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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Barton Creek Outpost

BELIZE | Tuesday, 14 February 2012 | Views [1577]

Today is Valentines Day and I'm with my greatest love: the world! I'm really excited to be at the Barton Creek Outpost, and they're not kidding when they say it's an outpost. And they mean "Outpost" with a capital "O". Run by an expat family from Tennessee, this place is lovely. Getting here is half the fun; last night I was dropped at the turnoff by a couple and it was completely dark, but I knew I was going to get a ride. An older American named Bill picked me up, and he explained that picking up hitchhikers is a moral obligation because you never know when you'll need a lift (if your vehicle breaks down, etc.). Bill's wife was driving a full pickup right in front of us, and Bill needed to get the Mennonite mail. There in the darkness I was at the Barton Creek Outpost! Dogs barking as I made my way toward the farm, I had to use my whistle to scare them off. As I've mentioned I've been bit by dogs before, and not ready to get bit again. It was quite a full house tonight and it's a special atmosphere. One thing that did surprise me: as remote as it is there's Wifi. Dinner was being made and it was a delicious one! Meatballs topped with cheese with a side of salad and then a nice dessert, and it was even better with a cup of vanilla tea with a dab of Belizean honey. Immediately I declared that I'm staying two nights here! My plan was one night, but it's a serious undertaking to get here and I'm not fond of just spending the night someplace and having to unpack and repack my tent. And besides, I spent only one night each in Belize City and Caye Caulker. Belize has really exceeded my expectations! Initially I came here to fill in that gap and send myself a postcard, but I've had some excellent food, seen magical sunsets, and seen a vibe not found in most other places in Central America. There are several volunteers here at the outpost. Marie is from Idaho and has a map of the state tattooed on the palm of her hand. Kyrie is from Ohio. There are several other volunteers as well. Jim and Jacquelyn have four children: Kaitlyn (13), Logan (10), Cyan (4), and a newborn boy. Whilst at first I was a tad frustrated because I couldn't make my customary cuppa (I had to have one of the volunteers make it for me), that quickly wore off. You can keep Red Bull and many other things away from me, but getting between me and tea is like a hungry bear and his dinner. As I lay in my tent I keep only the screen part open so I can see the stars, which are quite magical out here! 

The next morning I woke up and decided to chill out at the Barton Creek Outpost for the day. The outpost is located right next to...you guessed it: Barton Creek, and I was up for a dip in the cool water.

For breakfast I had French toast with coffee whilst everyone else had eggs in a frame. Phil, another volunteer, got crafty and made french toast bites with the centre of the bread. Food is rather pricey here ($7US for breakfast and $12.50US for dinner) but keep in mind the logistics of it, and it's really worth it when you think of the experience! Jim and Jacquelyn don't grow any of their food here at the outpost; they have to drive to San Ignacio to buy all their food. I really love this place! It's such a peaceful place, and the perfect place to really get away from it all! After going for a dip I asked Phil to show me where the jungle walk is located and he was more than happy to show me. Earlier I had asked Jacquelyn if there were Mennonites nearby whom I could talk to, but she told me that they prefer their privacy be respected and that they're not seen as a tourist attraction. For now I thought I'd stick to the jungle walk. Though Jacquelyn advised me not to walk in jandals, I decided to because I wanted to be slow and not try to hurry back, and whilst the walk wasn't very strenuous, the mosquitoes were eating me up! Damn I've been bitten so much on this journey! I have a mosquito bite that's become a large lump on my arm and I'm a bit concerned about it, although it doesn't hurt. Jacquelyn later told me that it might've been from a no-see-um. Carefully I waded in the creek (making sure to keep my camera dry) back to the outpost. The electricity here is run on a generator, and it's only on in the morning and in the evening. Therefore there is no internet as well when the generator is off. Using this time I lazed in the hammock, glanced at Belize guidebooks, went for a refreshing creek dip, or just chatted the afternoon away. This is the perfect place to get away from computers, video games, TVs, and the like, although there's an iPod to play the symbolic "every little thing...is gonna be alright" (lyric from Bob Marley's Three Little Birds). 

You can squeeze your own orange juice here, but just make sure not to use your whole body to squeeze it, because the wooden board is coming loose

As I went swimming later on, Logan took a few pictures of me. He's a really good photographer! The children here are smarter, happier, and more social than most children I've come across in the USA. The difference here is that they're home-schooled and they live how they want to live, as opposed to teachers giving them heaps of homework and making all of their decisions for them. As a boy it seemed that many of my teachers had the idea that I was unable to think for myself. Regardless, children need to be children, rather than being treated like robots. Before dinner I decided on going for a long walk, and then afterward we had fish, braised potatoes, and carrots for dinner. I chilled out for awhile, went online, listened to music, and just thought great things about this amazing journey! This is my "journey of rediscovery" and I've rediscovered myself beautifully! Three Canadians joined us at the outpost tonight and we all had fun chatting it up and then taking a night dip in the creek. Swimmin' with the stars a-shinin'...peaceful, breathtaking, magical. Only after throwing on some dry clothes did I go to my tent and fall into a deep snooze...

When I woke up the next morning I must admit I was sad to pack up my tent. The Barton Creek Outpost is phenomenal! A British family: Matt, Claire, and their 4-year old daughter Maddi (Madeline) offered to give me a lift to the main road when I was wondering how I was going to get out. It was a serious mission getting here, but even then I was not at all concerned at how I was getting out. After having breakfast I was ready for one final swim in the creek. Next time I visit Belize I'll have to come again! 

My stay only lasted two nights at this lovely outpost, but I would have volunteered here if I had 30 days to spare (30 days is the minimum limit). But...

That's right!


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