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more belize and a bit of guatemala

GUATEMALA | Friday, 28 March 2008 | Views [750] | Comments [1]

Well since i last wrote a lot has happened…

Belize was really cool, their first language is English, but most everyone also speaks Spanish and Creole so that made things fairly easy in terms of getting around. We stayed on the lovely island caye caulker for about a week and went on a great snorkeling trip in a sail boat, apparently one of the longest living reefs in the world! There were little sharks – that is what our guide ¨big steve¨ is picking up by the tail in the picture!

There were also only tuna fish sandwiches for lunch which after so many years as pure veg head I actually ate! I was hungry, those are the pictures of me making a really funny face while I eat a sandwich… we saw sting rays and sea turtles and huge schools of fish and all in all it as a great day. We eventually decided to leave because we wanted to find a quieter island which turned out to be harder than we thought.

We went to a coastal town a few hours away from belize city which seemed to be how we could get to some of the others but most of them are either privately owned or reserves that you can´t get to or camp on… one had a boat but only once a week that we had just missed so the last option was a place called tobacco caye. We asked around if we were allowed to camp there and were told that we could, we tried to call several places to find out about other accommodation but there are no phones so we ended up talking to some crazy booking office people in belize city, most of the ones we got through to were really expensive for us (about $70 US a night!) so we were banking on the camping idea…

we got a boat out there and it was tiny! About 5 minutes to walk around the entire thing! And very weird, it just gave you a weird creepy feeling as soon as we arrived. We walked around asking everyone if we could hang our hammocks and pay to use their toilet (we had brought all the food and water we would need for the few days) and some people seemed to try to help us by bringing us to their neighbors and asking but they were just all so weird, a bit inbred perhaps?

So no one wanted to let us hang hammocks and then all of a sudden the entire island knew that is what we wanted to do and we´d have strangers coming up and saying our things wouldn´t be safe and all this weirdness, finally the very last place we went to said we could rent out one of the empty staff rooms that they don´t usually rent out for only $30 US a night (keep in mind we are paying about $5 now) so we took it and figured we would leave the next day but then when we asked about a boat back they got all weird about why we were leaving so soon and then it sort of felt like deliverance the movie.

Not to mention how dirty and run down the place was, there was trash and old tires and fluorescent bulbs and shoes and everything just laying on the beach and the water from showers and sinks just came right out onto the land…go knows where the toilet flushed to and the kicker is that at one point a guy with a pistol comes up to collect our park fee! We are actually in a national reserve! I couldn´t resist, I had to take a picture of my park bracelet on the pile of trash!

The whole getting off the island got pretty sketchy at one point…the guy who brought us there was maybe not going back to the mainland til the next day but maybe someone else was and no one is really in charge, there are about 50 people who live there and they also run everything and it all started to get a bit creepy, they were all talking about us and finally some people we had not even met came up to us and said they could take us back (for a bit more than we got there for but whatever) so we took the ride regardless. the engine in this tiny tiny boat broke in the middle of the ocean and the waves were crashing into the boat at one point while he was trying to start it back up, but we made it back and were really really relieved, we were both a bit more scared then we let on to each other while we were still in the situation.

So from there we needed to bed down somewhere through the easter holiday because traveling is a bit crazy then so we thought we would go right to Guatemala but the decided maybe we should stay in belize so we left with a better feeling than the one we had.

We headed near the border to san Ignacio, in mayan ruin territory and stayed there about a week as well. Nice little place, we chilled out a lot, even watched some tv! made friends with the local bartender and had a nice cheap room all to ourselves. We took a couple walks and saw some really cool ruins and even did 1 through a ¨tour¨… the guy had a 1982 subaru with a broken windshield and no seatbelts to take us up this crazy mountain rocky road – hysterical! Turns out you have to get army escorts through this place because of all the hijacking that happens on the road to the ruions, those are the guys in camo with huge guns! We had a nice day though and left belize on a happier note.

Guatemala has been AMAZING so far! I like it much more than belize, it is greener and cleaner and even Guatemala city which is supposed to be super sketch was really cool! So far we have been to flores and Guatemala city and are now in san pedro on lake atitlan, so pretty! We start Spanish class on Monday for 2 weeks and are planning on hiking up some of these amazing volcanoes surrounding us.

I still have more pictures to add of belize (only up to tobacco caye) and I haven´t even started adding Guatemala yet, but will do it next time, sending sunshine. xo

Comments

1

So pretty much I think I'd of tried to swim from Tobacco caye- Deliverance was written all over that bad boy!! I was reading and could hear the "Deliverance" fiddle but with an island twist. Glad you made it out alive!! Keep on Venturing!!! Love, Dad

  Dad Apr 1, 2008 2:56 AM

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