Jodes and Nick’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 02 Sep 2006

Location: Caye Caulker, Belize

MapOn the way here we passed through Belmopan on the bus and saw what I think is my first drive through cemetary - the main road goes straight through it and some plots are right up against the curb!

Belize is famous for its Cayes (keys) and barrier reef which stretch along the countries small coastline. The waters are clear and a lovely aqua / azzure, hence a big attraction to divers.

We have come to Caye Caulker, one of the larger but cheaper cayes - it's beaches are ok, but just offshore there is good snorkelling and further out the more popular diving sites. The place is soooo laid back, helped by the relaxed attitude of the funky Creole speaking locals who appear to spend most of their time cruising around the island on their bycycles in between stops for a chat with other locals - everybody knows everybody!

Our first adventure was unplanned - a 45mile trip to the outer reef snorkelling with a diving tour, and it hit the budget hard. Destination the Lighthouse Reef, Half Moon Caye and the Blue Hole which is an amazing sink hole which apparently was once a cave in a mountain when this area was above ground, but has since collapsed and the sea has risen, so the what remains is an underwater cave with stalacmites and stalagtites rimmed by a coral reef - its a magnet for divers. We were the only 2 snorkelling on the trip, so we had our own private guide.

Next we wanted to do some snorkelling on the local reef (less than 1km out) and all but one tour offered the same thing, but the one that didn´t sailed out to the reef sites rather than use power boats - that sounded pretty cool to us...and would add another item to our list of modes of transport on this trip! We sailed out to 3 points, Coral Garden (ok but no Barrier Reef), then Shark and Ray Alley were as the name suggests you swim with sharks (but don´t fret Mum they were only 1m odd nurse sharks) and rays, and then Hol Chan Marine Reserve which was pretty special - lots of big fish and moray eels. To make it even better we had more cool guides, local rasta types so plenty of groovey tunes on the boat, then on the way home endless rum and cerviche (coured fish) from lobster and conch caught fresh at our first location - those that know me now that I didnt bother with the cerviche´(Jodes made up for me though!)...but the rum went down a treat!

All underwater photos are on disposable cameras, so unfortunately nothing for the net - sorry!

Because of that and our underbudget spending getting slimmer and slimmer, we abandoned an embrionic plan to extend our holiday and chill out in the Sicillian Islands for 3 weeks. Oh well, at least now we can spend up and enjoy the rest of our planned adventure.

Back to Mexico tomorrow and more beach time on the Carribean Sea at Tulum.