Category Archives: Belize

You Better Belize It

A short ferry ride from Belize City lies Caye Caulker, Belize. This little island paradise is full of coconut trees and fresh fish. Immediately after stepping on to the dock you feel a sense of relief. Relaxation engulfs your entire body and worries seem to simply float away in the breeze. The few streets that exist here are covered in sand and going barefoot is no problem.

Our favorite spot for dinner was a small hut right off of the main drag called Fran’s. Fran is a lady in her mid forties, a local who always has a smile on her face. She has her hut and her grill. She is usually sitting/standing by the street hollering at people to come try Fran’s Frantastic food! Her what seems to be son, is working the grill and another woman is in the hut preparing the sides. There are usually three options chicken, shrimp, or my favorite the snapper. Everything is grilled to perfection a mere two feet from the old picnic table. Every evening it is a gathering spot for young travelers alike. Sitting on the wooden bench eating fantastic food with my toes in the sand I am content. Life could not be better, and on an island where the people’s motto is “Go Slow” I start to understand how people get stuck.

My mornings consisted of taking a leisurely stroll to the coffee shop, and hanging up my hammock between the palm trees to lose myself in a book. My favorite coffee on the island is a french press brew by Ice and Beans. Ice and Beans is owned/operated by an expat who loves his doughnuts. He bought a mini doughnut machine that churns out delicious bites of goodness with the flick of a switch. He covers them in cinnamon and then if you wish adds chocolate syrup. It was a deadly routine and it’s a good thing I was only on the island a week.

My reason for visiting Caye Caulker was to dive the infamous Blue Hole. After doing some research on the island I find out that it is no cheap adventure. In fact it was quite expensive. In order to dive the Blue Hole you have to book the three dive package which runs anywhere from two hundred and fifty to four hundred dollars. The average cost is three hundred and finding a shop to do it for two fifty was a task. The dive trip is an all day adventure. We left the dock at seven a.m. and didn’t return until five that evening. First we stopped at the Blue Hole. I didn’t even know we had arrived. The water looks like the rest of the ocean, big and blue. I am glad I did the dive simply because I can say I have been there. It was a deep dive and the forty-foot tall stalactites were amazing. Halfway through the dive a few sharks came to check us out but didn’t come close enough for us to get a good picture. We ended the dive and headed to our next spot. The next two dives were epic. Both reef dives and the reef life was abundant. On our second dive we were joined by two sharks that followed us the entire time. Grouper were everywhere and a few barracuda here and there. The third dive was a wall dive and just as spectacular. A baby reef shark swam by me at one point and I saw a few black coral trees which are beautiful.

It was a long day and we were all beat. I found a spot on the front of the boat and laid out to soak up some sun on the two-hour journey back to Caye Caulker. Halfway back we were joined by dolphins who swam alongside the boat jumping in and out of the waves. A perfect day on the water and well worth the trip. Back on the island we made our way back to the hotel hung our gear out to dry and headed to Fran’s for one last meal. Tomorrow we take a bus, for twelve hours, to Tikal in Guatemala. I will surely miss my days of reading in a hammock, taking a dip off the dock, and the deadly doughnuts at Ice and Beans. “You better Belize it!”

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