Beach Life in Belize

We hailed a taxi to the bus stop, which wasn't really far but we were feeling lazy and it was sort of early. The driver passed us our bags out of the boot and got back in the taxi. We looked at each other confused, 'did you pay him already'? Neither of us had paid but he just drove off. We shrugged and headed into the bus station. The person being served at the ticket counter took ages and our bus was leaving soon! We just managed to catch it after the lady in front let us go before her. It was an all day trip to reach the island of Caye Caulker in Belize. Immigration was a bit weird. They called everyone's name and arranged us in single file outside, where you waited until your turn. We ended up in a hostel called Dirty McNasties which is known in the backpacker circuit. Mostly for the free nightly rum, which was definitely not watered down. Some nights I wished it had've been! We got chatting to some girls in the dorm and all headed over to where the rum was at. Nights there always went the same way, everyone ended up in the Sports Bar till it closed at 12am, then the reggae bar which opened 12am till 1am.

After a nice lunch of fresh fish we went to the split, which is where the island split into two after some natural occurrence of which I cannot remember. Everyone hangs out there, sunbathing on the deck and cooling off in the blue blue ocean. That evening we had fresh lobster grilled on the barbecue and more free rum. Most people went out but I stayed back and chilled at the hostel with some new friends, ending the night sitting on the pier under the stars.

After spending the morning sunbathing at the split, the afternoon we went on a snorkelling tour. The first two spots were rather uninteresting but the final spot we got to see nurse sharks and stingray. They threw pilchards into the water and then two huge nurse sharks turned up! After a few more minutes there was a lot more. We jumped into the water and watched as huge stingray swam underneath us as well as sharks. It was a bit daunting but a really great experience.

The next day all of the people I knew were leaving on the morning boat. We sat and had breakfast together and then I spent the day at the split and having a walk around the island. There were more people in my room when I got back so I went to the bar with them and met some more of their friends. I had an early night as the next morning I was going diving. When I arrived at the dive shop they didn't have enough people to do the dive site I'd signed up for. I agreed to join another group but actually it was really disappointing and I didn't see much. We did spot a manatee during the surface interval and jumped in to snorkel with it. After I got back to the hostel and had dinner, I decided to go find another dive shop and sign up for the dives I'd wanted to do. I had been walking around for a while and couldn't spot the little shop, but heard my name being called. Three of the people I'd met the night before were sat on some swing seats overlooking the beach. I went and joined them. We sat for a while swapping tales and chatting before sitting at a quiet restaurant and having some beers. We sat there for most of the night until we ended up in the sports bar and then the reggae bar. After that a few of us went and sat on a deck on the waterfront with a bottle of red wine, some music and funny stories.

I'd decided this was my last day on the island. If I didn't leave then I'd never have left. I got up early; some people I'd met had hired a boat to go fishing and invited me to join. When we got to the place there was no captain available. They suggested doing a sunset trip instead and to come back at 3pm. We killed time with coffee, a nice lunch of prawn skewers and swimming off the pier. We set off on our boat trip on time. The guy that ran the company was actually our boat captain. He said he'd wanted to go outside the reef for a while so he was taking us without the extra charge - or an official permit. At first we did some trawl fishing, but the fish got away. The captain took a shine to calling me Little Diddle. We anchored the boat and cast out our lines. After a few attempts I pulled up a decent sized fish - only it was poisonous, I'd caught a stonefish! The trip lasted about 4 hours and some of the others caught some small fish. Back on the island we dropped them at a restaurant and they prepared the 8 fish while we went to shower. Then we sat down to a really delicious meal.


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