaving my room a while later to have a shower. Not able to fall back asleep and not have to leave the guesthouse because the gate is locked. With the exception of the dogs, it's extremely quiet, and last night was especially quiet even by Sunday standards. Last night I had a few shots of rum but it apparently wasn't enough to knock me out like a baby. Before the sun was up I walked out in search of a cup of coffee or whatever to knock some energy into me. Beggars are lined up in front of the water taxi terminal with their seemingly concealed ganja and rum, but I'm short on cash right now so I'm not exactly ready to part with any. In chatting with a couple of locals we talked about the linguistical variations of African American Vernacular English and Belizean English. A Bob Marley-esque bloke told me that whilst the slaves brought to the U.S. picked up English from the Americans, the slaves brought to (what is now) Belize picked it up from the British. The accent here is very distinct and rhythmical, and it seems here that people know that every little thing is gonna be alright. The coffee stand wasn't yet open but I got a collard-green filled pastry for BZ$1, and it was so tasty I got another one. The bloke I was talking to earlier (who is the pastry vendor) told me that he put several other restaurants out of business because he sells good food much cheaper than they.
Belize City may not have much in the guidebook but there's surely a ramshackle charm here! The buildings appear as if battered by a hurricane or ten; after all the capital was moved from Belize City to Belmopan in 1961 after Hurricane Hattie practically ripped Belize City off the face of the Earth. At 7 AM the terminal opened and I wanted to get a ticket for the first boat to Caye Caulker. Yesterday when I crossed the border a tout gave me a coupon for $5 off a Caye Caulker water taxi ride, and there's a discount if you buy a round-trip rather than two one-ways so it ended up only being BZ$31.50 for a trip over there. Walking back to North Front Street Guest House, I packed up all my gear and then walked down to the terminal with my heavy bag. The only country that I don't have a postcard received from is Belize, so this was my chance to send myself one! And I did just that as I waited for the water taxi. Chatting to a gorgeous Honduran lady named Monica, it was time to board the boat at 8 AM, and we were at balmy Caye Caulker one hour later.
Wandering around in the sticky heat with my heavy backpack, I was earlier thinking of just a day trip here but I decided to scope out a place to stay for the night. After getting some coconut bread I found the perfect place to stay for the night: Bella's. For only BZ$20 it includes kitchen use, free internet, and free bicycle and kayak use. It's a little bit cheaper to pitch your tent but not worth it for the hassle of unpacking your tent (at least with unpacking my tent) and having to go through all that. Besides, camping out here would be mighty uncomfortable. With the weight off my back I was ready to ride a bicycle and fetch me some tasty grub! And before that I went Holly and her boyfriend, both from Australia. She said she couldn't pick up where my accent is from. When I travel I seem to get all kinds of places: French Canada, Texas, South Africa, etc. It's complicated. From a street seller I fetched me a mean grub of barbequed ribs, coconut rice, and stew beans! Bien provecho! Central American food on the whole is rather bland, and with the exception of pupusas I haven't really grown fond of any culinary specialties but the food in Belize is definitely a step up from many other places in Central America. As I rode the bicycle on a busted-up boardwalk I was chatting to this gorgeous lady named Te, and she is part Thai and very sexy! We chatted for a few but it went nothing beyond that but when I went to leave, I had to turn the bike around because it was a foot-wide boardwalk, and the bike fell straight into the ocean! Embarassed I was! The water is only about three feet deep at this point (speaking of, Belize uses English measurements instead of metric) but I had to dive in and get it. Another guy on the boardwalk was nice enough to help me get it out. With a salty bike, I rode to the store to get postcards before I went back to the hostel where I chilled for a bit. Caye Caulker is a great place to just chill, even though it's extremely rare for me to "just chill" whilst travelling, this is the perfect place for it! Before it got too late I hopped in the kayak and paddled along the western coast of the island; it's small enough to walk around, or kayak around in only a couple of hours. The current was mighty strong as I approached "The Split" and I was struggling with my makeshift paddle as Is This Love was blasting from the bar on the beach. Tying up the kayak I strolled on the beach and then went slowly back to the guesthouse. Ah it's been quite a day already! You may "just chill" but you may burn heaps of energy as well. As a toast to a nice afternoon, Holly, her boyfriend, and I set out for some pizza and a drink or two, so we settled for this little hole-in-the-wall pizzeria where a gorgeous Belizean chica served us. Drinks were two-for-one so I got a couple of mojitos. Not quite Havana, but close enough! A little buzzed two drinks later, we stagger back and I'm ready for a sunset! It's been a long time...since I've seen a gorgeous sunset, and I was in for a major treat tonight. Standing next to a gorgeous, tattoo-filled lady named Eve, we chatted about the lump on my arm, telling me that when she was in India she was bitten by a spider and then it got infected. Either way, enough with that. She's got a boyfriend, but what the hell...I was watching a technicolour sunset with a gorgeous babe on a seductive Caribbean island. We should have been on the beach, stripping down and making love underneath this sunset, not just having our eyes glued to it! Damn, the mojitos got to me!!! This has to be the best sunset I have ever seen!
Right there I was falling for Eve, but I respected the fact that she has a boyfriend. We gave each other a hug goodnight before I strolled back and she strolled back. Then I hit the Cuban restaurant for a couple more mojitos so I could toast to a magical sunset! The bartender is from Cuba and is working here for a few months, and she said "I love Fidel" when I asked about the subject. Staggering past a whole roasted big, I go back to the hostel and chill for awhile whilst a bit tipsy. Damn I'd love to stay on Caye Caulker a few days longer but I'm heading to San Ignacio tomorrow. It's really nice here! Belize is one place I've really fallen in love with on my travels, as I dream mojitos, sunsets, stew beans, and a salty bike...