Caye Caulker, Goff Caye, Tobacco Caye, Placencia ...simply all ova da Belizean coast, baby...
... Weh di go aan!
Belizeans like to do everything sloooooo...and that started at the border when we hopped as early as possible onto an old American schoolbus that was gonna bring us to Belize City. The bus literally stopped about a million times to drop people of and let them get on anywhere besides the road (even if that means someone has to get off 50m further than the last stop...). And then they were fixing the bus for an hour or so... Pim tried to keep a happy face...
We arrived in Belize City just in time to catch the last ferry to Caye Caulker, and we wanted to take the trip together with a guy we had met on the bus, Barak from Israel (a.k.a. "El Presidente"). But then...not a single bank ATM accepted our bankcards, not even the creditcard! Having spent 15 minutes in Belize City we were sure we did not want to end up spending the night in this creepy array of ramshackle slums. But we had no Belizean dollars! Our friend Barak literally saved us and payed not only the taxi, but also the watertaxi and even the first hotel night for us until we could get some money the next day. Viva Barak!!!
So we took the very last watertaxi to the Caribbean Island of Caye Caulker, in the dark. After a tiring bustrip of almost 10hours it was fantastic to see the amazing starlight above the Caribbean Sea in the pitch dark, we saw the milkyway and even a falling star and felt welcome and happy again.
We stayed a few days on the friendly, relaxed and colorful island Caye Caulker doing as little as possible in general and nothing much in particular. Well what we did do was getting our tan on and eating a lot of lobster, running around barefoot and loosing track of day and time, bobbing our heads to the reggae beat...
We decided to spoil ourselves a bit in this nice environment and book a nice to hotel to stay in...
... but also to book a 3 day sailing adventure down the Belizean coast with Raggamuffin tours. To 'fill' the days before we took of, we did an amazing snorkeling daytrip with Ragamuffin already at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. This is also how we met our crew for the 3day trip, and we confinced some other nice people to come on the tour with us! We made three snorkelling stops during our 6hour trip. Spectacular! We saw lots of tropical fish, sea turtles, barracudas, and eaglerays. Especially Shark Ray Alley was just so cool! Being an old stop for fisherman to throw away the rests of cleaned fish, lots of giant fish, stingrays and sharks showed up directly next to the boat and we snorkelled just one meter above them! Our captain and guide Kevin even grabbed a ray and a shark so we could touch them. A little scary but absolutely amazing!
And we had our first confrontation with Raggamuffin rum punch on the way back, but more about that later...
On Tuesday morning we put on our swimsuits, packed our bags for the trip and left early for the boat. During the kickoff meeting the day before we were warned for a cold front coming up near the belize coast but despite some heavy winds and some waves the conditions were still very nice for sailing, although Pim was a bit worried about being on a rocky boat for a long time. After about 3hours sailing within the reef of Belize the waves were actually ok, the weather was still fine and someone caught a barracuda for dinner, so we were feeling very good.
Then the weather completely turned and within 10 minutes it was cold and rainy and that was the moment we were told to get ready for our first snorkel... See how Malka was doing!
Then we sailed further and dried in the breeze until we came to Goff Caye, a little fisher stop island with about, no exactly 11 palm trees, a small hut and two beaches.
Here we stayed for what was going to be an interesting first night. We had to build up our unlogical tent and while waiting for what was going to be an excellent lobster and barracuda dinner the whole group started draining the gallons of rum punch brought to the island. After dinner the winds were getting stronger and we could feel the storm coming so we grouped together under the palmed roof and drank some more punch... Soon the first of us were behaving quite differently or fell asleep while we were getting more and more worried about our tent getting wet. When we tried to fall sleep in a half wet tent it was for the first 30min quite difficult because of the heavy winds almost blowing outer part of the tent away, soon the rum punch kicked in and I don't remember a thing until sunset the next morning. Which was beautiful as you can see.
The whole day turned out to be beautiful and we loved the quiet sailing, the fishing (we didnt catch anything though) and the snorkelling. Oh, i almost forgot the tanning on the deck!
We stayed on another cute little island, Tobacco Caye, which was a lot of fun. Its a beautiful tiny island with only 20 inhabitants...we are so jealous! We camped between the houses, went snorkelling with eagle rays, took our one and only shower on this trip, had a beer at the island's one and only bar and enjoyed some drumming at night.
What a contrast this day was with the third and last day... We were woken up with the recommendation to take a pill against seasickness because "it was going to get rough".
After the first 2h of rough i thought they had been exaggerating, but after lunch the sees were attacking us vigourously :-(
Somehow Pim managed not get seasick but the turns the boat made were quite terrifying sitting either inside (Malka fell of her seat almost all the time) or outside (Pim had to hold on while soaked in salt water).
Once arrived in Placencia we were still quite shaken (and stirred), but, no time to waste, the next morning we left at 6 already to head for our 3rd country already. More about Guatemala next time for we are now looking back to an excellent stay in and around the coast of Belize.
Thanks to Raggamuffin and our awesome crew Kevin, Chris and Ellis!