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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our second Belezian experience.

We have just returned from our second journey to Belize. We decided to re-visit the island of Caye Caulker and stayed there for 11 days. Even though the airlines only allowed us one checked bag each, we were able to bring much needed items to the island. These included reading glasses (which are expensive there), books for a woman who will be instructing a course at the high school, and a bunch of binders for Ocean Academy students. The goal of our trip was to get a feel for what life in Belize would be like, but we came away with so much more!

We flew to the island from the international airport in order to maximize our time on the island. Here is a shot of our approach to the small airstrip on Caye Caulker.

Since it was really really hot we spent a lot of time at our cottage. Most homes on the island are small and built of wood. Ours had one bedroom and one bath and would be considered spacious by the locals. We stayed in the gringo section. During our last visit that area was of the most interest to us.

During summer there are fewer tourists, however there seemed to be much more golf cart and truck traffic. Perhaps it was the street we stayed on, which is on the way to the airport and dump as well as the major route to the southern and western areas of the island.

We quickly found that a second floor porch facing the east is the coolest place to be during a hot summer day. We often had lizards and hummingbirds visit us while relaxing on the porch.

We had plenty of time to "hang out" at some of the local establishments :-)

Some days the rain came down. One day we were on our way to lunch and we felt a few drops. We decided to make a stop at Syd's restaurant instead of our original destination. As soon as we parked our bikes the rain was incredibly hard. One of the aspects I love about Belize is the ease at which your plans can change. We enjoyed ourselves in spite of the storm which had ended by the time we finished lunch. While eating I saw an acquaintance bike by, I called out to her and she returned to the door to exchange a quick hello. That never happens in the USA.

Storms are brief and only last a few minutes. Afterward the streets look like this...

We also did a one day trip to nearby San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Although we liked the town, it is much busier and really caters to tourism with a lot of condo's and resorts. If you are going on vacation...this is the place to go, however our agenda is much different and we prefer the small town feel of Caye Caulker. While on Ambergris we saw some different sights! Nice place to visit, don't want to live there.

We were fortunate enough to encounter Nick the taxi driver on our last venture to CC. We found him there again, still smiling and happy to provide superior service. Nick and his family made our visit very special this time. I will write another blog about those experiences...certainly not a tourist like thing to do, but definitely the most memorable and special vacation I have ever had! THANK YOU NICK.

This trip has affirmed our initial thoughts that Belize and Caye Caulker in particular are a good match for what we are looking for in a retirement destination. We learned much more about the little island and its people. With any luck we may one day call Caye Caulker our home.

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