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Belize and Guatemala

BELIZE | Thursday, 6 March 2014 | Views [320]

Just when I'm starting to get the hang of speaking spanish, we move to the one and only english-speaking nation in Central-America: Belize. But just as we're getting happy about being able to understand everything, we realise it's Kriol-English which we understand about as much as Spanish.

Well after hot and dusty inland Nicaragua we're finally on the Carribean side so without delay off to an island for some snorkelling and hammocking. Tobacco Caye is just the right place- a minute island in the middle of the reef. No ferry service to the island but just go to the cafe and ask for Captain Buck, he'll get you there. And so it is. We end up in Captain Buck's little boat loaded full of pineapples and crates of food supplies as well as two island locals. By the time we arrive at the speck of an island that is Tobacco Caye we're completely drenched but never mind we're here!

Three days of nothing, ie wake up, see the sunrise from our balcony, have a little snorkel from our beach, breakfast served at 8, and then just follow that pattern all day long, though throw in a bit of Nicaraguan rum at dusk. Though the reef is not the best, the diversity of fish is amazing, with giant manta rays everwhere, and parrot fish and barracuda - these are very unsmiling and have a habit of hanging around you in a rather annoying/ uncomfortable way. Of course there's also a resident alligator (it's little) and an osprey resing right outside our hotel. It's all very basic here- cold showers and sandy floors but that's part of the charm. Some of the island locals are slightly nuts just like George the happy drunk who hops between the two little island bars all day long and seems to know all the (handful of) tourists. And he did help me crack a coconut one morning so I could surprise Arnold with fresh coconut juice for breakfast. Another useful lifeskill- you never know when you may need it.

Mainland Belize was a bit less of our thing though, partly because of how expensive it is (we're only poor backpackers after all). So after some introductory-sized Mayan ruins near San Ignacio we hopped over the border to Guatemala, to visit Tikal, one of the bigger and better known Mayan sites. So big we needed a couple of days to see only part of it. Eye-popping and spectacular, even for Arnold who's been there before. A good work-out climbing up and down those temples. About time we worked those flabby legs too- don't go on an extended holiday to reallly hot countries if you want to stay fit, that's my advice.

And after that- more Belize or Carnaval in Mexico? Carnaval, of course!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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