Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just a hop, skip and a jump to our island paradise - Flores to Belize

Once again we were up early. The bus was due to pick us up around 7:30 in the morning and we knew we'd have yet another long day of travel ahead of us.

We opted for breakfast at the hostel while we waited, content to enjoy the last moments in Flores before heading somewhere completely different.

This bus arrived and we got on. As with all the other buses it was packed with other travellers on the same route as us. We made our way to the border, where we had to get off the bus, grab our luggage and make our way through customs before meeting the bus on the other side.

We were handed tourist cards to fill out, which were once again not in English, and the border guard seemed to find this quite amusing. (Not sure what it is with me, but the guys at customs always seem to find me thoroughly entertaining and laugh...)

Back on the bus we got, making our way to Belize City. There was a distinct change in landscape and architecture as we neared the city - gone were the wooden/tin shacks that we'd seen in the Guatemalan jungle and here were large wooden structures up on pillars, presumably to prevent flooding.
image courtesy of Google Image search
We arrived at the water taxi station and a man took our bags, asking if we were going to Caye Caulker. We purchased our tickets and waited to get on the boat. There are two main islands off the coast of Belize that people visit. The smaller, walk-it-in-20-minutes Caye Caulker and the larger San Pedro. Somehow, perhaps due to the massive amount of people attempting to get to the island at the same time as us, we ended up being put on the San Pedro boat, which then stopped at Caye Caulker.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't convinced we'd once again be without our luggage.

Once on the small island we set out to attempt to find a hostel. We had a few ideas but all of them were full. Eventually we settled on one, though I can not remember what it was called. Likely because there was confusion over whether it was called Jim's Guesthouse (it was not). Either way, it was a cute little place tucked back off the main strip with close proximity to a cafe with free Wifi and a bar around the corner.

It was incredibly hot on the island and we weren't sure if we were hungry. So, we decided to grab a drink at the wifi-cafe across the street and plan our next day and a bit. We split some lobster quesadillas and had a drink before setting off to book a snorkelling tour.

With only about 48 total hours on the island we knew we couldn't waste any time. Snorkelling was high on the list of things we wanted to do, as well as have some decent seafood dinner and just relax and enjoy island life.

Caye Caulker is actually an island that is split in half - it used to be joined but now there is a section in between where boats can pass through... not surprisingly it's known as "The Split". Snorkelling tour booked, Meg and I set off to wander the island and see what it had to offer. We walked up to The Split, stopping to admire some cute little sand crabs scurrying in and out of their holes in the sand. Due to the heat we opted to put our feet in the water and take in the sights before venturing off to find some dinner.

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