07 March 2012

You better Belize it!

After 10 days and 6 countries, The Warthog and I had only one stop left on the agenda....Belize.

We took a 5 hour bus ride...which turned to 6.5 hours. Our driver made some unscheduled stops to pick up some more passengers...after which the bus was packed. A family of 5 Australians got on board, and a 5 year old plopped down next to me. After listening to him, justifiably, complaining...I said "Have you ever played Angry Birds"...to which his eyes lit up and he said "yes?"...I broke out the old iPhone and let him have at it.

Mike leaned over to me and said "You're a good man Chris"....an hour later, once I had to take the iPhone back to conserve battery power, Mike leaned over and said "You bastard...giving that kid hope, then crushing his dreams!"

It was a relatively pleasant trip even though I had a 5 year old tugging on my sleeve and asking (in an Australian accent) "Can I use you phone now?"...No, maybe in 30 minutes ..."Can I use your phone now?"..After we cross the border into Belize...1 minute into Belize: "Can I use your phone now?"

In the end, I was able to conserve battery power and let him use the phone off and on to keep him busy...perfect.

Eventually, we arrived in Belize City and were dropped at the port where we hopped on a ferry to take us to Caye Caulker, and island 20 miles up the coast.

Goodbye Jungle, Hello Beach!
 Besides the Australians, we met some Americans on the bus so we all took the boat together. None of us had reservations, as most places were full online, so we made a plan...as soon as the boat pulled up to the dock, new pal Diego and I would jump ship and run to find accommodations.

The plan worked. We beat the crowds getting off the boats, and found two separate places.....one of for Mike and I and one for the other group. We parted ways, promising to catch up later, and Mike and I went to find some grub.

Bucket of beer...$5
 Mission accomplished. Famished from the trip, we destroyed some unlucky lobsters and washed it all down with the local beer.

Barbecued Lobster Tails and a giant bowl of beans? Delish...$8
 Caye Caulker is very small. There are no roads and you can walk the whole thing top to bottom in about 20 minutes. Tourism didn't start here until the late 60's-early 70's once speedboats became more popular. It was one of several stops on the famous "Gringo Trail" followed by hippies looking for adventure...

After dinner, we visited a few local bars...and hey! stumbled into our new American friends!

Jamie, Diego, Natalia and Brandon....on bar swings!
We had a great night hanging out and meeting all sorts of people...locals and tourists alike.

The next day Captain Mike was ready for action.

Caye Caulker is an impressivly beautiful place. This was the view from our hostel.

You could hit a golf ball across the long, narrow island.

The locals often remind you to "Go slow"...island life is kicked back.

First order of business was finding a hostel for the second night, as the place we were at only had beds for the first night...turns out, we found a cool place up the beach...Da Real Macaw. We got our own lil bungalow!

Later, we went to meet up with Greg (a Canadian we met the night before who owns a little pizza place on the island) and The Swede (another guy we had hung out with the night before). The Swede was on a 7 week vacation...by himself...this was day 3! The Swede was one of the most interesting characters we met on our entire journey. We could barely understand him...or pronounce his name...so we just called him The Swede. 

The Swede, Pizza Greg and Mike.
Whenever we met someone and introduced ourselves, we would say "Hi I'm Chris, this is Mike...and thats The Swede" almost on cue, The Swede would give a crazy look or do something so odd that we would all laugh our faces off...we also took to chanting "SWEDE! SWEDE! SWEDE" alot...like in this clip from Heartbreak Ridge. (Swede chant starts at around 48 seconds in...as an added bonus...this is in Italian which makes it fun to watch!)

We hung out at the Pizza place all night, until closing time...we met loads more people, including a Canadian couple (L) and an English couple (R)...a great evening...hanging out, making friends, beer, laughter...and VERY, VERY, VERY good pizza. 

The pizza is unBelizeable!
It was a great ending, to a great trip.

Stay tuned for more from the Warthog and the Peacock.