5 January 2014
Today was another early day. We were up at 5:30 getting ready to board the Chicken bus that goes to Belize City everyday from the small village of Palcencia. One of the main differences between Belize and other Latin America countries such as Guatemala or Mexico is that the cities in Belize are more like town or villages. They are all very small. I am not sure what the population of Belize is, but I would guess that it is not more than a couple million.
Of course the moment that we leave our hotel for the bus it begins to downpour. The rain started out light with a little wind blowing inland from the ocean. After five minutes walking the rain started coming down so hard that all Andrew and I cold do was laugh. 10 minutes later we arrived at the bus stop soaking wet. Imagine pouring rain, dark skies, and two American backpackers drenched from head to toe standing at a local bus stop…yep, that was us! I have often found that the most uncomfortable of situations make the best stories…
After a day d snorkeling both Andrew and I’s necks were so sunburnt. This morning we woke up so sore that we could hardly carry our backpacks to the bus. We bought a bottle of aloe Vera from the store and have been spending much of our time rubbing it on each other’s burns. Yes, it feels like we are two healing lepers.
We arrived in Belize city around 10am and had the entire day to walk around and discover the local eateries in the area. We chose to stay at the Belclave hotel right next to Marlins, one of the top restaurants in the area. We ate lobster, Belizean rice and beans, and vegetables that were really potatoes covered in mayo (potato salad). The lobster and the rice and beans were delicious and the potato salad was best avoided. After checking into our hotel and eating lunch, we set off to explore the city. For being the most expensive country in Central America, Belize City is actually quite a dumpy place. The streets are covered in Trash and Bob Marly wannabes walk around calling you babe and honey.
Belize City does have its beautiful aspects as well. The Creole food is delicious, the people are kind, and the woven baskets are beautiful. By the way thank you Andrew for purchasing the hand crafted fruit basket that will look so lovely on our dining room table this semester.
All in all it was a great day, but I can’t wait to head North to Merida, Mexico tomorrow!
This morning we got up around 5am to board the 6:15 bus to Belize city. Once we’d finished packing and left the hotel we were greeted by a storm shortly after leaving. Since Placencia is located on the water front the wind was string and the rain cold as we hustled our way to the bus stop. We were dripping wet!
In typical Central America fashion the 6:15 bus did not arrive at 6:15 but ended up coming around 6:45 which we boarded with the other white folk on their way to Belize city. We packed in like sardines into a bus that had so little leg room I had to turn sideways to be able to sit properly. Thankfully it was a cool day so the ride itself wasn’t hot and we dried off slowly along the way. The ride was pretty interesting, we had a group of Amish board the bus and that sparked a good conversation about their beliefs and religion. I definitely can say at this point long bus drives are getting easier for me. Before long durations in a vehicle made me extremely restless but they’re growing on me… Slowly 🙂
Still a little sunburnt from yesterday Kylie and I have been taking things slowly. Once we arrived in Belize city we found a cozy little hotel on the waterfront for a good price and got dinner at a local eatery. Lunch wasn’t bad either, 10 Belize (or 5 USD) for a plate of lobster, rice and co slaw.
Kylie and I spent the day wandering around Belize city which, despite being the most expensive place in central America, is about as dumpy as any slum I saw in Australia. More than the city itself, the people are quite interesting. The people of Belize are a mix between Latin Americans and shipwrecked slaves from slave ships (we’re talking decades ago). So the culture that’s developed here is a Rastafarian one full of reggae on the streets, dreadlocks, and beanies.
It’s been an interesting day for sure!