Our journey today started on a local “chicken bus” to Belize City – named after the fact that if you can get it on the bus (whether feathered furred etc) it can travel. A stampede of people filled the bus immediately leaving many of us to stand as our rickety reconditioned school bus started on the journey from San Ignacio. Luggage was thrown in the back. Our first stop was about an hour out. Just before we reached the town those of us who were standing were all told to crouch down on the floor. This way the authorities wouldn’t be able to tell how many people were in the bus which was dangerously, illegally overloaded. Thankfully the roads are straight along the route we travelled. 1/2 of the people got off at our first stop, so everyone had a seat during the second half of the journey.
Belize city bus station is a scary place and I was glad to be with a group and get out of there ASAP. Our taxis dropped us at the water taxi depot which is a small mall closed in with fences and minders. The crime in Belize City is dreadful. We boarded our water taxi and arrived in paradise at around 1 pm. I am not usually a beach person but this place rocks.
Caye Caulker is about 5 miles long and 1 mile wide, 2000 people live here permanently. Fishing used to be the main industry but tourism is now #1. The island came to people’s attention in the late 60’s early 70’s when it was part of what was known as the Gringo or Stoners trail through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. It is still reasonable in terms of prices and it would be easy to let go of time during a long stay here. All vehicles are electric golf cart types (no gas powered cars on the island) and bicycles are everywhere.
Once we checked into our hotel – I got ready for my flight over the blue hole. The blue hole is a famous sinkhole – a UNESCO world heritage site – that is absolutely amazing. Visible from outer space is a dark blue clear perfectly round hole in the coral reef approximately 400 meters across. Our pilot took 5 of us out – we traveled over several coral reefs on the way out to the blue hole. Amazing amazing trip. Glad I took my gravol though as that little plane sure bounced around a bit and some of the turns were pretty sharp…..
Following the flight I wandered down sandy main street, took some photos and paid for tomorrow’s snorkelling trip. Lobsters are in season here and we head out to a lobster dinner with all the trimmings this evening 🙂