A Travellerspoint blog

DAY 27- CAYE CAULKER

At 830am we set off with a wildlife friendly guide to do some snorkelling out by the reefs.

First stop SHARK AND RAY ALLEY.

I was completely amazed when he stopped the boat about a dozen Nurse Sharks were around the boat at the surface, some of them 2 metres in length. We jumped into the water and swam looking down at sharks, large Atlantic Ray's, tuna fish and other huge blue fish.

Second stop we swam with a large loggerhead turtle and saw thousands of conch shells on the sea floor.

Third stop was The channel which as it states is a channel between the reef allowing boats and such to pass through. But it also houses an amazing array of marine life, from hundreds of colourful fish and Ray's to Moray eels. I did some free diving to about 5-6 metres checking out the marine life close up. Simply amazing.

The last stop was a 60 year old barge ship wreck, with holes in the hull and coral growing off the deck. We both free dived down and could peer into the rusty boat. The water was very choppy and there was quite a tide so we got back onto the boat after about ten minutes.

At lunch we chomped down some 3 dollar veggie burritos sat in the shade on the beach sharing some with a lush dog. Then a Caribbean man on a pedal cart taught us the way of THE BANANA CAKE omg it was the best thing I have ever tasted. We ended up gobbling two large chunks between us.

Posted by Markandmel2016 18:33 Comments (0)

DAY 26 - CAYE CAULKER

Today, I donned my new board shorts and singlet vest in a hope of gaining a sun tan. We walked to the local supermarket and hired "BEACH CRUISERS" (bikes) for 15 Belize dollars for the day. Mine was a sparkling sea blue bike with upturned handlebars and pedal brakes. We slowly cruised along to the spit (which is the main place to hangout, next to the last lizard bar) however the area looked a bit of a mess but we later found out a hurricane in 2016 had caused substantial damage. We swam in the turquoise waters close to the spit dodging the underwater construction site. Then a German lad was warning his girlfriend that there was something in the water near us. Not knowing what it was we swam pretty quickly to the steps and ran onto the jetty looking anxiously into the now empty water. TWO dark shadows appeared in the water gliding around elegantly. They were Atlantic Ray's, completely harmless and more scared of us than anything else. Awesome to see.

We rode around the whole island taking in the sights and sounds. Groups of Pelicans on a jetty at the rear of the island just minding their own business and numerous colourful local shacks and a huge area for some cumbersome generator trucks powering thr island. We popped into a tiny animal rescue place with about ten dogs and 20 cats, nice to see someone cares. We left a donation.

In the afternoon we found a lush jetty not far from our hostel which offered spacious sunbathing and a nice place to get in the water and swim.

An evening meal out to a veggie Italian restaurant resulted in 2 small slices of lasagne and 2 bottles of water for £20 oppps note to self check the prices first, lesson learnt.

Back at the hostel we had an odd conversation with a Mayan local who told us about a bad hurricane in 2010 which caused devastation on the Island he also said he was psychic and that I looked 42 years old. He didn't see the slap coming though, haha only joking.

Posted by Markandmel2016 18:00 Comments (0)

DAY 25 - BELIZE CITY AND CAYE CAULKER

Another delightful chicken bus to Belize city, coupled with complete overcrowding on the bus. All seats full and the whole gang way filled with bodies making it nearly impossible for people further back to get off the bus in between. Luckily we were at the last stop. oh yeah some guy selling Mince pies of all things on the bus. Random!!!

We got a taxi from the bus station to the water taxi terminal where we handed our bags over to a 15 year old lad who said it would be on the boat with us. A bit worried about where our bags were going we spied on the lad from afar, but it was slammed onto a very wobbly tower of suitcases on a small trailer.

We then got on the water taxi to Caye CAULKER which was a speedy little vessel packed with passengers and belongings. This took 45 minutes and was fairly painless. We arrived on a small jetty to turquoise waters, Palm trees and cute wooden shack lined streets. We saw Pelicans perching on the jetty and numerous golf buggies darting around. What an amazing place!!! We walked to our Hostel called Juan in a Million

We spent the afternoon exploring the streets and getting a feel for the place. From first glance everything appeared fairly normal but I had this feeling of slight anxiety about some of the local characters.
We ended the evening in style cooking up 3 minute noodles in 3 hours due to a very dilapidated stove cooker. However, whilst cooking if you call it that we met ' Stewart' an Englsh guy from London. A humourous chap who had unfortunately had a bad turn of luck in THE BIG SMOKE. Recently seperately from his wife he quit his job and lifestyle to embark on an adventure. But ended up staying in CAYE CAULKER for the last 2 months simply sunbathing, nothing else just sunbathing. No trips no excursions JUST sunbathing. He was so brown you could nearly mistake him for a local and he now knew probably half of the islands inhabitants. He had a whispy beard and was known as the SHERIFF to the locals. His claim to ill health was a tiny bite on his ankle whilst swimming, which had.grown into a ballon and had now turned black. Nice.

Posted by Markandmel2016 19:36 Archived in Belize Comments (1)

DAY 24 - Bacalar to Orange Walk in Belize

No more luxury ADO buses from now on.

Shared extremely squashed 40 minute taxi ride to Chetumal for 80 mex Pesos.

Then a Belizean style chicken bus to the border and on to Orange walk in Belize. Mel and I were a bit worried about the border as this was the first of our trip and we didn't really know what to expect. Actually it was fairly straight forward apart from having to pay a tax to get out of Mexico (500 pesos each) yikes. Then we went through the most relaxed customs ever to enter Belize. The customs chap checked my passport and did not say a word then at the the searching area the lady said to me, ANY FOOD OR SOUVENIRS? NO
OK YOU CAN GO THROUGH.

We then bused a further 1 hour to ORANGE WALK where every one and their Mother was getting on and off at multiple stops. Sadly no chickens though.

Everything was so much easier as everyone spoke English, we were directed to our guest room only 2 minutes from the bus terminal. Oh wow!!! Ricky's place at £16 per night was situated on the top of a very noisy sports bar The stairs upto the room led you on to a half finished roof with metal rods sticking out everywhere and no safety at all. The room itself was OK.

We bounded off into the town and struggled to find a working ATM which resulted in a few moody words between Mel and I. Lol!!
Orange walk was a very rural, cute local town not really that touristy at all. This was nice to see but as a town didn't really have much to see or do.

Finished the day off with a huge veggie chow mien and spring rolls dinner at a weird Chinese place and got an early night.

Posted by Markandmel2016 19:16 Comments (0)

DAY 23 - LAGUNA BACALAR

Caught an ADO BUS to Bacalar in the morning hoping to arrive at midday ish so that we could spend the afternoon on the lake as we were only staying not one night.

Things did not run so smoothly.......... About 6km's away from Bacalar we suddenly hit some heavy traffic on the dual carriage way. We initially thought nothing of it, oh must be busy or accident or something. Oh no this was a 6km tail back of mostly Lorries. The bus driver addressed the coach in Spanish and later translated to us by a friendly traveller. YOU NEED TO WALK NOW.

SORRY SAY THAT AGAIN!!! I thought

Well he wasn't joking 1- minutes later with all our gear in tow we slowly walked down the middle of the carriage way passing all the lorry drivers sleeping underneath their trucks to shield them from the hot midday sun. We then reached the cause of the hold up local Mexicans holding a sit down in the middle of the road. Literally hundreds of people were gathered in the road, I believe they were protesting about the cost of fuel. Mel and I HOT FOOTED it through the centre of the carnage. Hoping for a safe passage to Bacalar. 45 minutes later we were completely lost and had too flag down a taxi to take us to Hotel Hacienda Bacalar where we were staying for the night.

Unfortunately we did not have time to do a tour of the lake but we did jump in and have a lush swim. We also made up for the earlier carnage with the biggest burgers I have ever had in my life.

Posted by Markandmel2016 19:04 Comments (1)

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