After an unexpected great evening in Chetumal, the new week started off early in the morning. We already had our tickets for getting to Belize City and when we showed up at 7AM in the bus station, we were a bit surprised to see a small, really old van that would take us there. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldnt complain if it was at half price.
And so it begins!
Anyway, after putting our backpacks on the roof of the car and taking our places, the ride started. A two-person seat was similar to a normal american seat, so the two of us could barely fit together on one bench (and we are not fat, scout's word!). Half an hour later, a storm started so the backpacks had to be fitted inside (I have no clue how everything fitted in there). After passing the border, it was easy to notice that Belize is quite poor - the “highway” had only one lane per direction and sometimes it wasn’t even properly paved. (Yes, even worse than the roads at home!) The road passed through the villages and everything looked so poor…
The best souvenir is happiness. And there were happy times!
A few hours later we made it to Belize City. The friends we made in the bus will turn out to be good company during next days spent on the island. Our final destination was Caye Caulker, a beautiful coral island in the Carribeans. Apparently most of the people in the bus were going there. And indeed, this island was THE place to be for welcoming the new year.
After a few hours in Belize City we took the boat for getting to Caye Caulker. As soon as we stepped on the island, I fell in love with the place. No cars, perfect, clear waters and everything was happening slowly… 'Go Slow’ was the motto of the island, a nice reminder that at least here we don’t have to rush. With no place to stay for the night, but with a back-up tent with us, we weren’t too worried and we took the ‘Go Slow’ advice seriously (or at least I did).
That's what I was always saying and Caye Caulker welcomed us with these boards. How could I not love this place?
Kids are kids and Caye Caulker made no exception
We split up for finding a place to stay. One hour later when we met, we already had the keys for a small hut for the night and an invitation from two retired americans living there to join them for a BBQ next day. We got to know Louie, a friendly local guy; he was all about love and peace, chilling out even when working hard. Our long conversation ended up with him climbing up palm trees, cutting coconuts for us and teaching us many ways of eating them. During next days, we would bump into him at least once per day.
Louie, nicest guy we met on the island
This island is SMALL. And by small I mean it takes 10 minutes to go from east to west. Spoiler alert: later we’ll find out that it takes a few hours for getting from north to south. We soon knew the streets by heart (all three of them!) and sadly we also discovered that the prices were mostly targeted to the avalanche of american tourists...
Most of the locals are nice and chatty and talking with tourists seemed like their evening activity. We were surprised to find out that the island is actually pretty dangerous, especially in the evenings on the beach. Turned out that there were two groups living here: the locals and the ‘rasta guys’ born on the mainland. The locals told us that the other group usually robs tourists and they even have guns (and machetes!), so I freaked out once more on the way to our hut (surprise - surprise).
I woke up early next morning and I was super excited about the planned snorkeling trip - it was my first time seing turtles, sharks and coral reef! :) But firstly, we had to move our stuff into another hostel, called Dirty Mac Nasty. The name spoke for itself, and although not that dirty, it was a bit nasty indeed. They messed up our reservation and we finally ended up with one bed and paying much less than supposed to, which didn’t bother us at all. All in all, the hostel was OK, they cooked nice breakfast in the morning and had parties in the evening, hammocks and free rum punch, so couldn’t complain too much.
Bikes are quite popular
The snorkeling trip was one of the highlights of the trip - coral reef, turtles, sharks and stingrays. I loved it! (Disclaimer: I am a beginner in blogging so I don't have words for describing it. We didn't have any underwater camera, so no photos either). We made it back to the shore in the afternoon, just in time to start celebrating the New Year’s Eve together with our Romanian and Polish friends back in Europe. As I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, I wanted to start something new in the last day of 2013, so I had an attempt to publish my first blog post.
My attempt of blogging, documented and Instagrammed :D
Unfortunately this did not work out so we continued the afternoon with Coke & Carribean rum, a lovely fried rice dinner while watching a basketball game and later with a good party.
The best place for a fancy dinner, last one in 2013
Coming up next, New Year's eve awesome party, a long hike on the 1st of January to drive the hangover away and much more. Stay tuned! :)