Monday, April 28, 2008


I have been in Belize for 4 days now- 1 day in Belize City and the rest of the time I have been staying on Caye Caulker island off the coast of Belize, which has been the highlight of my travels so far.
The instant we crossed the Mexican border into Belize I noticed a huge difference in everything. Belize is very unique for a Central American country in that the main languages are English and Creole, and the people are predominately black. The food, too, is very different, with Jerk Chicken and lobster trumping tacos every time. My first stop was Belize City for a night, which is probably the strangest city I have ever been in. Despite being Belize's largest city its only got 60,000 people. Trying to find a place to eat or drink at 8.30pm proved almost impossible, with all the bars and restaurants closing in the late afternoon. We were lucky not to be in the city last week following the national elections- a man went crazy and shot several people on a rampage through the city in response to the outcome. Despite its shortfalls though, the city had its charms. It's very colourful, ramshackle and full of Caribbean character.
As soon as you get out of Belize City Caye Caulker is a really small island (you can stand in the middle and see both sides of the island) and the main form of transportation is golf carts. It has a strong Caribbean rasta feel with dreadlocked Belizeans playing Bob Marley on every corner and cooking fresh seafood on BBQ's on the beach.
Yesterday I went on a full day snorkel tour on a sailboat which was fantastic. We swam with nurse sharks and bat rays near the Belize Barrier Reef (the second biggest reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef). The free rum and fresh conch ceviche (raw seafood marinated in lime juice with tomato, coriander, chile and onions) was the highlight.
Tomorrow I will probably make my way to San Ignacio, on the Guatemalan border, where I'm hoping to do a horse trek through the jungle to partially excavated Mayan sites.

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